Behind the scenes: Meet our partner Juana Huanca

Behind the scenes: Meet Juana Huanca one of our partner

Juana weaving in Cuzco

Juana Huanca Yupanqui is an artisan weaver specialized in the ancient techniques of stake loom in Quechua pampa away and backstrap loom in Quechua kallwa. She is originally fom the province of Paucartambo y, and resident in Sicuani, Canchis, Cusco for 15 años.

Following the Andean tradition, Juana learned to weave at the age of 15 while observing other women in her family, particularly her older sister. She began her textile art journey by spinning alpaca fiber, an abundant raw material in the Canchino territory.  

To obtain the thread from the alpaca fleece, the fiber, she passes it little by little between her fingers of one hand. She rolls it around the spindle in Quechua p’ushka, a simple tool used in pre-Inca cultures to give the yarns the resistance it needs to be manipulated with flat weaving techniques. Two threads are twisted with the spindle before proceeding to use them to assemble the loom.

To achieve the wonderful colours of these fabrics, Juana applies all her knowledge about plants and natural resources used during this process to dye the fiber. 

These ancient techniques trespass from one generation to the next one, and all Juana’s wisdom has been shared with her daughters so that through her commitment and love to textile art, she can be enjoyed and recognized by the entire world.

She told us that she couldn’t imagine her life without weaving, giving shape to her ideas through her hands, and expressing her art with new colours and designs for the different accessories she creates.

We are so proud to call Juana our partner. She developed the hand-woven staggered band, which decorates our beautiful alpaca fiber hats.

Tupu Home Team

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