Threads of Peru Blog

NEST State of the Handworker Economy Report 2018

 

This week, NEST launched their first ever State of the Handworker Economy report to understand more about the handworker economy, what gaps there are in our knowledge and what we can do better to support workers across the world. We´ve taken a deep dive and pulled out some interesting facts for you.

 

Photo credit: Jose and Hannah

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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

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.

ORG by vio joins Threads of Peru as a Partner NGO

This month, we are thrilled to announce that we will be featuring indigenous jewelry items by like-minded organization ORG by vio ® in our store!  ORG by vio is a non-profit that works in partnership with indigenous artisans in the Amazon to promote their culture and artistry and providing a sustainable source of income.  Just like Threads of Peru, ORG by vio sells fair trade items with the goal of increasing the livelihood of indigenous artisans.

Designer Violeta Villacorta founded the non-profit and designs collections of handmade jewelry, accessories, and eco fashion items using plant materials native to the Amazon.  She believes that “adornment connects us to something higher … it honors the beauty of the Earth and power of nature.”  We couldn’t agree more!  Here are some of the ORG by vio items we are featuring in our online store:

Collar 

AWAJUN BEA NECKLACE

NANTU BRACELET

NANTU BRACELET

ORG by vio joins other non-profits we are already working with to support indigenous Peruvian artisans on the path to economic empowerment and cultural preservation, Awamaki and Q’ente.

Founded in 2009, Awamaki’s mission is to “collaborate with the greater Ollantaytambo community to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being.”  They are committed to empowering “highly skilled Andean women artisans engaged in the market economy, running successful cooperative businesses, and leading their communities out of poverty.”

AWAMAKI 100% ALPACA BABY BOBBLE HAT

 

AWAMAKI 100% ALPACA BABY BOBBLE HAT

The Q’ente Textile Revitalization Society is “an incorporated British Columbia not-for-profit society, which works directly with over 100 weavers in the Sacred Valley region of Peru by providing an outlet to sell textiles in North America. The aim of the project is to establish sustainability in the Sacred Valley region through the textile tradition, which is an integral part of the Quechua culture, history, and economy.”

Q'ENTE APU BELT

 

Q'ENTE APU BELT

From the handmade textiles of Awamaki to handwoven wool purses of Q’ente, the fair trade jewelry by ORG by vio adds to the variety of our products and showcases talent and culture of Peruvian artists in the Andes and the Amazon.

Weaver Profile - Paulina Sicos Huaman

Name: Paulina Sicos Huaman

Community: Rumira Sondormayo

Position: I am the Treasurer of the community's weaving assocation.

Age: 56+ - I am not completely sure.

Marital Status: I am married.

Children: I have six children, three girls and three boys.

Favourite Article to weave: I like to weave the challina because it is less difficult to create.

What is your favourite pallay: I like to weave pallays of animals, I have a lot of experience weaving these so now I can do them more quickly and easily than other pallays.

Favourite Animal: My favourite animal is the alpaca, to eat.

What are your favourite colours for weaving: I have always liked red and white.

Do you prefer to work at home or outside: I prefer to work outside because it is calmer.

What hopes and dreams do you have for your children, will they go to school: I have two sons studying in Lima, the other is working as a labourer in the jungle. The others all have families.

What is your favourite thing about your village: I like the freedom of the countryside.

What is the biggest change to happen in your village in the last few years: There is more education, even for the girls. There is now a medical centre and roads.

N.B These interviews were conducted in Quechua and then translated into Spanish and then English so although we try and keep as close to the weavers responses as possible there will undoubtedly be some disparity.

Paulina sitting outside her house in Rumira Sondormayo