Mayu River Collection | River Banks Wallet
100% naturally dyed Peruvian sheep’s wool. 100% cotton lining.
Size: 5” x 8”
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How is it made?
Awamaki's woven textiles are made by the artisans from cooperatives of Patacancha and Kelkanka using traditional back-strap looms. The process starts when weavers shear their own sheep and spin the fiber on drop spindles to create yarn. Once the yarn is spun it is dyed using natural plants, fungus and cochineal beetles. After dying, the weaver must spin the yarn a second time to make sure it is strong enough to stand up to the tension placed on it during the weaving process. Back-strap looms are made of two straight sticks, one at each end of the piece. To set up a loom weavers pound the two sticks in the ground and then get a partner and roll balls of yarn back and forth around them to warp or set up the loom.
What materials are used?
Textiles made on a back-strap loom are among the defining features of Awamaki’s style. This weaving method stretches back thousands of years and is found across the Andes. Weavers of the Patacancha and Kelkanka use unique local iconography and symbolism in their textiles. The bright reds, distinctive geometrical motifs, and endless variety of organic animal shapes make the textiles from these communities unmistakably unique. Many motifs such as geometric rivers and lakes, Inca rebels, and animals such as the llama and fox are designs that the artisans learned from their mothers and grandmothers.
In the Peruvian Andes, the colors and tones of the landscape transform with the changing of the seasons. In the dry season, red mountains turn to pink, whilst rainy season restores a lush, green hue to the hillsides. These shades complement each other and serve as never-ending inspiration.
The collections demonstrate the connection between nature, ancient cultures, and design. The handwoven motifs are contemporary adaptions of traditional elements that the women have been weaving since childhood. Designs represent a woman’s personality, values, and how she sees herself in relation to the world. There is a pureness in the importance of these motifs to the female artisans. No textile is the same, and each weaver tells a personal story through her craft. To honor this authentic tradition, Awamaki uses native, Quechua words to name our collections.