About Santo Tomas
Hidden high in the mountains up eight hours of twisting roads, Santo Tomas is the farthest community from the city of Cusco. When the CTTC first began working with the weavers of Santo Tomas in 2007 they used synthetic fibers and chemical dyes to produce their textiles. After many workshops where they learned to dye with natural dyes and spin and weave with natural fibers, the women now create their textiles with all-natural materials. Today approximately 20 adult weavers are members of the Santo Tomas weaving association.
Why do I like to weave? Why… so that it is revalued. We are recovering the traditions of our ancestors and that is why it is important.Rosa Peña Puma, Santo Tomas weaver
I simply taught myself to weave since I was little, since about 13 years of age. Just by myself as I pastured lambs I taught myself in watakas and like this I learned. Spinning too, but I did not spin well. Breaking, breaking, I spun. Uneven, ueven, little by little, until I was able to form it well.Luisa Paredes Huanca, Santo Tomas weaver
About Santo Tomas Textiles
Santo Tomas is proud of their unique horseback riding tradition, which is reflected in their textiles. Traditional blankets often boast a wide design of a rider on horseback in doble cara, or the two sided warp-faced weaving technique. Santo Tomas traditional clothing also reflects their horseback riding tradition and is quite distinct in comparison to other communities from the Cusco region. Santo Tomas women traditionally wear heeled boots rather than rubber sandles, or ojotas, as women and men wear throughout other communities. Their polleras (skirts), jackets and matching hat are stunningly decorated in very wide sections of appliquéd velvet on a black and white tweed fabric. Men traditionally wear elaborate leather leggings and spurs.