This handwoven backstrap belt - still on the loom, is an extremely fine example of weaving from Chinchero, Peru. This strap is left unfinished on the backstrap loom to demonstrate the weaving process.
The materials are a blend of cotton and alpaca dyed using natural dyes. The red is from the cochineal insect, and lemon salt is added to cochineal for purples. A lichen used for orange can be boiled again to dye wool brown.
Made by the women and men of Chinchero who are part of the not for profit group, The Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cuzco, or CTTC. The CTTC was established in 1996 by Nilda Callanuapa Alvarez to insure the survival of Peruvian Inca textiles and weaving traditions. Working with the Centre, Quechua speaking women and their families in the region of the former Inca capital are engaged in skill building, community networking and market development. By researching and documenting complex styles and techniques of Inca ancestors, the Centre helps to ensure that 2,000 year old textile traditions will not be lost and may be enjoyed and appreciated for generations to come.