[Update: Here is a link to The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.]
The day began early when we picked up Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and her sister Antonia, drove through the Vancouver rain and arrived at Granville Island. Nilda is very organized and soon we were putting the finishing touches on the set-up for today's exhibition in the Net Loft building. Antonia was plying two strands of wool using a drop spindle, and when we moved down to the main Maiwa store she set up her backstrap loom among the exhibit pieces. One had the clear sense that she could be at home anywhere so long as she had some wool with her.
Nilda gave a clear, direct and witty presentation as she guided the audience through the different pieces and explained technique, colour and weave. Some pieces she said are woven so tightly that they can hold water and there is a competition to take the finished piece and see how long it can hold a certain amount of water.
Nilda will present more of her stories and give a thorough tour of the andean weaving traditions in her lecture: Monday October 19th. Pattern Dreams: Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands. Tickets are still available.