Center for Traditional Textiles Launches New Online Store

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

This fall, the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) opened an online store, bringing the weaving of Peru’s Sacred Valley direct to the world! For the first time, shoppers anywhere can browse CTTC products—from bags and backpacks to clothing, household textiles, toys, and jewelry—and order online. The new store is a significant step for the communities of CTTC and a great (if too tempting) opportunity for everyone who loves Andean textiles. Until now, the CTTC website displayed photos of some types of products and invited visitors to contact the center to arrange for purchase. Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, CTTC director, knew that the website needed a full e-commerce capability, but a busy schedule of teaching, travel, and organizational development had … Read More

What’s Up in the Andes?

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

While the coronavirus has prevented us from hosting our tours to Peru and Bolivia this year, we’ve been keeping up on developments in the Sacred Valley with reports from Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, director and founder of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) and from our tour leader, Raul Callañaupa.  The pandemic has brought great hardship to the weaving communities, as it has everywhere. According to Nilda, the biggest problem has been a lack of food. Some households have doubled or tripled in size, as family members laid off from jobs in the cities and college students returned home to their villages. The families were not prepared with enough food for everyone, and without tourism and the income it … Read More

2020: A Tale of Two Communities

Andean Textile ArtsBehind the Scenes

To paraphase Charles Dickens, “It was the worst of times, it was the best of people.” This year has brought challenges that never figured into most of our worst-case scenarios.  Pandemic, lock-downs, and, for some, loss of contact, financial security, or loved ones. Yet, through it all, the ATA community has remained steadfast in its commitment to support Andean weavers in preserving their textile traditions and their sustainable way of life. And the Andean communities, in turn, have been brave and creative in helping themselves to weather this storm. Last spring, as the coronavirus took hold worldwide, tourism shut down and Peruvians were told to isolate at home. The quarantine cut off income for the weavers and sales that support the … Read More

Fundraising Auction A Huge Success!

Andean Textile ArtsBehind the Scenes

Special thanks to all of you who participated in our summer fundraising auction, A Bid for the Future, a benefit for the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). By the time the auction closed on September 2, you and other ATA supporters had purchased sixty-three beautiful handmade Andean textiles, contributed to 270 phone cards, and with your additional donations helped us raise a total of $26,362. That’s more than 131% of our original $20,000 fundraising goal! Your purchases and donations are vital to the weaving communities around the Sacred Valley of Peru, now more than ever. In the last few weeks, we learned that the coronavirus epidemic has reached the mountain villages, and some communities are facing not only infection and loss … Read More

ATA Website is New and Improved!

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Welcome to the shiny, new ATA website! Our new layout is designed to make it easier to learn about ATA-sponsored programs and to see our latest blog posts, tours, news, and events, plus lots of new photos for your enjoyment. To the right of the navigation buttons, you’ll also find translation buttons – the tiny flags – so you can view content in English or Spanish.  (Yes, that is a Mexican flag. Sadly, the translation software doesn’t currently offer the flags of any Andean nations for the button.) The other good news is that the underlying web platform is now WordPress. This means even more of your donations can go into supporting Andean textile communities rather than into operating costs. The cost of our donor management software … Read More

Peruvian Textiles in a Box: Textiles and Traditions of the Peruvian Highland Weavers

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

You can meet the weavers, dyers, knitters, and spinners of the Peruvian Highlands without leaving home. The ATA educational program “Peruvian Textiles in a Box: Textiles and Traditions of the Peruvian Highland Weavers” presents the arts and artisan members of the Center for the Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) through a 25-minute documentary video, Peruvian Weaving Revival by Janet Darrow, and five presentation boards of twenty actual samples of unique textile techniques the artisan’s work. Now in its second year, this self-contained program has been traveling the U.S. to fiber guilds or other groups who want an introduction to and education about Peruvian indigenous textiles and the skilled artisans who make them. If you’re interested in renting this fascinating and … Read More

Reviving the Paracas and Nazca Looping Technique

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

During Tinkuy 2017, twenty weavers from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) participated in a workshop on the Paracas and Nazca looping technique with two professors from Chile, Soledad Hoces de la Guardia and Ana María Rojas. In order to encourage the study of this pre-Colombian textile technique, looping became the theme for the CTTC annual competition this year. In a scant five months, two weavers who participated in the Tinkuy class taught workshops to a few members from each of the ten communities, who then returned to their communities to teach what they had learned. A competition was set among the communities with categories for adult weavers and young weavers. The external judging took place on August 15 … Read More

2018 Andean Arts Textile Tour

Andean Textile ArtsTravel Tours

2018 Andean Arts Textile TourOctober 22- November 2 For many people, traveling to Peru and experiencing Machu Picchu is on their “bucket list.”  For those of us who celebrate artisan textiles, that dream may include the opportunity to visit some highland villages, meet the weavers in person, and see their hands at work on the patterns that have been passed down for generations. And what if you could try your own hands at spinning, backstrap weaving, or natural dyeing?  Even better, what if you could do all that accompanied by internationally recognized Quechua master weaver Nilda Callanaupa? That dream would be almost too good to come true!  Almost. The good news is that we have arranged all those experiences for … Read More

Revitalizing Weaving in the Andes

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

The mission of Andean Textile Arts (ATA) is to support the people and communities of the Andes in their efforts to preserve and revitalize their textile traditions. In support of that mission, ATA has been working closely with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) for just over twenty years. During those formative years, we have had two major areas of focus: Identifying the highland communities where textile traditions were almost extinct and reviving techniques such as discontinuous warp (ticlla) in Pitumarca or tie-dyed warp (watay) in Sallac, and establishing the Center in Cusco, with its rich resources: a museum, training center, store, and offices. With a strong foundation in place to preserve the weaving techniques, we are thinking … Read More

Looking for a few good guilds to kick off ATA’s “Sponsor a Young Weavers Group” project

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

ATA is creating sponsorship opportunities for fiber arts guilds, interested individuals, and other community groups in the U.S. to provide financial support to Young Weavers groups affiliated with CTTC’s ten villages. CTTC has identified an urgent need to involve the youth of its communities in the educational and preservation efforts before the tradition fiber arts knowledge and skills are lost. The three-fold focus of the Young Weavers Groups (which include knitting and spinning in addition to weaving skills) is to expose kids to and teach them about traditional textiles and techniques, for the youth to form healthy social contacts within and between communities, and to enhance their educational experiences. Each U.S. group would partner with a specific Andean community to … Read More