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Bedrooms Ethnic Rugs

Bedrooms are the most personal space in the house. It is important that we feel very comfortable in it and that it transmits pleasant sensations.

We love bedrooms that reflect the personality of those who live in them, we don’t like them to look like impersonal hotels.

Textiles play an essential role in giving warmth to a space. You can mix textures and colors until you find the perfect formula.

If we want to give a fresh and bright air to the bedroom, we can put linen curtains, paint the walls white, dress the bed also in white and give it a touch of color with our ethnic cushions. Placing a plaid at the foot of the bed will help make the room more joyful and comfortable.

Did you know that ethnic rugs are originally blankets? Place them as such or at the foot of the bed as a plaid. They are pleasant to the touch (important if you lean on the bed when dressing) and very durable. This way you can rest your feet or even your suitcase without worrying. It looks spectacular, especially when the bed is dressed in white and the ethnic rug takes center stage!

You can put a full carpet covering a large part of the bed as in this case.

Or use an ethnic runner rug, which would be half an ethnic rug, at the feet.

Can you imagine an even more special piece that will revolutionize your bedroom by becoming the star piece? We make ethnic headboards to measure and they look spectacular.

We have two types, which cover the entire surface of the headboard, like the one in the image:

Or headboards with over-webbing, upholstered in a neutral or colored fabric that highlights the loom, and the loom overlay, sewn on top. A very original headboard that gives us a lot of freedom in the dimensions and allows us to show off the perimeter of ethnic rugs!

We invite you to keep getting inspired to design the bedroom of your dreams, you will find more photos on Pinterest and if you want us to help you, we are at your disposal via WhatsApp on 674967778.

In Search of Ethnic Rugs

Discover the origin of the Ethnic Carpets and join me in search of the most spectacular handmade looms.

With this video, we want to spread and recognize what is behind a cushion of bright colors or a bench upholstered with our fabrics, we seek to convey in images the “handmade” that we repeat every time you ask us about the products of Alfombras Étnicas.

Meet a family of artisans who live in an isolated house, more than 4,500 meters above sea level, where most of us find it hard to breathe. There, high in the Andes, there are families who pass on the art of weaving from generation to generation and, inspired by nature, make the wonderful looms we work with and call Ethnic Carpets.

Each of the looms I choose personally and I see in them the talent and emotions with which it is woven. I also try to interpret the stories they tell, because each of the Ethnic Carpets is unique and unrepeatable.

I hope you enjoy joining me on this journey in the Peruvian Andean Altiplano.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Solidarity Nativity Scenes

Christmas is a time for good wishes and in Alfombras Étnicas we go a step further and bet on good deeds with the launch of a collection of solidarity nativity scenes. It is a collection of 5 models of clay nativity scenes that you can buy on our website. 100% of the profits generated from its sale will be donated to the Prodeín Foundation for the renovation of two soup kitchens.

Here you can see the solidarity cribs of ethnic carpets. They are clay nativity scenes, in the following video you can put a face to the artisan who makes them and learn about his exceptional work.

Returning to the social work, we can tell you that one of the canteens that we will refurbish with the sale of the cribs is in Pomacanchi, where the students of the Didascalio San José Obrero school have breakfast and lunch daily and free of charge, students who walk to school from their homes, which are generally isolated at high altitudes and can make daily journeys of up to two hours.

The other dining room is in Cuzco and is used by the school’s most vulnerable children and young people, who cannot buy lunch at the school’s kiosk. Also students from a trade school and, after hours, homeless and vagrants.

With this initiative we jointly help you, with the purchase of the cribs, and Alfombras Étnicas with our work, with which we seek to continue improving the living conditions and visibility  of one of the most exceptional areas of the world, the Andean Altiplano.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Peru, textile wealth

We share a very interesting video about Peruvian textiles, their wonderful colors and careful workmanship. In this video you can learn, among other things, a little more about the process of creating the Ethnic Carpets, their origin and the great significance of this work.

The wool of sheep, llama or alpaca, animals that they raise themselves, is dyed by hand with natural pigments. The reddish colors are very common because they are extracted from the cochineal, an insect very common in the pencas that abound in the high Andes of Peru.

This video also shows the looms with which the Peruvian rugs or frazadas are made, how they tie them at one end to a stick and at the other to their waists and gradually weave the rugs. These looms are not very wide because the arms do not reach more than 80-100cm approximately and because they need to be carried from side to side. They weave at home but also in the field while tending the herd.

But the part I like the most in the video is where they explain the designs and what they mean to them with great enthusiasm. How small details and colors are symbols of identity of different peoples. The ethnic carpets or blankets tell stories, they dedicate many hours of work and the artisans put their souls into it. A symbol or an irregularity is not there by chance or by mistake. They are all unique ethnic rugs, rugs with soul!

I end by underlining how impressed and how I admire how proud Peruvians are of their culture and how young people strive to learn and transmit it. No wonder, Peruvian handicrafts are wonderful, from them come out authentic jewels!

