Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another fabulous shopping experience...

On my first day in Cusco I spotted some tapestries that I just fell in love with...  I knew nothing about them other than that they'd be an "investment" (read expensive!).   A few days ago I found a shop that was absolutely full of these artworks and even better, they had a 20% off sale!

These artworks are made with alpaca fibre (soo soft) and are dyed using natural dyes.  Yes, all of those bright colours are natural plant dyes except the reds which are dyed with cochineal bugs.

So yesterday Mum and I headed back into Cucso's centre so I could make a purchase.  Making a decision was the hard part... and because most of them were folded in piles throughout the shop it was a matter of digging through and getting the sales lady to hold them up or lay them out on the floor so I could get a better view.

After looking at many many designs (all different) I ended up deciding on 1 small piece and 1 medium sized one - ones that would be more manageable to hang and also gave me the colour range I was looking for without looking gaudy.

Me with just some of the tapestries that we pulled out to look at... 
(see the pile to the left?... this is just one of about 6 piles that we looked through...)

 On the way to the tapestry gallery, I took Mum into another shop that I had been into last week... It was much like many other places and was filled with handwoven pieces made by a small co-op of people.  On my previous visit Illadia (the shop owner) had told me that they were all dyed using natural dyes (3 things you hear a lot - natural dyes, handmade and alpaca), but she then proceeded to show me an album of here and her sister and others dyeing and weaving.

When Mum and I revisited this shop, Illadia again pulled out her album and also another book that showed the plants some of the plants that were used in the dyeing, along with the colours that could be produced - I was very impressed (see the grin!)!!

As we talked (well Mum talked, I listened - her Spanish is MUCH better than mine), Mum managed to ask where they did their dyeing and weaving and would it be possible to visit - which Illadia agreed to!! (GO MUM!!!!)  We were already planning a trip for later this week to Ollantaytambo and then onto Chinchero on the weekend.  Turns out that their workshop is in Chinchero and Sunday is the day that Illadia suggested that we could visit - how's that for coincidence!  We need to go back today when her daughter (who speaks English) will be there so that we can work it out properly, but I'm hoping that we get to go - it would be SPECTACULAR!!!!

After such a successful afternoon Mum and I went out for coffee and cake to celebrate...

See there's that grin again - a sure sign of a FANTASTIC day!!

1 comment:

Lex and Judy said...

I'm really hoping her daughter speaks English - otherwise we might not find the place. That would be a tragedy!