It was in the year 2007 Machu Picchu was added to the list of wonders of the world. That year our family of four went on a tour of Peru and Machu Picchu. Here I had a chance to see the ‘Alpaca’ wool which was very expensive. The Alpaca is a domesticated species of south American camel . It resembles a sheep in appearance and they are kept in herds. Alpacas only have fleece fibers,not woolen fibers ad these are used for making knitted and woven items . The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors . In textile industry ‘Alpaca’ primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpaca.
We also took a tour of Titicaca lake. .Lake Titicaca, is known as the the scared waters of the Inca Empire and separates Peru and Bolivia. ON Lake Titicaca there are several floating islands of reed called the UROs named after the Indians who inhabited them. These floating islands are very interesting and made out of reed. You cna see a cluster of these islands which are inhabited and also have schools ,hospitals and basic needs housed in different Uros. In these Islands I saw some beautiful piece of woven pieces and hand work.
The center for Traditional textiles of Cusco is trying to make sure that this ancient art is not dieing. Nilda Challanaupa gathers weavers to work on different projects. They make yarn, them selves using sheep,Llama and Alpaca in a technique called ‘drop spindle’ ( I think that is the method Gadhiji used to weave in India)They twirl the fleece between their fingers,dropping it down and winding it on spools and dye them with dyes made using plans and insects.
I have not done any weaving up till now . The only reason for that is my allergy. I am worried about sneezing to death by inhaling wool particles.Recently I have been seriously thinking to take a course in weaving as there is only one life and let me live it without fear of death.