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Apr 12

Textile Travel to Peruvian Highlands

In our monthly textile events calendar, we highlight a textile tour, either one we have taken or know the person leading the tour. Since adding this listing a year ago, we’ve learned one thing—you love to travel. And if traveling is textile-focused, all the better. We’ve also learned that you travel with your textile-loving friends. So when a tour is noted, and you respond enthusiastically, we know that we are fulfilling our mission—for you to meet the artisans, hear their stories, and learn about their traditions directly from them.

We are often asked if there is a place we would return to or if we have a favorite one. That’s a hard question to answer given limited time and resources. But if you’ve been reading our blogs for any length of time, you know that the Peruvian Highlands ranks right up there. I usually visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco with additional trips to the weaving villages almost yearly. This last November I attended Tinkuy, the international gathering of textile artisans in Cusco. This October, I’ll go again but this time co-leading the Andean Textile Art’s tour. Judy Murray went on this tour a few years back. In fact, she’s gone to Peru four times now so I asked her “why”?

“While I’m not big on tours, there is so much to recommend this one that the general public would never see. First and foremost, you will meet Nilda Callañuapa, an incredible woman who rescued Andean textiles from the brink of extinction. She is certainly a hero of mine. I was thrilled to meet her last year.

You’ll get to visit the high-altitude weaving villages of Chinchero, Chahuaytire, Accha Alta, and Pitumarca while gaining exposure to their spinning, dyeing, weaving and knitting techniques—each particular to their village–and buy treasures directly from the weavers, an experience no shop can replicate.  Regular tourists would never get to these villages, except for Chinchero.

You’ll get a private tour of Machu Picchu and the opportunity to return there the next morning. Plus a stay at the awesome Inka Terra Machu Picchu Hotel with its orchid garden. You’ll visit the private Amano Museum in Lima, with Pre-Columbian textiles and ceramics that left me breathless. The general public does not have access without an appointment.

Plus, you’ll have a free day in Cusco, and if you wanted to extend your trip on your own, it can be done.”

Thanks Judy for these highlights. If she’s enticed you to visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and the Peruvian Highlands, tour information is available here at Andean Textile Arts. Why don’t you join us and scratch that textile travel itch as well as check Peru off your bucket list. Then we can travel somewhere else along the cloth road.

Peruse the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco Store at ClothRoads.

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