Mother and Daughter

Accha Alta A little more than ten years ago, I was visiting the breathtakingly high, beautiful Andean village of Accha Alta. This very traditional small community was still farming potatoes the old way, tilling near-vertical land with handheld hoes. They were still weaving sacks (costales) of handspun llama wool on backstrap looms to take those […]

The Once and Future Museum

Avenir Museum

In our monthly acknowledgement of an institution that works to preserve and celebrate traditional textiles, we present a special museum close to home in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the lobby of the Colorado State University Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising hangs a plaque that reads, “Avenir means future . . . Thank you for helping us weave […]

Cloth Is a Language

inkuy ToCloth is a language

Since Linda and I returned from Peru a couple of weeks ago, where we were hard at work on a future Thrums book, Peru has occupied much of my brain space. Visions of sugar plums and all that fun holiday stuff were nudged aside by images of Andean peaks and Inca ruins and textile–ancient and […]

Dateline: Cusco

Chinchero

Dateline Cusco I’m in Cusco, Peru with Karen Brock and Joe Coca. We’re working on a new book with Nilda Callanaupa, Diana Hendrickson, and the weavers of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). This book is beyond the conception stage, beyond the zygote stage, well into the fetus stage. It grows and changes […]

Saving the Story of Cloth

Textile Museum of Canada

When we touch the time and place of cloth, we begin to know the story of its maker. When we preserve that cloth, we are preserving our collective stories—our celebrations, our suffering, our families, our culture and history. Thrums Books would like to acknowledge important institutions around the globe who diligently work to preserve traditional […]

Designed for Peace

Designed for Peace

On the Thrums Books Facebook page earlier this week, I posted a photo of a “textile designed for peace,” a fragment of which is part of the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s collection. You can read the whole story here. It seemed important to think about designs for peace after all the recent and terrible events in […]

An Endless Thread

I was adding some photos to our Pinterest pages this week, which gave me the chance to look carefully at Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories, again. I’ve read this book so many times, and I’m still fascinated by it, still learn something new each time. This book was one of Thrums’s earliest projects, published in […]

A Woman’s Room

Woman's room

A Wedding Room We went to a wedding in Kandahar: my travelling companion, Mary Littrell, and her co-author, Rangina Hamidi, and I. It was not a village wedding, because it’s not especially safe to go out into the Afghan countryside now. It was in a hotel that specializes in hosting weddings, and this was wedding […]

A New Generation

Chamula, Chiapas Next Generation

Much of the work of Thrums Books has been to document endangered traditions. Much of the focus has been on “last generations”—those elders whose children have gotten some education and fled to the cities. So it’s been a real pleasure these last few weeks to work with a young woman who lives and breathes her cultural […]

Tradition Translated

Chenalho Huipil

A New Vision of the World In the introduction to A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas, author Chip Morris writes that Maya women are “Creating new visions of themselves and the world, visions that are affirmations of tradition translated into something new, resilient, and hopeful.” Of course, he’s talking specifically about Maya weavers, […]

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