High in the Andean mountains, they continue to weave the time-honored designs of their ancestors. Peru is known for it’s soaring ridges, vibrant textiles, and ruins of civilizations past. Awe-inspiring and thrilling for visitors to explore, these things aren’t just part of the scenery and the culture here. These are meaningful, spiritual aspects of the Andean worldview of a cosmos that is connected and conscious. And textile art is held as a symbol of that connectedness to the world, nature, and people.
Weaving started in the Andes of Peru as far back as 8,000 BC, first using plant fibers and later, with the domestication of livestock, developed into softer, warmer wool and alpaca apparel. Using the same fiber sources, natural dyeing processes, and weaving techniques today, textiles are now used as apparel, blankets, rugs, and market goods. But local markets are small and competitive, and traveling to larger markets in the cities is time-consuming and costly. Rimanku was created as a way to overcome this economic barrier. By forming an organized cooperative, the weavers are able to offer their handcrafted work to the larger global marketplace, generating more and consistent income while continuing to care for their children and livestock. They’re able to stay in their homes as they work, which means their families and community remain unified and strong. And they’re able to teach these centuries-old techniques to their daughters with pride, dignity, and promise of a more secure future. In addition to paying above fair wages for their work, 10% of every Rimanku sale will be invested in education and health care for the artisans and their families.