Portal to Peru Old and New

I just drove down to Santa Fe to attend the Fifteenth annual International Folk Art Market. It’s always a great time to connect with fiber friends and especially our authors as many are also artisan participants, volunteers, or translators. (Look for a full recap in next week’s blog.)

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Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) will be there as she has every year since 2005. It’s always so good to see her and catch up with what’s happening in Cusco, but sometimes it’s hard because there’s typically a huge crowd of adoring and curious fans. They line up to check out the newest weaving and knitting pieces the talented artisans from the CTTC have created for the Market or to buy one of Nilda’s books that we’ve had the honor of publishing.

Nilda, already hard at work on opening night of the Folk Art Market.

It’s this continued interest in traditional textiles in Peru that has prompted an exciting collaboration between the CTTC and the University of Central Florida: Portal to Peru. This is a website that offers an interactive experience to learn about Andean textiles and their makers as well as the cultural heritage of the region. You’ll find everything from details about weaving techniques and meanings of design symbols to videos of weavers, and interactive story experiences. Plus, there’s beautiful photography portraying the artisans’ lives and families, and that wondrous landscape of the Peruvian highlands, representing all ten of the communities that comprise the Center. Whether you’re able to travel to the Folk Art Market and meet Nilda and see the textiles up close–or even to visit her in Peru–or whether you’re a digital traveler, check out the  Portal to Peru. It’s pure inspiration.

Portal to Peru
Phetra Huayta Huanca weaves an ancient techniques that uses discontinuous warp. Photo by Joe Coca from Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez.

And if you are at the Market, you’ll find Nilda at booth, #11 near the entrance. And be sure to stop by the Multicolores Rug Hooking Cooperative’s booth, #127 near the stage. You’ll be able to meet Rug Money authors Mary Anne and Cheryl, and representatives Rosmery Pacheco and Aura Perez. I’ll be volunteering at their booth Saturday afternoon, so please stop in and say hi, check out these gorgeous hooked rugs, and a wonderful new book!


You can learn more about the traditional textiles of the Andes in these Thrums Books:

Original price was: $24.95.Current price is: $17.46.

2 thoughts on “Portal to Peru Old and New

  1. Deborah Chandler says:

    And while there, also look for Amalia Gue of Samac, Coban, Guatemala, selling the white pikbil textiles that have brought her back to Santa Fe over and over. If you can’t get there, you can read about her in another Thrums book, Traditional Weavers of Guatemala.

    • judith haden says:

      Nilda, Amalia and the rug vendors are all selling up a storm! Lovely time here, wish everyone could attend that wants to! It’s the best party of the year…

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