After we left Cusco, Peru. we headed down into the Sacred Valley and stopped along the way at a the Awana Kancha weaving center to get a glimpse at how the beautiful Peruvian wools are produced.
This small spot provides a self guided tour of the different steps it takes to make wool for weaving. In the first area are penned up animals (llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos) where you discover the differences between these camelids and can see how their wool varies. (Vicunas have the most coveted wool, as it is very soft.) All the animals are domesticated and quite friendly, and of course love to be fed.
The next area discusses how the coat from the animal is harvested, then cleaned and spun into wool. Next to this is an area that shows all the different natural materials like leaves, seeds, and fruit that are used to dye the wool into gorgeous earthy shades. (I couldn’t resist in capturing the palette in my drawing!) Lastly you can watch some Peruvian weavers in action on a loom creating the one of a kind textiles.
Although the spot is rather touristy (many of the busses that head from Cusco to the Sacred Valley stop here), the relaxed atmosphere of the place make it a great place to stop to get an introduction to the area.