Saturday, June 3, 2023
HomePeru4 Conventional Looms from Peruvian Textile Heritage Handmade in Peru

4 Conventional Looms from Peruvian Textile Heritage Handmade in Peru


blue warp and weft threads

In Peru, the manufacturing of textiles is taken into account one of many most historical expressions of pre-hispanic artwork. The deep historical past and tradition of Peruvian inventive manufacturing depends closely on textile artifacts and on the loom. 

It’s stated that “maybe no different society in historical past poured as a lot cultural power into textiles as indigenous Andean civilization.” The centrality of fiber artwork to the Andean thoughts resulted in a exceptional improvement of abilities, design and methods which are unmatched wherever on this planet.

Over time these methods have advanced significantly together with the now widespread textile, tela andina, which is a standard Andean woven material. A variety of our merchandise, particularly these made by our Equipment Skilled, Herminia, characteristic hints of tela andina so as to add the right Peruvian twist to our timeless items. 

There could be no tela andina with out the loom! This device was applied in Peru round 1400 BC, and from that time on, many alternative cultures in Peru, similar to Chavin, Wari, Nasca, and later Inca, began to supply their textiles by weaving, quite than doing it immediately by hand. Every neighborhood has their very own particular methods, supplies, colours, and patterns reflecting their cosmology, spirituality, and ethnic and regional belonging. Weaving could possibly be executed utilizing completely different sorts of looms which we are going to start to discover on this weblog publish! 

Amongst completely different Peruvian communities, woven materials and garments carried essential values linked to social and financial relations. They signaled class and standing by way of the intricacy of patterns, the refinement of supplies, and the chosen colours. 

Textiles have been used as valued items and due tributes to the Aristocracy and have been important parts of spiritual websites, ceremonies and funerary artwork. Some shrines have been even particularly dedicated to the actions of weaving and spinning and have been worshipped by specialised craftsmen who would supply tributes within the form of small instruments used within the manufacturing course of. 


Though textile practices assorted relying on the Peruvian area and neighborhood, there’s proof that usually women and men alike may specialise in weaving. Underneath Incan management, there wasn’t a strict distinction of duties and each female and male weavers have been thought-about as bearers of an unique data and masters of a talent. 

Earlier than we get into the variations in Peruvian weaving, we wish to clarify the  distinction between the two important options of woven textiles: the weft and the warp. These are the 2 units of threads that intersect perpendicularly and thus type the feel of every material, with the weft working horizontally and the warp vertically. 

The warp threads are thought-about ‘passive’ as they type the skeleton of the material onto which the weaver inserts the weft. The weft threads are thought-about ‘lively’ as a result of they create the patterns and designs of the completed woven textile. 

The heddle is a vital aspect of the loom that consists of a bar tied to some warp threads to keep up them so as and open for the passage of the weft. When utilizing a loom to weave, the heddle is what makes the method go considerably quicker, simpler, and neater.

Now that you’ve got a primary understanding of the primary parts of weaving and the loom, we are able to dive into the variations of the particular looms! 

1) An early kind of loom utilized in Peru was the telar de cintura or kallwa, nonetheless it has many names between the completely different kinds of Peruvian indigenous languages. This loom was the most widespread and generally used all through South American nations and it has now turn out to be an essential folkloristic aspect of Peruvian tradition

Within the kallwa, the warp (bear in mind that is the vertical thread), is straightened and secured to 2 sticks at reverse ends. One finish might be hung to a tree department or beam within the floor and the opposite, supported by a strap, is fixed to the waist of the weaver who can then regulate the stress of the warp by way of their physique. 

The construction of this loom is nearly non-existent as a result of it’s fashioned solely by the 2 reverse ends of the stick and one or two heddle bars. This makes it extraordinarily transportable and simple to hold in all places. Sometimes the materials produced from this method have been destined to males, similar to unkus, a kind of tunic, mantels and girdles.  

2) One other pre-hispanic loom is the telar de cuatro estacas (four-peg loom) or pampa away’ which in Quechua means ‘to weave on flat land.’ Not like the kallwa, its construction and warp rigidity are fastened as a result of it consists of 4 stakes nailed to the bottom, their distance depending on the specified width of the material

3) Not like the earlier two looms we talked about, the vertical loom was in an upright place beside a wall. It was fashioned by both a prime and a backside stick suspended by two rods or simply by a prime stick and a few stone weights on the finish that saved the warp stretched. 

This kind of loom made it potential to weave a lot wider items of cloth, additionally as a result of extra individuals have been in a position to weave the identical piece of material concurrently with a supplementary body. Weavers would begin on the backside in a seated or kneeling place and would conclude standing up.  

Identical to with the 4 peg loom, this may be set to any desired width and it was primarily used within the Wari neighborhood to supply advantageous tapestry tunics.


4) The treadle loom was first launched in Peru within the 1500s and 1600s when Spain held management of the nation. This various allowed the confection of cloth on an even bigger scale as material was in a position to be produced by the meter. 

Its introduction paved the way in which to the industrialization of textile manufacturing in Peru together with the rise of the obrajes. These have been large manufacturing vegetation that would have as much as 40 looms and executed all levels of manufacturing of material, not simply weaving but in addition dyeing, carding, spinning, fulling and ending. 


Right here’s only a glimpse of Peruvian textile tradition ! …. If you wish to be taught extra about Peruvian textile practices we invite you to go to the Amano Pre-Columbian Textile Museum in Lima and its digital exhibitions on Google Arts & Tradition!


Written by Flora Ferrara – Huaywasi Artisan Storytelling Intern




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments