Chahuaytire is located approximately 25 miles north of the city of Cusco in the mountains above Pisac. The high valley where Chahuaytire is nestled boasts a comparatively large, flat expanse of land for the Andes where most farmers eke out a living on sheer mountain slopes. Chahuaytire weavers care for flocks of alpaca, llama and sheep higher in the hills around their community.
The CTTC began working with Chahuaytire in 1999. Today approximately 35 women and men gather once a week in their weaving center while approximately 40 children learn from their elders each Saturday.
Through their clothing and weavings, we can tell where the people come from who travel to our community. We can identify them immediately, and many times we even know the purpose of their visit. Lucio Ylla, Chahuaytire weaver
To greet the dawning of San Juan Day (the 24th of June), we have the custom of climbing to the top of the highest hill or mountain and we wait for the sunrise. If you are lucky enough to see t’ata inti (double sun) at the side, you will be able to see your wishes. I once had the wish of having a lot of sheep and this wish was fulfilled because I saw the t’ata inti and at the side, many sheep. So in our patterns we sometimes make the t’ata inti.Damian Huamán, Chahuaytire weaver
About Chahuaytire Textiles
Chahuaytire is known far and wide for the high quality of their weaving. Their compact warp-faced weave, careful colour combinations, and detail to border finishes make Chahuaytire weavings truly exquisite and some of the finest in the Cusco region.
Traditional ponchos and lliklla (blankets) are woven with wide ley (supplementary warp) designs in dark maroon and white. The equally wide plain weave sections are normally woven in a dark purple or black that at first glance appears of one solid colour. Closer inspection reveals that the plain weave is often composed of very fine stripes in slightly varying hues of dark purple, maroon and/or black. Tika cocha, or lake with flowers, is a common design in Chahuaytire where farmers rely on the cycle of the rainy season to grow their crops. Flower designs are not only woven into textiles but can also be found in the sewn stich, called rosas (roses), that unites the two separate halves of the traditional blanket.