Knitting has deep roots in Peru
Going back centuries and forming an important cultural heritage, Peru has one of the longest histories of textiles in the world. While the rest of the world was just figuring out agriculture and irrigation, Peru already had complex weaving, spinning and cultivation methods for its native and original fibers. So much so, that even some of the most sophisticated machinery today cannot imitate the same techniques.
Knitting, at its very core, is a technique which grew out of necessity and functionality – to keep warm in the subzero Andean temperatures. Out of this cold, an innovative and distinctive art form was born. Extremely decorative and colorful stitch work, intarsia, exquisite diamond and geometric motifs and designs punctuate a textile landscape original in shape and form. Alpacas, birds, llamas, dogs and cocoa leaves dance across designs. Pom poms and chullos may be the most recognizable, but in fact these expert knitters have a history of knitting purses, masks, blankets, toys and tassels. The list is endless, as are the varying regional techniques and color work. The similarity? The speed, and the precision and skill in execution.
Working in Peru means access to big talent. Innovation, culture and tradition merge to give access to techniques that are revitalized and strengthened by modern design direction. And these women know, they understand, the nuances of style and detail, and have the tenacity and drive to build their own businesses from scratch.
Knitting in Lima
As a way of having greater control over timing and quality, proximity has been a key factor in helping us build this service. As a result, all of our knitting leaders are based in and around Lima, though many are originally from other regions. In the 80s and 90s, internal terrorism and widespread violence led over a million Peruvians to migrate from diverse regions to the country’s capital, in search of a better, safer life. What this has in turn created is abundant skill, immeasurable talent and unmatched knowledge all right here, whether that yields from the highlands of Puno, the spinners of Arequipa and the stitch work of Cusco. Even on our own team, only a few people are originally from Lima.
Decades later, this unprecedented immigration has given birth to a culture referred to as "chicha," with bright colors to contrast Lima's grey skies and a shift from Andean traditions to more urban trends. It has a distinctive voice and feel, full of ingenuity, and often reinterprets or appropriates city customs, making them its own. We embrace this culture as a sign of pride in this city we call home and respect for the contexts of our knitters, who are mostly immigrants, like most of our team.
Choose Peru to trace a stitch, follow a thread, from the highlands of the Andes to the city of Lima.