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Mola Mola


A Mola is the decorated yoke of a traditional woman's blouse of the Kuna people of Panama and parts of Columbia that have been made in the last century. They were originally inspired by body paintings of local flora, fauna and images of daily life. The Mola is created using a reverse applique technique of layering multiple, contrasting fabrics together, then cutting away layers to reveal the design. Tiny, nearly invisible stitching finish the edge of the cut away fabric. Intricate Molas made from two to seven layers of different color cloth are futher embellished with embroidery and additional top layers of small bits of applique for color. As the outside world discovered Molas, the designs were worked into panels and are often inspired by contemporary graphics.

Benefits of a Mola

A traditional Mola is a functional yoke for a blouse that is easily embellished.

Mola's are beautiful piece of art.

Tools and Supplies for a Mola

  • Mola patterns
  • Fabric for layers
  • Applique needles, matching thread, scissors
What I Wish I Knew When I Started making a Mola

When making a MOLA, start simple and practice the Reverse applique technique.

Molas Resources