Slings have been used by many indigenous people throughout the world since ancient times, and in Peru they continue to be used as animal leaders, weapons for small game, and as decorative straps and accessories for bags and clothing. These fine examples are made with alpaca fiber in patterns that require careful manipulation of many elements.
Slings are typically made by plaiting many strands of yarn. The central part of the sling, the pouch, is tapestry woven with a central longitudinal open slit, and the edges of the pouch are finished with a crocheted edging. The plait on one side of the pouch is about 1/2″ in diameter with a square cross-section, and it ends in a pompom. The other side of the pouch transitions to square braid about 1/4″ diameter.
There are two pattern variations: dark and light diamonds, and small dark diamonds with white borders.
These slings are made by members of the CTTC, the Cusco Center for Traditional Textiles, which helps highland weavers maintain their traditions while developing their skills and products for a sustainable livelihood.