Preserving Weaving Traditions in Peru
The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) is a non-profit organization established in 1996. During this time, the textile traditions of pre-Colombian Peru cultures in the Cusco region were in danger of disappearing forever. The center is dedicated to recapturing and aiding the survival of Incan textile traditions and providing support to weaving communities.
Presently, CTTC works with nine communities in the region of Cusco: Accha Alta, Acopia, Chahuaytire, Chinchero, Chumbvilcas, Mahuaypampa, Patabamba, Pitumarca, and Sallac. These communities are working to better their quality of life while re-instituting millennia old practices integral to their cultural history.
Traditional textiles and practices in Peru date back thousands of years, and even today, continue to be of great importance to Andean cultures as a symbol of their cultural identity. Each region, each community, displays its own unique designs, colors, styles and materials in its textiles.
During a visit to the CTTC's facilities, our travelers have a chance to not only learn more about the history behind weaving in Peru, but also the skills and process that go into producing such impressive works of artistry. Weavings are produced by hand on belt looms or four stake looms. Traditional dyes are finding rejuvenation in the center’s dyeing workshops. The practice of natural dyeing was heavily displaced by the introduction of industrial and synthetic dyes. The CTTC’s partner communities now utilize plants, insects and minerals to dye their wool.
The Museum and Store
The CTTC has a store and museum where it exhibits a wonderful collection of textiles, and presents a look into the different functions textiles are used for in the different stages of the life of a Cusqueñan weaver. In addition, the museum has also designated space for dormitories, to accommodate weavers in Cusco who have traveled from distant villages. There is also an education facility for the local community of artisans and store in Chinchero, a village known for its traditional and colorful Sunday market.
If you are interested in purchasing Peruvian textiles during or after your travels, please consider buying items from the center. Not only is the quality authentic and superb, but you can also feel confident that artisans are being adequately compensated for their artistry. Furthermore, your support will help ensure that this significant local tradition is not lost to future generations.
Interested in visiting the CTTC?
We include a short visit in all of our trips to either the CTTC's center in Cusco or Chinchero (the Chinchero center and traditional market is visited when our groups travel to the Sacred Valley on Sundays). Your trip leader will discuss the details when you arrive to Cusco, but if you would like more information or plan an extended visit, simply speak with your trip coordinator or give us a call at 1-800-344-6118.
For additional information on the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco visit: http://www.textilescusco.org.
By traveling with Adventure Life, you are contributing to the annual donation we make to the CTTC and are helping to support the works of the Center.
Read, a note from the Director of the CTTC.