Find out more about our Peruvian textiles

There is a rich and long history that is connected to the beautiful textiles that are coming out of South America, traditionally used for scarves, bags, Mantas, clothing and now shoes! The textiles can be made from cotton, wool and alpaca. At Inkkas our Peruvian textiles are 100% cotton and vegan, and dyes are sourced from nature.

In this article we will go into depth and explain how these breath taking textiles come into being. Continue reading to learn about this ancient tradition of Peruvian art.

We use cotton textiles specially designed for Inkkas and imported from all over Latin America. 
Traditional 100% authentic & vegan.

Background

Andean textiles are a sacred tradition passed down throughout the ages for at least ten thousand years. While the very first textiles were actually made out of cotton, as the technology and practice advanced the Andean people began including wool from the Alpaca and llama.

Quick Fact: Did you know that some of the ancient Andea tribes used quilted armour to protect themselves in battle? The quilts were so thick and finely woven they were equal in strength to European armour!

In these traditional communities it is often the role of the women and children to take care of their flocks of sheep, llamas, or even alpacas. Once a year the villagers shear their flock and collect the wool which is then used to make their beautiful textiles.


Quick Fact: During the time of the Incan Empire textiles were considered more valuable than gold! The Incas people offered textiles as tributes to their gods or to important officials.

Inkkas weaving textiles

Loom & Weaving

To create the colourful fabrics the local people use traditional looms. For over a thousand years the Incan and Andean people tried and perfected this skills. Often it takes several years until one is fully versed in the art. These complex Peruvian textiles are made with a primitive backstrap loom, or on the basic frame loom. Using simple looms, made of little more than sticks, the cotton is woven by hand into complex and beautiful patterns.

The Backstrap Loom

Is an elegant tool in its simplicity, effectiveness, and portability. The loom is made up of nine core parts, with a certain amount of variation in the make-up of the loom, depending on region and the needs of the specific project.

The Four-Post Loom

The four-post loom, is a form of a horizontal loom in which four stakes or posts are hammered into the ground into a rectangular arrangement.

The designs of the textiles are ancient and go back countless years to old traditions and faith. Colours, patterns and especially symbols all hold significant meaning and not simply decorative. The patterns created look amazing but there is so much more to them then just simple design. The styles and patterns woven tell a complex and beautiful story often connected to nature, a feeling or can even tell a story! Each weaver has a different personality and this will often express itself inside the work that she does. Flowers, animals and even people may be woven into these intricate textiles and as time progresses weavers have begun to add their own interpretations and designs into the the fabric.

The Result

Beautiful, authentic, hand woven textiles that will be made into anything from scarves to shawls to shoes. We love how these textiles represent thousands of years of tradition, culture, knowledge and history.