Do you want to learn to spin with a drop spindle, weave with a backstrap loom, knit local techniques, or braid to Andean style? Do you want to study techniques that the Inca and their ancestors used? Would you like to be in contact with some of the indigenous weavers who work with CTTC and learn about their culture and traditions?
Taking a class with the CTTC is a wonderful way to begin to understand not only the mechanics but also the mentality of creating textiles in the Andes. The Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco offers five different courses, each three days long. Please fill out the Class Sign-Up Form below if you are interested in taking a course or contact us if you have any questions. Please review the Class FAQ before contacting us with any questions you may have!
A Note About How We Organize Classes:
The classes offered by the CTTC are from 2 to more students and can also be organized according to the availability of the schedule of the interested people (min. 2 people). Instructors from the different communities that are part of the Center teach the five courses we offer.
The border of the textiles is finished with a tubular weaving technique in some part of the Andes, called ñawi awapa or eye border. The weaver passes the weft through the warp after creating the pattern and then passes the weft through the edge of the textile with a needle so that the weft always stays on the same side it started on ready to pass through the warp in the same direction once more.
1 to 3 days
The people of the Andes have used slings, or hondas, for thousands of years to protect their flocks of alpaca and llama. Men and women traditionally braid hondas of thick yarn made of llama wool, which is thicker and courser than alpaca. Llama wool produces yarn only good for rough textiles such as potato sacks and hondas. When the Spanish introduced sheep to the Andes, weavers began to use sheep wool to make hondas as well. In this course you will learn various styles and designs of braiding an honda.
Difficulty level: Extremely advanced
Previous knitting experience is required for this course. You must already be a highly experienced knitter and must take all three days of the course. We do not offer one- or two-day versions of this course.
1 to 3 Days
Learning to weave on a traditional backstrap loom is a challenging but rewarding experience. Children begin learning when they are about 6-8 years old. The ﬁrst textiles they weave are thin ribbons called jakima. Your instructor will guide you through the ancient process of learning to weave on a jakima, beginning with plain-weave and moving on to simple designs. For those with prior experience, the class starts with more complex designs on larger textiles such as the chumpi, or belt.
1 to 3 Days
Have you ever wondered how weavers use a simple drop spindle to produce the huge quantities of thread they need to create their beautiful textiles? How do they keep the spindle spinning, and what really are the mechanics behind it? Learn the answers to all of these questions and more as you practice making your own alpaca thread with a pushka, the Quechua word for drop spindle. Spinning instructors from the different communities one-on-one instruction to help you master the deceptively simple art of spinning.