Threads of Peru Blog

Farewell to our Design Volunteer, Hannah Barry

Hi, my name is Hannah. I’m 23 years young from Bristol, England. I graduated university last summer with a degree in Fashion & Textile design. Whilst studying I also interned for several different Fashion designers helping on their latest collection as well as attending London Fashion week!

Since graduating I have been working for a FTSE 250 company as a Company Secretarial and Tax Assistant to gain knowledge of how a big corporation works and to save for this trip to South America.

Whilst traveling I knew I wanted to work with a non-profit organization. Then my classmate Olivia, who I would be traveling with found Threads of Peru on a South American 2014 guide website. As TOP is a textile based project we thought this would be a perfect partnership having a Fashion & Textile background. We were thrilled when TOP accepted our application to take myself and Olivia on as Textile and Product Design volunteers for one month. 

With her warp prepared, Lucia Castillo Yupanqi is most comfortable working in the open air, here with company from fellow cooperative member, Juana Rios Churata

 With her warp prepared, Lucia Castillo Yupanqi is most comfortable working in the open air, here with company from fellow cooperative member, Juana Rios Churata.

Our objective whilst working with TOP would be focusing on fashion consulting as well as brain storming and creating new product design ideas inspired by the combination of traditional Quechua textiles and modern fashion trends.

Myself and Olivia created a market research report concentrating on TOP competitors and how Threads could improve their current and future products to make them more trend aware and accessible in the Western world.

We were fortunate enough to visit the weaving communities of Huaran, Chaullacocha and Rumira Sondormayo. The women and men of these communities are highly skilled artisans who produce beautiful hand woven products sourced from the landscapes which they live in, the Peruvian Andes. Staying with these communities has allowed me to really understand how the weaving process works. Their generosity and hospitality was overwhelming, I felt privileged to be welcomed into their homes. 

After warping the colors chosen by Hannah and Olivia, Juana Puclla Cjuro is ready to weave!

After warping the colors chosen by Hannah and Olivia, Juana Puclla Cjuro is ready to weave!

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the TOP organization and with the team of girls in the Cusco office Dana, Sarah and Stephanie. They have made this a unique experience and I hope to work with TOP again in the future!