The creation of traditional Andean textiles is a time-consuming process. Scarves may take two to three weeks to weave, and larger pieces like table runners or bedspreads might take months. And that's just the weaving! The weaving art process actually begins with the raising of sheep, llamas and alpacas. The woolen fiber is shorn from these animals, and is washed and spun into yarn by hand. Threads are dyed using plant, animal, and mineral dyes. The dyeing process is often time-consuming. All of these steps have to happen before the weaving can begin. If you add up all the time and effort it takes to tend to sheep and alpacas, shear them, wash the wool, spin, gather dying materials, dye the wool, and do the weaving, the total effort required to produce these works is difficult to quantify.
This section is meant to give you a brief overview of the different aspects of Andean textile production, using the old ways. We fully encourage you to research the topics on your own, as each provides a great avenue of discovery. This text is a designed as a starting place to whet your appetite for knowledge on the Weaving Art, and initiate your investigation. We hope to inspire you to travel to Peru and experience the region, its people, and its traditions for yourself. If you discover anything new and exciting here, and want more information, feel free to contact us: we will be honored to a be a part of your discovery process. Enjoy!