Last week, Dana and I went on an overnight trip up to the Chaullacocha community, making the 10-mile trek up over the pass on foot. It was the anniversary of the village school, so the students and teachers were putting on a celebration full of games and music and dancing. Apus Peru donated prizes to give out to the winners of relay races, so some happy children were going to go home with new soccer balls. What is more, TOP customers will soon have the opportunity to put their own personal touch on the ancient Quechua weaving tradition!
The main purpose of the trip was research for the project I am in the process of completing for my internship with Threads of Peru. As a graphic designer, I have been spending the majority of my time with Threads creating a custom design catalog to be used by clients to create unique and specially-made products. With this catalog, customers will be able to design their own piece by mixing and matching different pallays, or designs, with natural color palettes inspired by the beauty of the Sacred Valley. When a piece is ordered, artisans in one of our communities will create a custom product designed entirely by the buyer.
On the morning of the school anniversary, a group of young girls are caught sharing laughs and smiles even before the games began!
This is a very exciting development for Threads of Peru. In the past, customers have only had a selection of the pieces we already have stocked. Now, they will be able to choose from their favorite woven designs and place them onto different products such as ponchos, scarves, and table runners. The catalog will put the control in the hands of the consumer, and give them a product completely to their liking.
TOP Project Coordinator, Dana, poses in front of the stunning, snow-capped mountain range at 4,800 meters before reaching the village of Chaullacocha
Our trip up to Chaullacocha was a research outing to help complete this project. In order to include the widest selection of pallays possible, I have been photographing textiles in the different communities. This will give us a comprehensive database from which customers can pick their preference. As I continue to document the patterns that the weavers know how to create, I am amazed by their abilities. The men and women who make these textiles are so very talented, and the clients who order custom designed products will absolutely see this in their purchases.
One of the many beautiful pallays (designs) we were able to photograph during our visit.Written by Megan Malley