Peruvian Textiles at the Avenir Museum

Here I am with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez before her lecture.

Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands” opened Thursday, February 21st at the Avenir Museum in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The show explores the traditions of weaving, spinning and dyeing in Peruvian Highland villages supported and coddled by The Center for Traditional Textiles (CTTC) in Cusco. For textile enthusiasts, the exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to view some of the best work from this textile rich area of the world (collectors note: many of the pieces are for sale).  On Thursday I attended at lecture at the museum given by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, guest co-curator of the show and the director of CTTC. The lecture was accompanied by a backstrap weaving demonstration, reception and textile sale.

The Center is a testament to the passion and vision of a group of people, led by Nilda to preserve textile traditions as well as to support villagers through weaving. The Center was established in 1996 to aid preservation and revival of Peruvian Inca textiles. The Center has also been supported by groups around the world, in particular the US.  Nilda’s final remarks brought to light the delicate balance the Center must now navigate. Because of its success in developing weavers and their increased output and skill, the Center’s greatest challenge is in selling and marketing its textiles. This is no-small task. The continuation of the Center and indeed the weaving traditions of the Peruvian Highlands lie in addressing distribution.

In conjunction with the show, two other lectures are planned: Thursday, March 28th, 7 p.m. – Marilyn Murphy, guest co-curator, lecture is entitled: “Artisan Weaving Cooperatives and Their Sustainability
into the Future.”

On Thursday, April 18th, 7 p.m. –Dr. Susan J. Torntore, Avenir curator, will present a lecture, “The Historical Context of Peruvian Textiles.”

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

The Avenir Museum of Design & Merchandising is located at 150 Aylesworth Hall, SE on the campus of Colorado State University, Fort Collins.  The show runs until August 2, 2013.
To learn more:

Textile Traditions of Chinchero: A Living Heritage by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez

To purchase Peruvian Textiles go to

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company, Inc. was founded during the back-to-earth movement of the late 1960s and its accompanying craft resurgence. Their first loom was a simple tapestry loom, a version which they still make today. Over nearly 50 years, Schacht has developed a broad range of high-quality hand weaving and hand spinning tools, including their popular Cricket Loom and Ladybug Spinning wheel. Schacht’s mission is to create beautiful and well-designed products that enhance customers’ weaving and spinning experience through innovative problem solving, creative ideas, skilled woodworking and craftsmanship, and friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Schacht’s family-owned business is located in Boulder, Colorado.