Hello Herron readers,

Today's blog post is an exploration in Peruvian textiles. I have been slowly researching details for a short little trip to Peru this year. Not only to experience and learn about the rich and mystic history of the Inca's and Machu Picchu, (a place I have always wanted to visit in person) but for the vibrant textile history, traditions and communities of hand weavers in towns like Cuzco and Cajamarca. Above all, as I look into the possibilities of this trip and review details, the idea of traveling to Peru alone scares the hell out of me--it is this fear that propels me to do it-face the fear! We'll see how plans unfold.  Here are some of the things that I am particularly interested in:

In Peru, many weavers use a backstrap loom, tying the warp threads to a tree or fixed object on one end, then using a branch, rod or bar on the other end that is attached to a strap. When the weaver leans back on the strap, it creates the same tension as a floor loom enabling a weft to be passed through a shed. This primitive form of weaving is still used today and is still highly effective. Some of the most intricate textiles are woven this way.  My particular interests lie in seeing with my own eyes how this is done and trying it out for myself.

Another of my interests in community, specifically communities of woman. What bonds them, what support systems are in place for them or how they establish them for themselves. It is something that I have wanted to explore more of through a skill share group I started in Chicago a few years ago. I enjoy thinking about this topic and brainstorming ways in which weaving can bring together communities of woman and empower them. It is definitely an aspect of my work that I hope to develop further over the years, and I am sure there is much to be learned from the Peruvian women weavers high up in the central Andes Mountains.

I am also considering integrating some carefully chosen items to include for sale in the Herron Shop. This is only an idea I am toying with, not at all married to. I like the idea of offering handmade items from weavers I meet along travels. Part of my goals for 2014 is to open myself and my world to positivity and possibilities and colorful horizons. I might as well enjoy the journey while I develop my company right? These beautiful Peruvian tapestries below are particularly inspiring to me for for the incredible amount of technique that went in to creating them and the gorgeous approach to color, which is very different from my own approach to color and design.

Check out this lovely video of traditional Peruvian weaving. It is pretty incredible just to know that this is happening in the world. 

In the meantime, stop by herronclothier.com and check in!
Herron ClothierComment