Hands-On Workshops

During Tinkuy 2017 the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco will open to the public for the first time a number of unique hands-on workshops. Each class is a full day of instruction with weavers from local Cusqueñan communities who are masters in their field. The five workshops will run 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:15 pm – 4:15 pm each day from Nov. 9th – 11th.

Basic Backstrap Weaving

Instructors: Weavers from the community of Chinchero
Level of Difficulty: Beginner

In the Andes of South America weavers have been using the backstrap loom since time imemorial. While there are hundreds of different techniques in the Andes that are woven on the backstrap loom, the doble cara, or complementary warp technique, is perhaps the most widely used. In this hands-on workshop you will learn the basics of the backstrap loom set-up, and how to weave k’ata (plain weave) and the design tanka ch’uru to create your very own jakima, the small ribbon textiles all young weavers begin on. 



Advanced backstrap Weaving

Advanced Backstrap Weaving 

Instructors: Weavers from the community of Pitumarca
Level of Difficulty: Advanced

For those already familiar with the backstrap loom, this workshop will focus on an advanced form of doble cara (complementary warp faced technique) known simply as three colored designs. Participants will learn about the demands of color combination in this technique and will learn to weave the challenging design chunchu from the community of Pitumarca in three colors. Chunchu are the people of the Amizon who, besides appearing in textile designs, also feature prominently in a number of cultural dances. 



Chichilla Tubular Border Weaving 

Instructors: Weavers from the communities of Accha Alta and/or Chahuaytire
Level of Difficulty: Beginner

While many of us are more familiar with the tubular border technique ñawi awapa from Chinchero, weavers from the communities of Chahuaytire and Accha Alta have maintained a sister technique unique to their communities. Known as chichilla, this tubular border technique is also sewn onto the edge of a textile as it is woven. Unlike ñawi awapa, however, chichilla makes use of multiple heddles to create a different ‘eye’ pattern. Participants will learn how to warp and weave chichilla by itself, that is, not sewn onto a textile, to create their own cord of eye patterns. 



Qhurpus Knitting Technique

Instructors: Weavers from the community of Accha Alta
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

In Accha Alta knitters create unique hats for children using a technique called qhurpus in Quechua and bolitas in Spanish; in English the technique is called ‘bobbles.’ Before beginning to knit, the knitter ties thousands of tiny knots into their yarn. As they knit, these knots turn into the qhurpus, or bobbles, on the outside of the hat. In this workshop you will learn how to tie qhurpus into yarn and to knit with them, creating your own small bag with the technique.  



Andean Spinning

Instructors: Weavers from the community of Santa Cruz de Sallac
Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Have you ever wondered how weavers use a simple drop spindle to produce the huge quantities of thread they need to create their beautiful textiles? How do they keep the spindle spinning, and what really are the mechanics behind it? Discover the answers to all of these questions and more as you learn to spin and ply yarn from alpaca fiber and then create skeins using a number of different techniques. While the concepts of spinning with a drop spindle are simple, it takes great skill, practice, and dedication to reliably produce beautiful, even thread.