The Peruvian Collection is now available to view and purchase from our Fittleworth, Cheltenham, or Walton-On-Thames showrooms.
Bringing together artisan makers from opposite sides of the world in a celebration of textiles, craft, and heritage
The Sofas & Stuff Peruvian Collection is an extremely special, limited-edition of 60 unique chairs and footstools, featuring hand-dyed and handwoven textiles created by the spinners and weavers of the Centre for Traditional Textiles, Cusco, Peru. Handmade here in Nottingham by skilled furniture makers and upholsterers, the furniture showcases the very best in craftsmanship from opposite sides of the world.
The collection features cloth from seven weaving communities from the Cusco region, each with their own distinctive traditions, techniques and colours. The production process, from field to fabric is lengthy; the most time-consuming and complex part being the fibre preparation and spinning, which takes place over many days. In total, it takes around 64 hours, or eight days work to create a metre of cloth. The entire order of 720 metres was woven by 200 artisans over six months. Eight chairs and five footstool designs have been chosen from Sofas & Stuff’s range of bespoke furniture to showcase these remarkable textiles.
A unique collaboration
During the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Andrew Cussins, Founder and CEO of Sofas & Stuff, drew inspiration from past editions of textile and cloth magazine, Selvedge. With the desire to explore connections with artisans who could make unique fabrics suitable for high-end upholstery, Andrew approached the editor, Polly Leonard. Presented with a range of interesting options, samples from a community of weavers, high in the Andean mountains particularly caught his attention.
Polly enabled an introduction to be made with the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco and its director Nilda Alvarez Callañaupa, and an exciting partnership followed when Andrew submitted an initial order for 360m of cloth to be woven - no mean feat for a textile that is created from hand spun and naturally dyed fibres by many different weaving communities, often far away from each other. The order came at a crucial time for the communities, who were severely hit by the pandemic and the shutting down of Peru’s tourism industry, bringing a measure of financial security during very difficult times.
Located in the heart of Cusco, the ancient capital city of the Inca empire, the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) acts as a bridge between past and present Peruvian cultural identity. Its origins lie in the 1970s when a group of Quechua women weavers from the community of Chinchero started to gather together to revive textile traditions and earn an independent income through the sale of their textiles in the growing tourist market. The CTTC is proactively preserving and reviving spinning and weaving techniques through its research, demonstrations, and teaching workshops. Traditional natural dyeing techniques have been reintroduced into local practice, with weavers learning how various fibres respond to different dyes from flowers, leaves and other natural materials and long-forgotten designs are being woven again.
The importance of heritage crafts
This unique collaboration with the Cusco weavers reflects the importance Sofas & Stuff places on the value of craft heritage, be it rooted in Britain or, as in this exceptional case, in communities far from these shores, and our commitment to creating furniture with substance and a narrative that takes account of the provenance of materials, the sustainability of different processes involved, and the transmission of valuable skills into the future.