Threads of Peru Blog

An Insider Look at our Oh-So-Soft, Huggable Alpaca Pallay Throw Pillow!

Pallay alpaca throw pillow on the loom with little girl
Discover our Pallay alpaca throw pillow in this insider's sneak peak into the design inspiration behind this decorative pillow, how it was made and the weavers who bring it to life.
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Threads of Peru welcomes new Project Coordinator, Ligia Gómez!

Ligia, originally from Guatemala, joins the Threads of Peru team!

With years of experience working with traditional textiles in her home country, Ligia brings her expertise to Peru.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Trade, obtained in July 2015 at the Rafael Landívar University. While working in her home country with two different organizations, she developed a passion to preserve the traditions and culture of Indigenous communities.  Being herself part of the Maya K’iche community, working towards empowerment has become an essential core of her professional path.

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How We Met: Upis Weavers

In late 2012, I was on the lookout for another weaving association to add to our growing network. On a routine trip out to Ollantaytambo on public transit, I happened to notice a sign advertising an upcoming artisan fair that would be held just outside Chinchero. "Amazing!," I thought. "Perfect place to meet some new weavers."

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The Awaq Shoulder Bag: Weaving Technique that was Nearly Lost

Awaq alpaca peruvian shoulder bag
 The AWAQ shoulder bag with front pocket is a technical feat of weaving ingenuity, composed of one continuous piece of weaving! That’s right: unlike every other bag out there, that practical front pocket is NOT a separate piece sewn onto the main bag, but rather a part of the main weaving. This traditional technique was brought to the brink of extinction – almost lost altogether, a distant memory in the recesses of time – but was revived by a dedicated anthropologist in the Mapacho Valley in the 1990s.
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Tradition is the Democracy of the Dead

Quechua weaver and cat- a timeless tradition

 

Out with the old and in with the new?
For some, maybe. But at Threads of Peru, we are not trying to obliterate the old. Rather, we honor the idea that “tradition is the democracy of the dead.” It is through tradition that our ancestors continue to have a say in how the future of society unfolds. 
By incorporating the wisdom of the ancients into the present, we honor the life experiences, skills, and art of those who came before us.
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An Ancient Legend Meets Modern Times: The Eagle and the Condor

One of the intriguing aspects of Peru’s culture today is the way in which modern advances are being applied to ancient traditions in order to help the latter thrive. At Threads of Peru, we work with the weaving communities of the high Andes using online marketing tools and techniques to empower artisans to continue their traditional way of life. That is to say, we use advanced technologies in order to support the endurance of an ancient lifestyle exactly as it is, as untainted as possible by extraneous influences.

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Volunteering with Threads Part 2: Lessons from the Communities

My first invitation to visit a community that Threads of Peru works with came a couple of weeks after I started volunteering two mornings a week in the Cusco office.

The visit quickly disabused me of any notions I had had of how the textiles are made. I suppose I had thought, not very thoughtfully, that the process would be a more rustic version of a western association of weaving hobbyists. It is much more complicated and intricate than that.

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Volunteering with Threads Part 1: Weft and Warp: Working in Two Cultures

It all started over a beer at a fund-raiser in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near Cusco.

That afternoon, all the micro-brewery’s profits went in support of the non-profit, Threads of Peru. When I met the organization’s director of operations, Dana, a sassy young anthropologist who works with local weavers, I asked if I could volunteer. (I’d been keeping an eye out for volunteer work involving textiles and supporting women.)

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