More than 6000 years ago, Peru’s first inhabitants managed to domesticate alpacas and llamas. Assured of food and clothing, they advanced from nomadic hunters to herdsmen who founded important cultures. Alpaca and cotton provided the Ancient Peruvians with the inspiration to become the world’s greatest weavers.
Peru also has a millennial tradition of growing and perfecting cotton. Cultivation of the indigenous cotton species was the backbone of the development of the pre-Columbian coastal cultures of the Norte Chico, Moche, and others. The Incas also harvested cotton and used it for both practical reasons and artistic purposes. Their cotton weaving techniques and the quality of their textiles impressed even the Spanish Conquistadores.