Monday, August 11, 2014

Paño de Querétaro


Over the weekend, I posted some information about Querétero cloth  (paño de Querétaro) on several Facebook group pages that I thought might find it interesting.  Mostly, it was just a repeat of what I wrote recently on this blog.  

On the “Alamo Legacy & Missions Assoc.,” this led to further discussions about just what kind of cloth paño de Querétaro was, and more research. []

I found that Querétero cloth was the only woolen fabric called for in the Mexican Army’s 1832 uniform regulations for enlisted infantry and cavalry.  Since there is a growing interest in Mexican uniforms of this era, I thought I would publish an excerpt from those regulations here. These are screen shots from the original online publication.[1]                                          

According to Joseph Hefter’s classic, El Soldado Mexicano,“To speed up and simplify manufacture [of uniforms and equipment], the items were divided into groups of 30 and 60 month duration."[2] 

As you can see, Querétaro cloth was widely used in the manufacture of enlisted infantry and cavalry uniforms, for everything from coats to shabraques. 

Our one description of Querétero cloth likens it to kersey (“narrow Yorkshires”). I’ve already given some information about kersey in that earlier post.  But Kochan and Phillips Historical Textiles, which manufactures the highest quality reenactor fabrics, has this to say,

Generally, Kersey was a relatively cheap twill cloth made in imitation of the more expensive Broadcloth. The use of a twill weave enabled the finishers to raise a nap on the cloth more easily than Broadcloth, although the cloth had less substance and the finish was consequently slightly less hard wearing.[3]

Though there was a “double milled” kersey that was used for greatcoats and other garments, so far there is no evidence that Querétero cloth received this treatment.  Compared with most European armies of this era, which used broadcloth, Spanish colonial and early Mexican era uniforms appear to have been made of somewhat inferior fabric. 

Notice also the widespread use in the 1832 regulations of the word grana, which was the subject of an earlier post on this blog.  This scarlet dye made from cochineal insects had long been used for uniforms in Mexico.

A. Plate 1 from Joseph Hefter, El Soldado Mexicano, 1837-1847.  Except for the officers’ uniforms, which would have been of finer and most likely imported fabric, the wool cloth here would have been paño de Querétaro, which was similar to kersey.


[1] Recopilacion de leyes, decretos, bandos, reglamentos, circulares y providencias: ‪de los supremos poderes y otras autoridades de la Republica Mexicana, Mexico, 1836.  See pp. 10-12. This is available online through Google Books.ño+de+Querétaro%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s
[2] El Soldado Mexicano, 1837-1847. Organizacion, Vestuario, Equipo. Mexico City, Nieto, Brown and Hefter, 1958, pp. 4, 52
[3] The full text of this description of military kersey is available as a download on the Kochan and Phillip Historic Textiles website, under “Current Products.”

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