Weaving Center – Chinchero the Rainbow Village
Chinchero, is one of the most typical villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is an eminently Inca town that the Spaniards tried to civilize to incorporate their culture, but they did not succeed in their entirety since their residents to date refuse to leave aside from the Inca culture and customs, they inhabit the almost complete Inca constructions, in the same place where their distant ancestors lived and constituted the largest and most prosperous civilization in Latin America. Thus, they keep alive the culture of textile art, it should be said that the inhabitants of this beautiful city keep alive all the ancestral techniques used for the manufacture of clothing, transmitted from generation to generation.
The artisans of Chinchero elaborate the garments with ancestral techniques, such as the use of the “Away” and the “Loom” and use products such as sheep’s wool, alpaca and baby alpaca for their preparation. The artisan skill shown by the Chincherina women is not just a national wonder. The quality of its production is recognized worldwide and attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year, and none leaves without taking one of the colorful, graceful and well decorated garments that are exhibited there. The secret is in the elaboration process. Craft processes such as dyeing sheep and alpaca wool yarn with natural plants and minerals and weaving garments, is a reality of their ancestral culture. In the town of Chinchero there are several artisan centers in “Groups”, to date there are more than 50 Centers of Textile Art or commonly called groups.
Textile art process: We will have the experience of the ancestral way of developing this textile art:
- Wool is obtained from sheep, llamas, alpacas and vicuñas (auquénidos).
- Then it goes through the washing process with a plant from the place known as “SAQTA” and which acts as a detergent, to wash the wool that is in its natural state as it was removed from the animal using warm water and in clay bowls.
- Then comes the spinning process using a simple “Pushca” spinning wheel, but the whole process is done using only the fingers.
- finally dyeing begins.
Chinchero is one of the few places in the world that has achieved almost all shades of light based solely on dyes of natural origin (plants, flowers, minerals, etc). To achieve the different colors in textiles in Chinchero, they use a wide range of exotic plants, among which Kolly stands out to obtain the shades of green, the kimsak’uchu and Indigo to achieve the shades of blue, the flower of Broom for the shade of yellow, the Purple Corn for the shade of purple and the most important plant is the Cochineal that is obtained from the prickles of the cactus from which at least 24 shades of red are obtained and among many other species that I give them the abundant flora of the region. For the color to “grab” the thread, urine (urine from children under 2 years old), salt and lemon are used.
MEANING OF THE COLORS
|Green||Forest – Harmony||Chillka leaves|
|Blue||Sky – Loyalty||Indigo – kimsak’uchu root|
|Red||Blood – Love – Life||Cochineal|
|Yellow||Fire – Sun (Inti Tayta)||Retama flower|
|Purple||Novelty- Humility||Purple Corn|
The final wool process is passed through the twisting process of the threads, where the balls of wool are made. Then the threads in the looms are warped and one of the most amazing events in the city of the Rainbow begins, the weaving in looms, using ropes and timbers, the Chincherina artisans combine the colors according to the mood for example: vivid colors if they are cheerful and dark colors if they are sad because in each of their fabrics their moods and ways of living are reflected between beautiful designs in blankets, ponchos, chullos, wallets, belts, cushions, bracelets, etc. .
Recommendations to visit a textile interpretation center:
- Leave early
- Always wear a sun hat.
- Wear a poncho or rain jacket especially for the months of September to April
- Apply sunscreen recommended every 2 hours (at least factor 35 is recommended).
- Bring a camera.
- Pay attention to the explanation of the exhibitor.
- Do not make noise during the explanation, because it is disrespectful.
- Bring as much enthusiasm as possible.
- Extra money
The women weavers of Chinchero have managed to bring textile art once again to the forefront of their community, the town of the rainbow is now recognized worldwide as a prestigious weaving town whose focus on reviving tradition has also strengthened the community itself, visit the town of Chinchero and see how amazing its textile industry is within the Sacred Valley tour, Maras Moray, ATV tours and for this you can contact Pumadventures Peru Tours which is a formal company that has all the legal part and with professionalism, efficiency, responsibility and kindness that you will live it.