The island of Mallorca manufactures a very special kind of fabric known as de Llengües ("tongues"). It receives its name from the elongated shapes of the pattern. Made in varied colours, this fabric has been decorating Majorcan houses for centuries.
It is mainly made from raw white cotton that is later dyed in separate portions, depending on the selected pattern. This is why Llengües fabric has no front or back, both sides have the same pattern.
The popularity of the Llengües fabric in Mallorca has varied due to business fluctuations, production processes and other economic factors. This affected the product’s manufacturing by the local textile industry in every period of time.
In the early 18th century, silk Llengües fabric decorated most affluent Mallorcan homes, and was occasionally used for clothing (civilian or religious). With the advent of mechanical looms, and the preference for alternative textile fibres (such as cotton, linen and hemp), Llengües fabrics became available to all of the island’s social strata.
In the 20th century, the influence of tourism caused the Llengües to be revalued and identified as a typical product of the island and part of its cultural heritage. This symbolic characteristic has given it great popularity, which has spawned imitations and forgeries off the island.
Today, there are barely a few places on the island dedicated to the art of weaving this typical fabric by hand, but it can still can be found in stores. Make sure to keep an eye open while shopping during your holiday in Mallorca.
In fact, many of the accommodations offered by Sealand Villas feature decorative elements with this type of material.
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