In the Aymaras textiles, the complexity and sophistication are amazing if you consider that it were of common knowledge. The knitted fabric are the feminine universe and the braided the masculine one. The technical details and symbolical richness that the fabrics and braides contain were a consecuence from the cattle-Andean thousand year experience and the use given to wool.
Textile elaboration technics are transmited from fathers to sons through generations.
The animal shaped figures and geometrical signs are used by Aymara women in their dresses.
Their are plenty of camelidos, vizcachas, suris and taguas, vegetable and geometrical motives, like the spiral or the double spiral that refers to their mysthical being and the world vision of their culture.
Their textiles do not only play a useful function but also for monetary exchange.
In the coloring predominate their animal natural colours: brown, grey, white and black. To obtain a variety of colours, they used, since antiquity, plants and minerals to dye their wool. The dying technics are natural, allowing firmness in its colours. Nowdays these technics are almost obsolete, being replazed by industrial anilines from Bolivia.
The confection of textiles works with tedious and complex technics. The elaboration process begins obtaining the animal´s hair (Tarwa) by shearing animals (Alpacas, Llamas and sheep) that is maked with knifes or tinplate pieces. Finnally they select the fiber according to its type, quality and colours.