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Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands
Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands

Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands


144 Pages, 8.5 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $33.95)

Publication Date: September 2017

ISBN 9780998452357

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

Thrums Books (Sep 2017)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.95


Winner, Silver Medal in the Craft/Hobby Category, 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez has gathered artisans of all ages to share their knowledge, lore, and deep skills, highlighting many of the techniques used by craftspeople in the Andes. They reveal clever highland secrets for everything from skeining yarn and knitting in reverse to weaving tubular borders and embellishing fabric with complex stitches. For many of these techniques, they provide concise step-by-step instructions accessible for North American crafters. Thoughtful, detailed descriptions of Andean cultural traditions frame each section, providing context and rare insight into what textile work means as a living heritage of the Quechua people.


"Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and her young associates at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco share their vast knowledge of making textiles in highland Peru and also provide a unique window into the meanings associated with their processes." —Mary Frame, author, scholar of ancient and ethnographic Andean textiles

"This valuable book provides insightful introductory text and beautifully clear instructions and illustrations for how to reproduce the more basic techniques. Even those who never try to use the techniques will gain a greater appreciation of this rich tradition, while for textile practitioners the book is a gold mine." —Anne Pollard Rowe, Research Associate, Indigenous American Textiles, The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.

"A beautifully informative new book with only one flaw: its title is much too modest! It not only offers, in patient words and detailed pictures, a primer on ancient Inca spinning and textile-making, it also spins a tale of ancient heritage and living craft." —Keith Recker, founder and editor, Hand/Eye magazine

"This publication, through written words and integrated with beautiful photos, openly makes accessible Quechua indigenous weaving techniques and ancient practices passed through centuries but never before documented in such a written and visual publication." —Dr. Andrea M. Heckman, author, Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals

"Profusely and beautifully illustrated from cover to cover, Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands is a unique, extraordinary, authentic, impressively informative, and highly recommended addition to community and academic library Needlecraft collections." —James Cox, Midwest Book Review

"Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands is an inspirational book that might persuade novices like me to leave their comfort zone and challenge themselves." —Rebeca Schiller, Editor, Hand/Eye Magazine

"Alvarez's study of traditional Andean textile arts is both a joy to look at and a fascinating document of a unique fiber arts tradition." —Annette Donohue, Library Journal

"The experienced knitter, weaver, or spinner will be able to see how they could incorporate these techniques into their own process, and anyone who appreciates fiber art will enjoy the full-color photographs of textile processes and products." —Anne Heidemann, Booklist

Author Biography

Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez is the Director of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco where she works with ten weaving communities to preserve and promote Cusqueñan textile traditions and to support the weavers and their work. She is the author of Textile Traditions of Chinchero and Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands.