A Tricky Stitch from the Peruvian Highlands

trickystitch

One of my favorite Andean textiles is the humble potato sack, or costal. It’s deeply traditional, handsome, and almost indestructible. I first saw costales in use when I visited the very high village of Accha Alta in 2005. The area is known for the best and most varied potatoes, but the terrain is so steep […]

A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass to their children generation after generation. Whether in Mexico or Morocco, Afghanistan or Laos, mothers have been teaching their daughters (ands sons) to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider for centuries. Sharing these skills with the next generation is practical, of course, because it creates a […]

Guess What We Did? The Ever-Expanding Thrums Books

Thrums Books

More than ten years ago, in partnership with Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez and the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, we published our first book Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands. During the last decade we’ve published 15 more books exploring textile traditions from around the world. We’ve brought to life the life stories of textile artisans who […]

I Want to Give You a Scarf from Peru

Win a Peruvian Scarf

In our very first Thrums Books textile giveaway, you have a chance to win one of my treasured Peruvian scarves. I bought this alpaca scarf while I was working in Peru with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez on her book Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands. It’s a beauty of a scarf, isn’t it? It makes […]

The Next Generation

One of the biggest concerns, for those of us who love and work with indigenous textiles from around the world, is “Who will carry on the traditions?” It’s complicated. Young people once learned from their elders, stayed in their home villages, got a sixth-grade education at most, married young, and spun and wove for the […]

Respected by the Whole World

Respected

“Anything that is created by human hands should be respected by the whole world,” said Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Honorary Chair of the 2018 International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe. As I wandered through the stalls at the Market last weekend admiring the astonishing folk art, I felt that deep sense […]

Feisty Women

feisty women

“Fadma Wadal is a feisty old woman—my favorite kind—and a great storyteller,” writes Susan Schaefer Davis, introducing the first of many artisans in her new book Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives. She goes on to tell the story of Fadma who remembers spinning with wool stolen from the underbellies of sheep that […]

Language Matters

When you commit to publishing a book involving an indigenous culture, the question always comes up: can it be bilingual? Many of the books we’ve published are based in Spanish-speaking countries, and it would seem both logical and respectful to include both Spanish and English. And we have done that. Sometimes. En Español Chip Morris’s […]

2017: Moments to Remember

» We’re very close to sending Maya Gods & Monsters to press, when we get a frantic message from our author, Carol Karasik: “Wait! A lot of those little designs around the edges are Aztec, not Maya! Not to mention that calendar wheel!” We do a hasty but thorough search for strictly Maya motifs, and find […]

Weaving the Past, Present & Future

Linda Ligon and I have been traipsing about Cusco, Peru the last several days, participating in Tinkuy 2017 Gathering of the Textile Arts. Sponsored by the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and Andean Textile Arts, Tinkuy celebrates weaving traditions from around the world. Spinners, dyers, weavers, and artisans from Laos to Afghanistan and places […]