From alpaca and insects to textile arts: Peru

Quechan weavers travel from villages to demo amazing, traditional textile art:

Weavers 5

Weavers 8

The village master weaver is respected and very important:

Weavers 6

She has 72 intricate patterns memorized.

Weavers 2 Weavers 3

Sonesta Posadas del Inca in the Urubamba Valley (otherwise known as the Sacred Valley), offers beautiful, ranch-style rooms with dark wooden doors, dressers and closets that contrast appealingly with adobe walls. Throw rugs warm terracotta tile floors and the renovated bathroom offers a deep, luxurious tub and fresh air from a sash window. The Peruvian staple of corn finds honor on the grounds:

Sonesta Posadas del Inca

And, yes, they serve coca tea in the lobby all the time and at the breakfast buffet.

Snow-scented air blows down from the Andes:

Weavers 1

Yarns come from alpaca like these cuties (plus one llama):

Alpaca 1

Alpaca 2

Alpaca 3

Red comes from bugs visible on Urubamba cacti. Cochineal, a kind of aphid, are black on the outside. Covering the prickly pear cacti, they appear white like fungus. Ground up, they are deep red.

wools

To this red, add varying amounts of lemon salt to produce bright red, light red, reddish purple, or carrot orange.

To make purple, add… urine. Guide says must be the child’s urine, before puberty… and start of pisco drinking. (Joke)

How did they invent these dyes in the first place?

Date: June 2012

Tour: Trafalgar (via sister company Grand European Tours), Highly recommend

Guide: Angel Cardenos, very highly recommended

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2 thoughts on “From alpaca and insects to textile arts: Peru

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