Ancient Peruvian Textiles with Janice Lawrence

Janice Lawrence came to talk to us on Monday evening, 20 November 2017. Her talk was about the ancient textiles found in Peru, some dating back 12000 years. She also told us about the various people who had made them.

She first visited Peru in 1996 and became captivated with the designs and stitches.

It is remarkable that the textiles have survived so well but they have been preserved by the cold, dry Andean air.

Janice also talked about the techniques used to create the textiles, including twining and weaving. The indigenous people sourced the materials from cotton, sisal and animal fur. Thread was created using spindles and then worked on a loom.  They used natural dyes to colour the fabrics. It is here that the oldest example of indigo dyed fabric has been discovered.

Using cactus needles, they worked embroidered designs in loop stitch, stem stitch and detached buttonhole stitch. The textiles depicted condors, snakes, caimans and birds.

Janice also brought sketchbooks and examples of her own inspiring work to show us.

Thank you very much Janice, for coming to speak to us, it was a fascinating to learn how ancient people managed to produce such beautiful work involving such complicated techniques.