Peruvian Textiles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis study group was formed in 2006 after an inspirational talk by Dr David Beresford-Jones of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University.

The aim of the group was to further the members’ understanding of Peruvian and Andean textiles through seeing how these textiles were actually constructed and then trying to acquire those techniques themselves. This is no easy task because the level of craftsmanship shown by the Peruvians is truly amazing. Trying to emulate them gives one a real understanding of what textile experts these people have been over the centuries. We worked on braiding, both hand-held and flat braids and attempted nawi awapa, which are round-eye braids, often used for finishing the edges of woven pieces.

The group also covered spindle spinning of alpaca, cross-knit looping and scaffold weaving as well as a considerable amount of work on backstrap weaving. We made our own looms and with the help of Laverne Waddington progressed to wider woven backstrap textiles.

As part of the process of expanding our knowledge the group took workshops with Jennie Parry, Abby Franquemont and Laverne Waddington as well as receiving support on braiding from Rodrick Owen.

After eleven enjoyable years exploring the textiles of Peru, group members decided it was time to expand the scope of the group to include traditional fibre crafts of other parts of the world. In January 2018 we re-launched as the Textile Traditions Study Group.