Traditional handicraft techniques of textile production in Latin America are weaving and knitting. Both techniques can still be found today, with traditional production in the rural areas as well as with modern automatic production in the congested areas.
Artistic weaving products today are still produced by e.g. the weavers in Ayacucho as well as in Huaraz. As in all regions of the Andes, weaving was one of the most important handicraft branches in the past there as well, as the villages had to pay most of their tributes to their lord in the form of draperies. Even though during the colonial periods, the church had a huge impact on the weaving mills and thus the clothing of the population, the weaving products still are a source of the old codes that can be found in the patterns of these weaving works.
The probably best-known article from the weaving mills in Latin America is the “Coca-Bag”. Nevertheless, there still is a huge selection of other weaving products, such as blankets, doilies, ponchos, bags, ribbons, jackets and much more.
Knitting is a very traditional handicraft in Latin America as well. In the higher reaches of the Andes, it gets delicately cold at night and warm knitted clothing certainly is perfect for such climate.
Traditionally, the knitted products are made out of sheep and alpaca wool. Nowadays, acrylic wool also is used sometimes.
The knitted “Chullos” (hats), which are worn by the Natives for thousands of years already, are well known and have even been adapted by nameable sport article producers. The most artistic of these hats are worn by the men on the island Taquile. But look out: in this place, the men are knitting!
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