Threads of Peru sells woven products online! See links to our online stores below.
Threads of Peru fairly trades timeless & one-of-a-kind Andean fashion accessories & home decor. Our products are made by Quechua women, using natural dyes and organic free-range wool and alpaca, which is spun into thread and intricately woven by hand. By combining traditional craft production with contemporary design, we empower indigenous women artisans and offer the world unique products that are made to last. Threads of Peru items will not end up in your yard sale, rather they are exceptional handmade treasures that you will cherish for many years.
We sell 100% Alpaca scarves, shawls and wraps for women and men. We have traditional ponchos, handbags, table runners, cushion covers, place mats and more. Everything is 100% Handmade. Fiber is hand-dyed using local Andean natural dyes. Our items are purchased fairly and directly from the artisans.
We support indigenous Quechua artisans of Peru and their ancient textile traditions. By connecting weavers to an online market, we help to preserve this ancient craft and provide communities with important economic opportunity.
Traditional Andean weaving in Peru involves the shearing of fiber from herds of Alpaca, Sheep and Llama; the washing and dyeing of the fiber using natural detergents and dyes; the spinning of the fiber into thread, using the drop spindle; and the weaving of cloth items using the back-strap loom.
About Traditional Peruvian Textiles
These ancient methods, used since before the time of the Inca, were nearly lost, as people moved to the use of cheaper factory made fabrics and chemical dyes. But in recent years, the traditions have awakened, as the tourist market, coupled with a strong interest in organic and environmentally sustainable products have created a new value for the old ways. This new interest in traditional textiles comes at a time when the indigenous communities and their customs are eroding, as the need for work creates a migration of mountain people to the cities.
The creation of traditional Andean textiles is a time-consuming process. Scarves may take two to three weeks to weave, and larger pieces like mantas might take months. And that’s just the weaving!
The process actually begins in the raising of sheep, llamas and alpacas. The woolen fibre is sheared from these animals, and it is washed and spun into threads by hand. Threads are coloured, using plant, animal and mineral dyes. The dyeing processes are often time-consuming events in themselves. All of these things 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.