Weavings from Peru
Peru is famous for its gifted weavers. Most of them live high up in the Andes Mountains in remote communities. A typical manta (lliclia) or poncho takes two – three months to weave. A finely woven belt may take two weeks to one month.
First the wool is gathered from the alpaca, llamas or sheep, then it is hand spun using a simple drop spindle. Next, the wool is dyed, using either vegetal dyes from native plants or artificial dyes purchased in the nearest market town.
The weaving is done on simple, handmade looms, usually tethered outside in the fresh air. After all this work, the price the people receive for all their effort is usually very little, as one of a kind, weavings have little appreciation in this modern world of malls and brand names.
The weavings of Peru, as well as other countries such as Bolivia and Mexico, are real treasures. They contain ancient codings within their designs and combinations of colors. The patterns are handed down from generation to generation, from mother to daughter or from father to son.
Since many of these are antique weavings, they may have some wear and tear on them, as well as slight stains. This is because they are authentic and have been used in daily life, rather than made for the tourist market.
Living in Peru, there are times when we encounter special weavings that we just have to buy. This is true, even when we know that they are not meant for us personally. Sometimes, it’s because the weaving is so unique and special. Other times, it’s because we can feel that the weaver really needs to sell something to support their family. Usually, the prices are so low, and we know they need the money, that we don’t even try to bargain with them. And I truly love the precious interaction with these very true and real people who make these special weavings.
Perhaps you will find a special Hidden Treasure for yourself within our selection of handwoven Peruvian weavings. If so, this will greatly aid us to be able to continue buying these brilliant treasures, which emanate such authenticity, and support the survival of this amazing art. Most importantly, we can help keep the codes alive.