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Structures & techniques

Andean textiles are products of one of the richest, oldest and continuous weaving traditions in the world. Although tapestry (or weft-faced weave, faz de trama) is one of the most well-known type of Andean weaving, warp-faced weave (faz de urdimbre) has created the most complex textiles in the Andes. The project therefore focusses on the structures and techniques employed for the creation of warp-faced weave.

Textile structures

This term is used here to refer principally to the form of the warp (tilata in Aymara and allwina in Quechua), woven with or without the loom, considering the number of warp threads or warp layers, and the relation between the threads of one layer and those of another.


Textile techniques

This term refers to the method of selecting warp threads on the horizontal axis of the loom according to a system of counting threads, on which the composition or figurative part of the textile depends. The textile technique in turn depends on the method of warping the loom: in warp face, for example the technique can be by basic odd (in 1|1), derived odd (in 1|2), or according to an even system (2|2), or in more complex techniques, (of 4, 8, 1, 2), etc.

These weaving structures and techniques are explained in detail in D. Y. Arnold and E. Espejo, Ciencia de tejer en los Andes: estructuras y técnicas de faz de urdimbre (La Paz: Fundación Cultural del Banco Central de Bolivia, Fundación Interamericana, Fundación Albó and ILCA, 2012).