This 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 is 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.
A number of projects have been tackled since the group’s inception and we have been very fortunate in having group members with different areas of expertise who can help and advise. We have 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 has 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 we have progressed to wider woven backstrap textiles.
As part of the process of expanding our knowledge the group has taken workshops tutored by Jennie Parry,
Abby Franquemont and Laverne Waddington as well as receiving support on braiding from Rodrick Owen.
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University provides a room for group meetings which is repaid by members of the group helping the museum with their open days. Membership of the group is only open to Cambridgeshire Guild members. We meet every two months on a Saturday.