Peruvian Dyes

As some of you may have heard, my father recently got back from a trip to Peru (& the Galapagos Islands!). While on that trip, he visited some local craft markets, so he brought some fun things back for me. He also took a few pictures, and sent me copies, so I have scanned a few of those in to share with you as well!

As I understand it, the market sold to local artisans as well as to tourists. These ladies are selling the various dye powders that they use to dye wools.

In addition to the market itself, there were women demonstrating dyeing and weaving. Here's some yarn being dyed:

And some finished yarn:
I'm not certain, but it may be displayed with the flowers that were used to dye it. My father's understanding was that the dyes being used were all natural (which makes sense, assuming they were practicing their crafts in a traditional way, I guess!).

These women appear to be winding a warp for their looms:

In the background here you can see some women weaving:
I think those are backstrap looms, although I confess I don't know much about them so I could have the terminology wrong!

As for what I got, there are 3 balls of yarn:
My dad was under the impression that they might be alpaca, but it feels like there's some wool content in there to me. Possibly a blend? The green is closer to laceweight, the other 2 are fingering weight.

And there was a sampler pack of dyes:
The labels on them give the colour and (I think) what it's made of, in Spanish of course. My elementary Spanish plus the help of some friends has translated most of it, but I'm still not 100% confident about what they all are. Several of them are just labeled "mineral" and I think one is labeled "plant"!

I've been hunting on Ravelry to see if anyone knows anything about them, but so far I haven't found anyone. I'm thinking if I don't hear anything soon, I'll just have to experiment for myself. I'm hoping that if I mordant some yarn with alum, most of the dyes will work well. We shall see! I promise to keep you posted. :-)


Ann-Marie said…
Oh wow, what an awesome gift!
Now the question is, are you going to use them all up, or keep some as a memento?
Oh, fabulous. <3 The photos are wonderful, and oo, the dyes to try out!