Center for Traditional Textiles Launches New Online Store

Andean Textile ArtsBehind the Scenes, Indigenous Connections, Textile Traditions

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 put the project on the back burner until this spring, when the coronavirus created both a pressing need and an opportunity to move forward.

With tourism halted, the CTTC store in Cusco closed, and facing a serious need to maintain an income stream for the weavers, Nilda and her staff jump-started development of the new store. The ATA community provided funds to help continue staff salaries, and the team went to work photographing products and writing descriptions. They engaged expert help to build ordering and payment functionality into the website. The new website launched in October and, after some fine-tuning, is ready to welcome shoppers.

In addition to accessories, apparel, and home décor, shoppers can order custom bed runners, blankets, and throws in their choice of colors and patterns. The store also offers collectible and art textiles, such as khipus (knotted bundles used by the Incas for recording-keeping and communication) and reproductions of the textiles discovered with the mummified Incan Ice Maiden, “Juanita.” While the effects of the pandemic on shipping are impossible to fully predict, products ordered from the online store are expected to ship within 2 weeks, and custom items will ship within 6-8 weeks. 

Whether you’re looking for beautiful textiles or just missing holiday window shopping right now, enjoy a visit to the new CTTC online store. (If you’re down to the wire with holiday shopping and need a few goodies for immediate gifting, you can also find CTTC products at ATA’s Peruvian Holiday Popup Shop, while supplies last.)

Happy textile shopping!