Threads of Peru Blog

The Chaska Baby Alpaca Poncho: A Behind-the-Scenes-Look

The creative process at Threads of Peru combines ancestral traditions and artisan creativity with a modern eye. Like the Chaska Baby Alpaca Poncho, all of the items in our Quechua Collection showcase and value traditional skills and techniques, and support rural indigenous artisans, like Demesia.Read more

How We Met: Huilloc

Young Andean weavers

For their age, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of weaving they showed me (just a few table runners and scarves): the designs are well-executed, the colors very vibrant, straight edges and a nice finish. Already so accomplished!

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Love & Affection woven into a unique wedding gift

May through September is peak wedding season in North America, and many of us will attend at least one ceremony before it’s over. Whether it’s your best friend, your cousin or a sibling chances are you’ll be looking for a special wedding gift for the happy couple as they embark on their new life together. Maybe you’re a last-minute shopper or maybe you like to stand apart from the typical registry offerings, but if you’re after something truly unique and meaningful, the MUNAY wedding table runner could be just what you’ve been searching for.

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Q’INTIKUNA CHURUNAKUY  - Love Woven into the Fabric of the Wedding Table Runner

As in many cultures across the globe and throughout the centuries, textiles play an important part of the traditional wedding rituals in the Andes. Not only are special garments prepared, sometimes months in advance, to adorn the bridal party, textiles also play a role as a form of dowry, a testament of the bride-to-be’s weaving ability, and special woven patterns have been developed to represent the loving union.

Though the subtleties of meaning vary from community to community, the patterns that illustrate frontally opposed birds – such as the q’intikuna churunakuy pattern featured in the MUNAY wedding table runner, which depicts hummingbirds with beaks joined – represent affection and love.  Such patterns can also specifically express the affection the giver of the weaving feels towards the recipient.

 

 Similar pallays featuring birds sharing food further symbolize the way a couple will share resources now that they are joined as one. There is also a balance in the MUNAY wedding table runner, such as in the contrasting use of light and dark colours. Like the traditional Chinese yin and yang symbols which illustrate the balance between male and female energies.

 “Weddings symbolically bring together an asymmetrical but balanced union of male and female duality. This union, called yanatin in Quechua symbolically joins the ayllus of the male and the female in reciprocal commitments formed by the joining of man and woman.”

- Andrea Heckman, Woven Stories

Whether displayed on a wall or used to add a decorative touch to a table or other home furnishing, the MUNAY wedding table runner is a gorgeous work of woven art imbued with the love and affection that we celebrate during the wedding season.

Meet the Threads Volunteer Team!

As you might have noticed, Threads of Peru has a thriving volunteer program this summer! With five fresh faces in the office, we’ve been able to work on a multitude of exciting and interesting projects, from social media and marketing to cultural research and impact assessment. 

Adrian, Alexa and Stephanie during an interview with the weavers  in which Quechua was translated to Spanish and vice versa

Adrian, Alexa and Stephanie during an interview with the weavers  in which Quechua was translated to Spanish and vice versa.

On the social media front, Stephanie Pardi has been hard at work creating content for the Threads blog, as well as updating our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. With her creative and insightful writing, we hope to give you all a better taste of Peru and what Threads is all about. 

Alexa stirring a pot of cochineal for various shades of red, purple, pink and gray

Alexa stirring a pot of cochineal for various shades of red, purple, pink and gray.

Working on cultural research concerning Andean dye plants, Alexa Jones has organized two natural dye workshops in order to produce all of the shades in our color palette. She’ll be creating sets of labeled sample books, while also helping out with some graphic design work! 

Eliane and Dana going over the order of pom poms

Eliane and Dana going over the order of pom poms.

Eliane Heutschi, designer extraordinaire, is sewing up a storm! Eli has been creating samples for a capsule collection, which includes five gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired pieces. We can’t wait to show you the final products! 

The Threads of Peru team in Cusco during a dye workshop with the weavers of Huaran

The Threads of Peru team in Cusco during a dye workshop with the weavers of Huaran.

In order to expand Threads of Peru’s market in Europe, Giulia Grassi has been scouting new wholesale opportunities and redefining the brand image. In addition to reaching out to new retailers, Giulia is writing a marketing strategy and customer surveys to help Threads grow. Harrison Ackerman is in the early stages of an impact assessment project, seeking to observe Threads of Peru’s impact in the communities by interviewing the weavers, analyzing what kind of progress we’re making, and suggesting ways we can improve.

It’s quite a productive summer here in the Threads of Peru office! Stay tuned to hear more about all the progress our bright volunteers are making on their respective projects. We also have several new and exciting volunteer opportunities! Threads is currently looking for graphic design, social media, and journalism volunteers.