The seeds of Andean Textile Arts were planted in the late 1970s in Chinchero, when Chris and Ed Franquemont met fourteen-year old Quechua weaver Nilda Callanaupa and began a cultural center for the community. Nilda and her family shared a wealth of textile knowledge with them, and they introduced Nilda to the U.S., and facilitated a scholarship for Nilda at a California textile school. Through the many lectures and workshops which Nilda and Ed then led throughout the U.S., Nilda made life-long friends and committed supporters for the revitalization of Cusqueñan textiles. With the help of David and Libby Van Buskirk, Nilda established the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). As the Center developed in Peru and its network of supporters grew in North America, members of that network established Andean Textile Arts (formerly known as the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco U.S.).Through its programs, Andean Textile Arts carries out its mission to support the people and communities of the Andes in their efforts to preserve and revitalize their textile traditions and to provide support to the Center in carrying out its work. 


In its early years, Andean Textile Arts focused its time and resources on funding community shelters and natural dye workshops, and leading tours of textile enthusiasts to weaving villages and archeological sites in the Cusco region. In the early 2000s, ATA organized a capital campaign to purchase and renovate a building in the heart of Cusco for the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. The Center, which opened in 2004, is situated at 601 Avenida Sol, and includes a museum, a retail gallery with store, demonstration space, dormitory rooms for visiting village weavers, administrative offices, an education room, and storage space for the Center's textile archives.