The Beauty of Alpaca Wool
Native to Peru, alpacas are animals of great importance to locals. They use alpaca fleece to produce clothes, textiles, tapestries, and more. According to Threads of Peru, the use of alpaca-derived textiles for backstrap weaving is a 5,000-year-old tradition, stretching far back into Peruvian history. Many of the products created from this wool also employ dyes made from plants indigenous to the Andes Mountains.
Visitors to Peruvian folk markets can find scarves, serapes, and hats, all made with alpaca wool, which is typically softer, stronger and warmer than sheep’s wool.
Silver Jewelry: An Incan Tradition
Gold and silver were bountiful among the Inca civilization, so much so that these precious metals attracted Spanish conquistadors, who violently conquered the area we now call Peru. But the tradition of metallurgy didn’t die with the original Inca, and the continued abundance of silver in the region guaranteed its lasting cultural relevance.
According to Ten Thousand Villages, the 1960s ushered in a revival of the silversmithing trade. Semiprecious stones like onyx, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and spondylus shell are often incorporated into the original silver designs to make rings, pendants, earrings, and necklaces.