The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) has long understood the importance of documenting weaving designs, techniques, and other textile traditions that were disappearing over time. One of the early goals was to create a simple design catalog as a physical archive documenting a woven example of each design and its name. In 2020, the CTTC completed the documenting of the designs from all ten communities, finishing it during Covid, which helped to maintain contact with the weavers. In 2021, the CTTC expanded the design catalog from a physical archive to a digital database, taking photos of all the designs and collecting histories from the weavers about each design. By the end of this year, all of the CTTC’s Young Weavers’ groups will have a set of a laminated card catalog that contains small textile pieces so they can count threads and learn easier. This is an invaluable resource to all the CTTC’s weaving communities. We were delighted to see a number of the young weavers studying these designs and weaving from them during our latest ATA board visit to Peru.
Diana Hendrickson records information from a Santa Tomas weaver.
A sample from the digital archive
A young weaver in Chahauytire uses the design cards
Marilyn Murphy is President of ATA and managing partner of ClothRoads.com, an online marketplace and blog devoted to global textiles. An ATA board member since 2013, she co-curated the exhibition, “Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands,” at Colorado State University’s Avenir Museum. Previously Marilyn was president and editorial director for Interweave media. She also owned the Weaving Workshop in Chicago and founded the Textile Arts Centre there.