Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco


May 30, 2012 by Amie M

After a long sleep, but still waking up early in Cusco, we decided to wander the town and get some souvenir shopping done. We were worried that because it was a Sunday, and Peru being devoutly Catholic, nothing would be open. But thankfully, the majority of the tourist shops and museums were open for business.

With much force and pushing, I got Paul to go into the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco. I had heard about this place from a group on Ravelry dedicated to All Things Peru. One of the hot topics is where to buy yarn, and handwoven items.

The Center is first and foremost a museum and working cooperative aiming to preserve and master the traditional ways of weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. All fiber arts are practiced. In the museum, the role of different weavings and traditional dress are explained in great detail. The amount of work the Centre has put into education and promotion of the traditional ways is fantastic.

In the store itself, you can watch some elders and cooperative members practice their weavings. The store is full to the rim with well priced articles, that you know someone put a thought into each stitch or line.

While I appreciated and oohed at all the woven articles, it was the baskets of alpaca yarn that attracted me. On our first visit, I purchased a large skein of grey alpaca, a green and brown. And I indeed did return after not finding many places with yarn or rovings for sale and bought a gorgeous orange and red. On the second return, Paul brought his camera. I’m thankful he did.

With these yarns, I plan on making a fair isle colourwork cardigan, all 1.5 kilograms in fingering weight of it. All this yarn was my big souvenir from our adventure, a little something in line with my hobbies and lifestyle to work with and remember Peru a little longer.

The white will be the base, and the orange, red and green will be alternating in patterns akin to the squares in the man’s hat above. Or the weavings in the item the woman is holding even further up.

Each skein, much like the woven items, has a tag that tells you who dyed or made the little piece of art, what it is, where it came from in Peru, what it’s made of and the CTTC mission statement.

I am currently on the lookout for a basic sweater shape I can take the stockinette stitching and do a charted colour pattern instead. Until then, I will Scrooge McDuck it and roll around on my 1.5 kg of natural alpaca yarn, cackling hysterically with glee.


12 thoughts on “Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco

  1. Vanessa says:

    How is today’s post NOT about Charles?!?!

  2. Hi again — how was the price for skeins of alpaca, compared to at home? ….leaving in just a couple of weeks for Peru. Thanks!

    • ecochic87 says:

      The yarn was a lot cheaper! The tag pictured is for 203 g at 16 USD. A single skein is typically 50 – 100 g, and in Canada that can go for 15-25 CAD.
      It also feels better because it is more local to where you are. Even though the yarn is flying back with you, the carbon footprint for Peruvian highland alpaca is much lower doing it this way.

  3. La lana con alpaca buenĂ­sima y los textiles Peruanos mejores y famosos en el mundo entero!!!!

  4. agujasblog says:

    What a great experience and great souvenirs.

  5. […] in the Single Skein Sprint. I doubt it will get done, but I want to start my Peru sweater from all that lovely alpaca for the Sweater Triathlon, also cross-competing, but in Colourwork Crosscountry. Or I can do the […]

  6. […] If I had to pick my top three from this book, it would be Charming Neckline, Jan, and Trimmed with Roses. Don’t you think the cardigan would be lovely in the grey, yellow brown and green alpaca brought back from Peru? […]

  7. […] of all, winter makes me want to knit. Those wonderful colours in alpaca yarn from Cusco are calling to me. I need to work with them […]

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