Technique: Alpaca Knit

Alpaca Knit Technique

About The Technique

Indigenous to the Andean highlands, luxurious alpaca wool is highly prized for its warmth, strength, and lightweight texture. Alpacas have been bred for thousands of years for both their meat and fleece, and comprise a large component of traditional South American culture. The Inca civilization was primarily based in textiles made from alpaca wool, making the fabric an integral part of the rich history of the Andes.

Each piece from Artesania Sorata is made by hand in Bolivia. The female artisans dye the wool by hand using natural dyes made from local ingredients, such as walnut leaves, thola, and cochineal. The natural dyes are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and soft on the wool. With this soft yarn, the artisans knit each piece by hand. Each artisan has a unique style, and often adds embroidered patterns inspired by traditional weavings, geometric symbols, animals, or birds.

Female artisans working with Awamaki create warm knits by hand by using traditional knitting, crochet, and yarn spinning techniques. In the first stage, they will combine alpaca yarn with the cotton before beginning to knit. Some of the families will continue to perform religious ceremonies before removing the alpaca hair. The baby alpaca fiber is extremely soft and hypoallergenic. The artisans locally source all the materials from Peru, including raw alpaca fiber from remote areas of Cusco.

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THE ARTISANS

Artesania Sorata

ARTESANIA SORATA

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Manuela Ramos

MANUELA RAMOS

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AWAMAKI

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