Duration: 1 to 3 Days
Fit for: Everyone
Minimum participants to open: 2
Mon – Fri 8:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:30pm
Learning to weave on a traditional backstrap loom is a challenging but rewarding experience. Children begin learning when they are about 6-8 years old. The ﬁrst textiles they weave are thin ribbons called jakima. Your instructor will guide you through the ancient process of learning to weave on a jakima, beginning with plain-weave and moving on to simple designs. For those with prior experience, the class starts with more complex designs on larger textiles such as the chumpi, or belt.
1. Where does the CTTC teach their courses?
The five CTTC courses are held at Av. Pardo 705 one block from the main headquarters of Av. Sol 603, Cusco, Peru.
2. Are classes taught in Spanish or English? Will my instructor speak English?
The instructors speak Quechua and Spanish, and a very limited amount of English. For the majority, the class will be taught on a visual basis with your instructor demonstrating each step. Your instructor will attempt to use the English she knows to explain verbally as well, but the packets of instructions are in English and should compensate for any inability to communicate with your instructor. If you find that you do need more help, there are office workers who speak English and can help with any tricky parts. The majority of students do not find the language barrier an issue and enjoy connecting with someone from another culture.
3. Can I take more than three days of classes?
No, the CTTC does not offer more than three days of classes in any given course out of respect for the weavers. This knowledge is their cultural patrimony and heritage. They choose to share it with you out of a desire that more people should come to respect Cusqueñan textiles, and a belief that one of the best ways to foster this respect is to teach the very basics of techniques and designs. If you would like to learn more about the intellectual rights of indigenous peoples, we suggest the book Who Owns Native Culture? by Michael F. Brown.
4. Do I have to take the full three days of the course or can I take just one day or just two days of classes?
Yes, you may take either one, two or three days of class in any given course except the knitting course. Many students take just one day of the spinning, weaving or sling braiding course and find it sufficient for their needs. We only offer, however, the full three days of the knitting course and you must already be an andvanced knitter to sign up for this course.
5. I can’t dedicate a full day to taking classes, can I take half a day of classes?
No, due to logistics the CTTC does not offer half-day classes. The minimum is one full day of classes, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:30pm. For the same reason, you cannot split up a full day class into two days of half-day clases, in case you attend only a few hours the cost to be paid will be full day.
6. Do I have to schedule my classes back to back or can I take a day off in-between them?
Yes, you may schedule your classes any way you wish to fit your travel itinerary while in Cusco. You can take your classes back to back, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for example, or split them up, Monday, Wednesday and Friday for example. You may take some classes one week, and more classes the next week.
7. I’m a total beginner and have never spun, woven, knitted or braided anything before. Are these classes for me?
Yes! Even if you have no previous experience at all with any kind of spinning, weaving, or braiding technique, these classes are for you. Don’t worry about coming in with no previous experience, this is what we are here for! The only class that we require previous experience in is the knitting course. To take this class you must already be an advanced knitter.
8. I’m an accomplished weaver. Could I start at a more advanced level in my classes?
Backstrap weaving is very different from other styles of weaving. Even if you are an experienced weaver in other techniques, this does not necessarily lend itself easily to the backstrap loom. We suggest that if you have never woven specifically with the backstrap loom in the double-sided technique of the Cusco region that you still start at the basics.
9. ¿My child would like to learn to spin / weave / knit / braid, are these classes appropriate for children?
Yes, these classes are appropriate for children. Most weavers begin learning to spin and weave when they are around 8 years old, sometimes younger. You will know best, however, if a day long class 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:30pm. will be too much for your child.
10. How do I reserve a class? How do I sign up for a class?
Please sign up for your class on-line by filling out the Class Sign-Up Form. You reserve your class for the dates you choose on the form. If you are already in Cusco, you can sign up for our classes in our store on Av. Sol 603.
11. How far in advance must I sign up for my class?
You must sign-up for your class at least 1 week in advance.
12. When do I pay for my class?
The CTTC receives payment for classes in the store on Av. Sol 603, Cusco. You must pay for your class at least two days in advance in the store. We accept Visa and Mastercard, or you can pay in cash in either Peruvian Soles or US dollars.
13. Do you offer student discounts?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount to enrolled students. Please present your student ID when you pay.
14. Do you offer discounts for large groups?
Yes, we offer discounted packages for large groups. Please contact us if you are interested in signing up a group for classes.
15. How do I find the CTTC once I am in Cusco?
It is very easy to find us, we’re located on Av. Sol 603, the very first building after the green yard of Qorikancha. Qorikancha is the imposing Inca temple of the sun that has a large expanse of green grass and ruins along Av. Sol, the church of Santo Domingo was built on the Qorikancha during the Spanish invasion.