Manos Amigas


Weaving in Peru is an activity that can be traced back to over 3000 years in our past. The fineness and quality of the Peruvian fabrics are highlighted everywhere as a work of patience, knowledge, and skill of weavers. Scholars attribute three main reasons why textile art took on such importance in Peru, and consequently reached such a degree of excellence: (1) the rugged mountain climate requires really warm clothing. 2) The Peruvian people were the only pre-Columbian people that had access to the wool of the American camelids (llama, alpaca, vicuña). In addition, they harvested cotton on the coast. And 3) in the context of Andean culture (highly developed and centralized), there was a lot of free time between sowing and harvesting activities and that was the time they could devote to the arts. In the Inca Empire, in particular, the chosen women could dedicate their entire lives to the art of weaving. It should be noted here that in our territory practically all known techniques have been developed: rope, sticks, hand wheel, pedal wheel, and waist loom. With rope, the most basic of the technical associations of women who weave to export sweaters, sweaters, socks, gloves and mittens. The word quechua rucana means finger, because the Knitting needles are an extension of the fingers of the hand. The ease of weaving with these simple tools makes its use very widespread. It is known that it has been used since ancient times, as testified by the three-dimensional tapistries that were made in the transition from Paracas to Nasca by the year 500 (BC). Taquile Island where the men knit with knitting needles. But of these fabrics the most beautiful are those of Huancavelica, where makitos (independent sleeves) are woven with numerous designs that distinguish one community from another. Continuing with another technique, we have the use of looms throughout Peru, whose technique has not changed in many centuries and is used to weave the most intricate designs, being the waist loom the most common. From the prehispanic cultures, which made the beautiful Paracas mantles, the fine Wari tapestries and the Incas short tunics; Up to the present tapestry, ponchos, blankets, etc., the stake loom is used in the altiplanic zone and in it are woven the same garments. In the vertical loom where carpets are made by means of knots. The two-pedal loom is a hispanic introduction in which fabrics are worked by meters. The design of a textile comes from the perception of the environment that surrounds it, as from the internal world of weavers. The colors used tell the observer how she felt, because the harmony expressed in the colorful designs are an expression of the state of contentment, happiness or euphoria that the weaver felt at the moment of doing a job.