Handmade, Natural, Fair Trade Textiles
Our Alpaca products are woven by the hands of Quechua weavers who live in the high Andes mountains of Peru. These artisans still use the ancient methods of textile production, which date back to before the time of the Inca. The process begins with the shearing of their own alpaca and sheep; the shorn fiber is then painstakingly spun into thread by hand, using the pushka (drop-spindle). The thread is hand-dyed using natural materials, and then intricately woven by hand using the ancient back-strap or 4-post looms. All of our retail items are made using these methods. If weavers run out of wool, they will purchase natural fibers that have been machine spun, but they still must spin it again by hand in order to use it for weaving. Some products, such as handbags and pillow cases, require the use of a sewing machine for finishing, or for adding zippers or linings.
Natural & Sustainable
Threads of Peru items are made using natural alpaca and sheep’s wool. These fiber-giving animals live the good life, as they roam freely in the remote Andean highlands. During the shearing process, the animals are not harmed. See our section on shearing for more information. They have few predators and plenty to eat. The wool from the herds is colored using natural dyes from flowers, insects, and minerals found in the region. Wool is washed using plant soaps. Looms are constructed from sticks and bones.
Fair Trade Textiles
Threads of Peru purchases textiles from weaving cooperatives, which are mostly comprised of women, in remote Andean villages. We pay the women for their work up-front and fairly, above market price. We also invest in the communities where we work, by providing training that strengthens their economic outlook and makes it easier for the Quechua people to remain in their ancestral homelands if they choose.