A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass down to their children (okay, dads can get in on it, too, but that’s a story for another day). Whether in Guatemala, Mexico, or Peru—and I’m learning in Morocco, Laos, and Afghanistan, too—for centuries, mothers have been teaching their daughters to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider. Passing down these skills […]

Preservation or Innovation: What’s Best for Textile Traditions?

TextileTraditionChinchero

I get the best email. Dear Linda, Here’s a question that has been wandering around in the back of my mind ever since I went to Peru a couple of years ago. I’m a weaver, knitter, and sewist, so I love this stuff. In the Sacred Valley, we saw Nilda Callanaupa and her merry band […]

Skiing in our Chullos

PitumarcaPeru

Recently, my son Ian and I were skiing at one of our favorite spots in the Rockies. Ian wore his chullo that I’d brought him from Peru a couple of months ago. I’ve been skiing in mine for years, and now my kid gets to be one of the coolest dressers on the slopes, too. Chullos […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Going Global

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Veronica Peak, beyond the village of Chinchero, Peru. Photograph by Joe Coca from the book, Faces of Tradition. FAR AND AWAY In the process of writing a book, Thrums Books authors and photographers travel to some pretty faraway places, tucked in jungles or on the edges of giant mountains. Sometimes they just live there. Either […]

Peru: A Living Heritage

Chinchero, Peru

I’ve been fascinated with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival blog and Facebook feeds the last few weeks. Interpret “fascinated” as spending way too much time watching video clips of upcoming events and dreaming myself there! The Festival started this Wednesday on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and runs through the weekend, then it’s on again […]

Textile Traditions Old and New

Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

Weave a Real Peace (W.A.R.P.) is an organization devoted to bringing together people who love indigenous textiles, are devoted to the artisans who create them, and who work in various ways to create economic opportunities to help the traditions survive. I just came back from the organization’s annual conference, “Blending Tradition and Textiles.” It was […]

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