From boldly patterned, knitted ponchos to bright, intricately woven textiles or chullo hats made from baby-soft alpaca wool; few visitors leave Peru without buying some of the country’s colorful handicrafts. The Andean region in particular is world-renowned for its dazzling textiles, incorporating unique indigenous designs with traditional weaving techniques and locally sourced materials like sheep, alpaca and llama wool. It’s possible to buy the products all around Peru, but for those looking to learn more about the region’s rich craftmaking heritage, the Interpretation Center of Andean Textiles in Cusco is a must.
As well as admiring the elaborate designs and purchasing handcrafted clothing and gifts, visitors to the Interpretation Center of Andean Textiles can learn the origins and traditions of the age-old weaving techniques, used by local craftsmen for more than 2,000 years. Demonstrations of the wool preparation, dying and weaving techniques by skilled local weavers offers a unique insight into how the complex designs are created and the ladies are happy to share their inspirations behind the various patterns and color combinations, explaining how each Andean village has developed their own distinctive designs.
The Interpretation Center of Andean Textiles is located in the San Blas district in Cusco and is open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 8am-6pm. There is no admission fee.