The Alpaca Blankets in our shop are hand-crafted in a small indigenous village known as Peguche. It is located in the northern part of Ecuador. We're proud to partner with two groups of makers, headed by husband and wife due Estela & Hector and Fabian and his team.
Starting from the top, production begins with the material. A blend of 40% alpaca & 60% synthetic fibers are what makes up each blanket. The material is sourced from the highlands of Peru where local shepherds shear their alpaca and spin it into yarn before it is blended with synthetic fibers. Each batch of alpaca blend is colored with plant based dyes. Once the fibers are dyed, they are ready for production.
The dyed alpaca blend is sorted by color upon arrival. Colors are arranged and organized before they are loaded on a wooden loom. The weaving process can take several days to be completed before the weaving is placed on a machine that brushes the material repeatedly to loosen the fibers. Next, an artisan continues to brush and also irons the blanket over and over again. This technique is what gives each blanket a luxuriously soft feeling. By the time the blanket is complete, it's been worked on by 8 different artisans and taken a week to produce from raw material to finished product.
Estela, Hector and Fabian are proud to employ over 20 individuals from their village. The majority of employment opportunities in Peguche are limited and mostly come from the construction industry. The workshops have enabled many families to have a dependable income. It also funds education for the children of the employees.
We're proud to support our makers by funding improvement projects for the workshops and the people that fill them.