Technique: Pom Poms and Tassels
The Inca used colorful pom poms as ceremonial pieces, which were added to clothing. To this day, Andean indigenous women wear pom poms on their traditional hats and at the end of their braided hair. The artisans of Inspired Peru have adapted the ancient Inca tradition of decorative pom poms. Artisans use ethically sourced and local alpaca, hand-dyed wool to make pom pom accessories.
After carefully shaving the alpacas, the hair is washed. Once clean, the hair is dyed using vibrant colors. The hair is once again washed of any excess dye and sun-dried for one to two days. Once the desired color is reached, the artisans thoroughly brush the hair to reach maximum softness. The artisans separately make a mold out of flexible cardboard. They then cut small segments of the hair and hand-glue it onto the mold in small sections. Once dry, the pom poms are looped into a string of braided alpaca wool to create the colorful, soft necklaces and bracelets.
The women of Macvilho create beautiful and colorful pom poms from plush yarn while preserving traditional Mayan techniques. The artisans use this soft yarn to create vibrant pom poms and then string them together to form a beautiful decorative accent. Seven women work together to make the pom pom garlands.
Traditionally, artisans at Kara Weaves craft pom poms using yarn and beads. These exclusive pom pom blankets for The Little Market showcase an adaptation of the technique. Artisans at Kara Weaves use fabric, rather than yarn, to carefully craft each pom pom. Small squares are cut from the fabric; each square is carefully stuffed with cotton to form the pom pom. Each pom pom is placed at a 3-inch gap between two layers of fabric and is carefully stitched into place along the edge of the blanket. Each pom pom is securely attached to the cotton blanket and is safe for children. The inspiring artisans create the beautiful pom pom blankets we carry at The Little Market.