The village of Chahuaytire, situated above the town of Pisac, is as beautiful as I had imagined. This weaving community, members of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, produces some of the highest quality, naturally dyed, handwoven textiles in the region. The weavers have mastery of creating intricate color gradations using natural dyes. They utilize backstrap looms, as well as four-stake ones, weaving double-faced fabric (the pattern is the same on both sides but the colors opposite) and others with a supplementary warp technique. (Click here to see examples in the ClothRoads store.)
Children’s Weaving Day
We visited them on Saturday, which is children’s weaving day. Driving up, we could see groups of children weaving on the grass. They get together weekly to improve their weaving techniques; first starting with weaving small straps, then slowly working up to wider patterns as they progress as weavers. At the end of our visit we rounded up the kids for a group photo, and just like kids from any culture, they were not excited about this but we finally got a decent picture.
A Weaving Collaboration
I have had the opportunity to work with the Chahuaytire community more than others because they take my design palettes, offer feedback and ideas for changes that are still based on their traditional textiles, and then quickly integrate them into weavings. Capitalizing on their use of color gradations, we have worked to create unique textiles in new color combinations.