Mission & Model
Threads of Peru is a non-profit organization that connects the world to handmade Peruvian textiles; helping to preserve ancient craft techniques and empower indigenous artisans.
Threads of Peru works to alleviate poverty and revitalize cultural traditions in rural indigenous communities.
By marketing the work produced by weavers in these communities, Threads of Peru is providing an opportunity for women to earn an income, while continuing to live a traditional lifestyle. International development studies show that when women receive their own income, the health and well-being of their children improves at a much faster rate than when men have sole control of the family’s income.
Threads of Peru aims to educate the public on the value of the Quechua weaving tradition through the website, blog and other social media networks, as well as market the weavers’ work globally.
Furthermore, Threads of Peru’s work is helping to restore pride in the Quechua culture, helping to create inroads towards a truly equitable and inclusive society in Peru, a place where about 70% of the population is indigenous, and yet continues to suffer discrimination and economic barriers, especially in rural areas.
Threads of Peru has three main goals:
Through the web and international sales, Threads of Peru connects indigenous Andean weavers of Peru to a global market. We buy handmade textiles directly from weavers at fair trade prices. Apart from a handful of consignment items made by Master Weavers, artisans receive their money up front and they make their own decisions about how to spend it. Once bought, Threads of Peru resells items with a markup which will sustain the website, the continued and increased buying from the communities, and the costs of maintenance, shipping, and administration. Beyond these costs, all other profits from Threads of Peru are invested back into the communities through projects, which are carried out in cooperation with community members. Threads of Peru supports marketing projects, which help guide weavers in creating products that appeal to modern consumers, while complimenting and preserving their traditional methods of weaving.
Threads of Peru seeks to educate the world about the Andean people and their traditions of making textiles. We combine our own observations with the collected experience of others to form an educational resource on the internet. We hope that this resource helps people see the impressive beauty of this tradition, the people who practice it, and the region they live in. Please visit our pages under “The Art & Artisans” menu.
We also collaborate with ethical travel agency, Apus Peru, to offer authentic tours which give tourists a real Peruvian experience. Visit Peru and discover the Andean weaving world for yourself. From the markets in Lima and the factories of Juliaca, to remote mountain villages where weavers still tend their own flocks, shear the animals and spin the wool by hand. These are fun and active trips, with an emphasis on understanding the importance of textiles in Peruvian history and modern culture. A portion of the proceeds from these tours go back to the Threads of Peru mission, and these tours also benefit rural communities and promote their sustainable tourism practices.
Threads of Peru is focused on supporting communities through projects, which increase the knowledge base of the weavers and their families.
Such projects include:
Capacitation Workshops: Where skilled Master meavers share their knowledge with other weavers to preserve the ancient ways, as well as continuing to improve their weaving skills and the quality of products.
Creative Inspiration Workshops: These workshops include overnight community exchange trips, visits by expert weavers to the communities, exercises that inspire creativity and innovation in areas, such as their use of iconography, pattern, colour, and finishing techniques.
Adult Education Programs: For the education of indigenous people regarding modern economics, healthcare, childcare, family planning, etc.
Employing Teachers: To continue grade school education for the children of these often remote communities.
Building Projects: Such as schools, weaving houses, and washroom facilities.