Glossary of terms



The fringed headband is usually 6 cm wide, decorated with four or five ‘fingers’ and feathers at the ends.  The longest band known is 9 metres in length.

Blanket stitch

 Langettstygn (kopia)

BLOCK Colour style

Paracas embroideries in block colour style have motifs consisting of differently coloured fields. The outlines were embroidered first and the motifs then filled in with close stitching

. The motifs are detailed and seem to represent specific figures and animal species


Borders are used as a finish on mantles, ponchos, turbans and tunics.  The borders on the Paracas textiles never go all the way round.  On the mantles and turbans, the borders are U-shaped and run along the longer sides, leaving large openings on the short sides.  On ponchos and tunics, the borders are L-shaped and leave smaller openings on two corners.


The broad line style resembles linear style, since the motifs consist of lines instead of differently coloured fields. It differs from the linear style in that the outlines of the figures are thick and monochrome instead of being stitched in finer lines.


This motif resembles the gold headdresses which have been unearthed in Paracas

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. They are oblong with projections at the sides and on top. The embroideries show shapes of this kind both as ornaments on the heads of figures and placed elsewhere in the imagery.

Linear style

Paracas embroideries in linear style have motifs made up of parallel rows of stitches. The background was embroidered first and the motif appears as a recessed shape. Animal motifs do not appear to represent any particular species but rather a generalized type of creature, such as a bird or feline. 


The loincloth is a 0.5 x 1 metre length of cloth with two bands attached to the short ends. The cloth was passed between the legs and the ends secured with the bands around the waist. Ländkläde

Miscellaneous objects

such as a wig, a sling and a bag


The mantle type of garment has been found in most funerary bundles.  The mantle is a large square textile, usually 2.5 x 1.5 metres.  It was probably used as an outer garment to protect against sun, wind and cold when wrapped around the body. Mantel (1935.32.0208)

Plain weave

Plain weave is the most common type of woven fabric . The vertical and horizontal threads in the cloth interlace by passing singly over one thread, under the next and so on. Most woven garment fabrics, rag rugs and other everyday fabrics are in plain weave.


The poncho is a smaller square or rectangular piece of cloth with an opening for the head. Poncho (1935.32.0186)


Skirts are 2.5 x.5 metres and wound around the waist. Kjol (1935.32.0129)

Stem stitch 

Stjälkstygn (kopia)

Trophy head

A trophy head is a severed human head used as a trophy, e.g. after a battle or ceremony.

Trophy body

A severed human head used as a trophy, e.g. after a battle or ceremony, is called a trophy head. Here it is depicted with a body.

Tubular cross-knit loop stitch



The tunic is a rectangular or square piece of cloth with an opening for the head.  The cloth is folded and stitched up the sides, frequently with sleeve like fringing attached. Tunika (1935.32.0120)


The turban is a long rectangular woven cloth wrapped around the head, generally ca 2 x 1 metres. Turban (1935.32.0184)