In April 2018 Isabella and her design team visited our Organic cotton farm and WRAP accredited textiles factory in Peru. While they were there they met with some Artisan women in the hillside villages near Ollantaytambo, they spent time with the women, dying and weaving brightly coloured textiles in the cool mountain air. The journey left them feeling ever more connected to the colour and culture of this far off land, and here we share their tales from afar…
Through Isabella’s eyes…
Cusco, Peru: What an amazing old city! The architecture was incredible ~ the main square in town was surrounded by tall old churches and archways filled with little shops and cafe’s and bars and there were a few really gorgeous narrow streets made of cobble stone (which I always love!) Alpacas and traditionally dressed women and children filled the streets, it was quite stunning. We were only here for a day before we set off again, this time, heading to one of the 7 man made wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
It was a 2 hour drive to the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo, this is when we truly fell in love with Peru. This was our kinda town! Dirt streets, little buggies driving around, wooden shop fronts and traditionally dressed Peruvians walking around the town with alpaca’s in tow, it was so old and decorative and surrounded by high lush mountains. We took a 2 hour train along the river, and arrived at Machu Picchu. The town had a little market place which was gorgeous, and I couldn’t help but pick myself a burnt orange woven poncho to pair with my outfit! We also had time to visit the hot springs, which was so relaxing after doing the trek around Machu Picchu .
After that we met with some local Artisan women and learnt their weaving techniques, these women have been weaving for generations as it is their identity, and they love what they do. I was so in love with the colours they created from using the earth around them, leaves, trees, dirt, seeds… Just like their diets, eating only food local to the area, they use the local botanicals to dye the fibres for their weaving. They told us about this connection to the local produce and how they work with whats available. They were proud that they only used what is available in their village at the time, which means when they run low on the animals for meat, they just don’t eat it.
We finished off our Peru visit, with a trip to the Pisac markets just outside of Cusco. Exploding with rich vibrant colours, the reds and pinks stood out to me most. And mixed back so nicely with the creams and browns and whites of the alpaca wool. It was so strange because it’s exactly how I see colours in my mind when I’m choosing them for a Spell print. I love pairing pinks and reds with more muted tones… I felt such a connection with the vibrant colour palate of this land!