Long Thread Podcast: Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez

Season 3, Episode 3: Andean weavers are using their traditional textile skills and some new assistance to meet the difficulties of today.

Anne Merrow Aug 6, 2021 - 3 min read

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Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez is the founder of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, which supports indigenous weaving, spinning, and needlework artisans in the Andes. She first organized an informal project in the 1970s with weaver friends in Chinchero, an Andean village near Cusco, Peru. As the traditional skills and distinctive styles of indigenous weavers declined in her village and others like it, the project grew into the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. CTTC organizes groups of elder, adult, and young weavers to develop and pass on their skills; the organization also has a marketplace of handmade products on their website and on the Avenida del Sol in Cusco.

Nilda spoke with us from her home in Cusco, Peru. In the middle of their second winter of the pandemic in the Southern Hemisphere, we talked about what COVID has meant for weavers there and how textile lovers can still have a relationship with weaving communities.

To help the weavers of CTTC buy cochineal and indigo and the village children, the sister organization Andean Textile Arts is holding its Bid for the Future 2021 online textile auction from August 25th through August 28. The auction will feature seventy handwoven and knitted items, such as bags, braids, hats, shawls, table runners, and more from Bolivia and Peru.

This episode is brought to you by:

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WEBS - America's Yarn Store is your source for everything you need for your next weaving project. WEBS carries a wide selection of yarns, looms, tools, and accessories. And, you can save up to 25% every day with the WEBS Discount! Visit yarn.com for more info.


Read Linda Ligon's article about weavers in a CTTC village

View and take part in Andean Textile Arts Bid for the Future 2021 auction August 25–28

The CTTC online store is open at textilescusco.org.