Threads of Peru Blog

Stunning textiles, natural dyes and empanadas…

peru volunteer experience

Shelayne Mulholland was our most recent Threads of Peru fashion design intern. She came to us from Vancouver fresh out of her Bachelors in Fashion Design and Technology with a portfolio full of natural dying and an intense passion for ethical slow fashion.

Shelayne’s work will be showcased in our Spring/Summer 2015 Threads of Peru Designer Capsule Collection.

peru volunteer experience 
Shelayne’s first visit with the weavers of the Uppis community in the Olcongate region.

This Collection has been inspired by the connection between harmony, nature and contemporary design. Shelayne’s work shows her love of fine luxury goods and highlights of beautiful handcrafted Andean textiles.

Shelayne says, “Cusco is a magical place overflowing with copious amounts of stunning textiles. Whether it’s a textiles displayed one of the beautiful artisan markets, colourful table cloths in a local bakery or a hand woven vintage manta on a mother’s back holding her baby close… Everywhere you look there are stunning representations of traditional Andean weaving.”

peru volunteer experience 
Weaving with a backstrap loom at the Centro De Textiles in Cusco.

During Shelayne’s short time in Cusco she made the most of her Peru volunteer experience. She had the opportunity to learn about the history of Peruvian weaving from the Threads of Peru library, take weaving classes at the Centro De Textiles and basic Spanish at the Maximo Nivel Language School.

Shelayne says her absolute favourite part of her Peru volunteer experience with Threads of Peru was going on the community visits. “I loved going on Community visits and meeting the inspiring women behind our products. It was such an enriching and eye opening experience to observe a completely different way of life. It was so exciting to see my creative ideas being communicated to the weaving community and to watch them evolve into something tangible and exquisite . I felt genuinely welcomed by all of the artisans and the Threads of Peru team in Cusco.”

Shelayne had the opportunity to work with Threads of Peru this September. Shelayne’s work will be available online this Spring.

Peru Volunteer experience 
Preparing beautiful hand woven baby alpaca yarn for dyeing.

“Working with Threads of Peru renewed my faith in sustainable and ethically created slow fashion. It was an honour to work with such passionate individuals. I am so blessed for all of the support and creative freedoms I was given during my stay. I recommend supporting Threads of Peru to anyone.”

Peru Volunteer experience 
Hanging our gorgeous freshly naturally dyed baby alpaca yarn out to dry.