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Here at Picchu + Bold we use the word “frazada” a lot. So what does it mean?
“Frazada” literally means “blanket” in Spanish. Traditionally Peruvian Frazadas were created by the Quechua people to protect against the frigid temperatures of the Andean highlands. In modern décor and design, they have endless uses. Each is handmade using centuries old flat weaving techniques that date back to Pre-Inca times.
The traditional process is laborious. Generally, Quechua women weave Frazadas and just one Frazada takes them 4-6 weeks to create. It starts by shearing the highland sheep or alpaca and naturally washing the wool fiber. After carding, the fiber is then hand-spun. The Quechua people gather plants, bark, fruits, insects, and roots to boil in terra-cotta clay pots to begin the natural dyeing process. Once dyed, the fibers are ready for weaving on a back-strap loom. The back-strap loom used today has not changed much since the time of the Incas. It's a contraption that loops around the back of the weaver herself while she's seated on the ground to achieve the right tension. The other end is typically tied to a tree or post. From beginning to end, it's a human process.
The completed weave is done twice the length of a completed Frazada. The weave is cut in half and hand-sewn together in the middle with a whipstitch. The flat weaving technique also makes them reversible similar to kilim rugs.
Frazadas are vibrant, luxuriously thick, and durable - yet soft. Colors + design reflect the uniqueness of each artisan weaver, ensuring no two are alike. To hold one is to literally hold the traditions of the ancient world.