The history of textiles in Peru stretches back thousands of years. In ancient times, textiles were a predominate art form, and over the centuries, weavers developed original styles, designs and techniques.
The Incas inherited a long and highly developed tradition of textiles. They dyed alpaca fiber and wove it into specific patterns and shapes, representing the area and family the weaver was from, and to demonstrate the wealth of the nobility.
Contemporary weavers continue to recreate the designs of their ancestors. These textiles depict both realistic and abstract design, their pictures and patterns tell stories with bold medleys of color, present on the immense variety of clothing, home goods, and artwork.
Many Peruvian textiles are so well known as they have been shown in numerous museum exhibits and have found their way into publications worldwide. They form a fundamental part of the Peruvian culture, are even today seen as part of local traditions and the characteristic clothing represents the different regions of the country.
Peruvian weavers have traditionally used five different fibers for their craft, pima cotton, and hair from four different animals, vicuna, alpaca, llama, and guanaco, all members of the camelid family. The Spanish introduced wool from sheep into the weaving craft in the 1500s.
For unique Peruvian textiles, here are some options of best places to go shopping when you stay in our Sonesta Peru destinations:
Patio el Ekeko – This high-end tourist mall has plenty of expensive but good alpaca- and vicuña-wool items, jewelry, gourmet food, ceramics and other arts souvenirs. Stay at Sonesta Hotel Arequipa, less than three miles away.
Cusco Artisan Center – Located steps from Sonesta Hotel Cusco, this is huge indoor market is the best place to buy your souvenirs for the whole family.
Inka Market- In the heart of the tourist district of Miraflores, this market boasts handcrafted objects and typical Peruvian souvenirs. They include traditional textiles, Inca style jewelry, Peru’s famous alpaca scarves, and shawls, Pisco, and much more. When it comes to souvenirs, this is one of the best markets in Lima, and it is under two miles from Sonesta Hotel El Olivar.
Sol Alpaca – Recognized brand store located in our Sonesta Posadas del Inca, offering high quality baby alpaca products.
Uros Handicrafts – Also located in Sonesta Posadas del Inca in Puno, handicrafts from Uros (floating islands of the Titicaca) are offered by two island residents known as “Las Juanitas”. They have visited the hotel for years to display their hand made products.
Market at Sonesta Posadas del Inca Yucay – The “Mercadito” of Sonesta Posadas del Inca Yucay, is the best place to buy your souvenirs for the whole family without leaving the hotel.