Natural dyes

Ethnic rugs are woven with wool dyed with natural pigments of vegetable or animal origin. Obtaining different shades to dye wool is an ancestral art, a wisdom that requires a deep knowledge of the environment and that is not achieved in one generation. It is the merit of a culture, of a history transmitted from parents to children and enriched over the years.

wool dyed with natural pigments

The leaf of the cinnamon, peach or mint, the flower of the tea leaf, the wattle (similar to moss), the bark of the radal, the peel of the purple onion, the root of the relbún, the blueberries in fruit, the branch and leaf of the Chilco… All these leaves, flowers, futas and lichens and many others that we have not named are the raw material to give color to sheep, llama or alpaka wool. These colorful wools will be woven into warm blankets, ethnic rugs, aguayos, skirts, ponchos…

The person skilled in extracting the color pigments is the “kelutufe domo”. She is very close to nature and is in charge of collecting species, often with the help of her family. These are boiled for an hour or more in water, in an iron pot on the fire, to extract their color. In this dyed water the wool is immersed and mordants are added, such as vinegar, kitchen salt, alum stone and some sulfates, to fix the color. The wool should be boiled for at least 15 minutes and if the color is to be more intense, it should be left longer or even let the wool stand in the water for a whole day.

woman obtaining natural dyes

An interesting point is that you can try to get the same color, but being such a natural process it is practically impossible to replicate, even if the person trying to do it is an expert.

In each area, depending on the plant variety, certain tones will predominate. The colors of Peru and Bolivia are influenced by the presence of a parasite that lives in prickly pear cactus, a type of cactus that is very common in hot climates. From the cochineal, the colorant usually called “carmine” and internationally known as “natural red colorant number 4” is extracted.

natural dyes cochineal carmin

The Atacama Desert

The last trip we have made in search of Ethnic Carpets has been to the driest desert in the world: the Atacama Desert. It is in the north of Chile, bordering Bolivia and is two hours by plane from Santiago to Calama plus one hour by car.

We traveled as a family in September and we were fascinated and also very impressed by the aridity and its extreme landscapes.

Traveling with two children of three and four years old to this destination is a bit complicated, as the temperatures are drastic, there are some excursions that are not recommended for children because they are over 5000 meters high, to see the different areas of interest you have to spend time in the car and outside the hotel oasis is a little hard to enjoy when there is no activity.

Atacama Desert children

Apart from this, we loved the desert experience. We rented an all-terrain vehicle and made wonderful excursions on our own.

The Atacama Salt Flat is an extensive salt lake, rough and very white. There are several lagoons, we visited the Céjar Lagoon, where we bathed and could see how we floated thanks to the salt. To preserve this lagoon it is forbidden to use sunscreen and the radiation is very high. Best not to dawdle too much! The children were delighted and I still can’t get it into my head that they can survive in such an environment.

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In theChaxa Lagoon we were able to see flamingos up close, some flying above us, and a spectacular landscape, as the white of the salt flat contrasted with the turquoise of its waters and the salmon spots of the flamingos.

Flamingos in the desert

The Valley of the Moon is a formation of stone and sand that is very close to the town of San Pedro de Atacama, and has the most impressive views and light I have ever seen. It’s like being on another planet! We went in the afternoon, so we could enjoy the sunset and did two excursions.

We entered Las Cuevas de Sal, dark brown stone caves with a relief similar to Flake chocolate and a lot of depth. To access these caves it is mandatory to carry a flashlight, we relied on the cell phones that we lent to the children and…. they were flying because where we were crouching or squatting they ran, leaving us in the dark. A very adrenaline-filled excursion, which if we had known what it was we might not have done it!

Salt Caves, Death Valley

We also hiked up to the Sand Dunes located in the north of the park. Another challenge with kids, climbing a sand mountain in the desert is not as easy as it looks! Once at the top, the scenery is like being on Mars – spectacular!

Moon Valley sand dunes

The Puritama hot springs are on the way to the Tatío Geysers (where, due to the age of the children and its 4200 meters of altitude, we were advised not to go), at 3,500 meters above sea level. They are located in a valley and are very well prepared. There are about 8 pools, the higher up, the warmer the water.

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Sergio took advantage of the evening to escape on an organized excursion to see the stars. These excursions leave the village, take the group to a secluded place with telescopes and an astronomer explains the stars to them. He came back fascinated!

Stars of Chile

This week we have enjoyed the largest moon in the last seventy years. I think it is a good time to talk about the sky of Chile, the sky where you can see the best stars in the world.

skies of chile

Did you know that one third of all the telescopes in the world are in Chile? The country where I live, Chile, has positioned itself as a pole of astronomy, because the north of Chile has the skies with the best conditions to see the stars and planets, places not contaminated by artificial light and far from dust sources, the main enemies of astronomy.

The best places to see the stars are:

  1. San Pedro de Atacama, in northern Chile, near the border with Bolivia. A magical place to see the stars in the middle of the desert! In this area, specifically in the Chajnantor valley, the ALMA project is being developed, a giant observatory with 50 antennas, each 12 m in diameter. In addition to seeing this observatory from the town of San Pedro de Atacama there are night excursions, they are quite well organized and have material to observe the stars.
  2. La Serena: In the Coquimbo region, in the Elqui Valley, a 4-hour drive north of Santiago, two tourist observatories have been installed. 25 Km away is
    Mayu Mountain
    and the
    Serena Observatory
    The Cerro Mayu Observatory, owned by the German astronomer Silvia Müllner, with which you can practice astrophotography. www.observatoryserena.com Also in this area, but with a more professional approach, we find at 2400 meters above sea level the La Silla Observatory, managed by ESO (European Southern Observatory), which has the most advanced means to study the universe.
  3. Vicuña: This is the pole par excellence of astronomical tourism and its authorities have been striving to make it so with measures such as the restriction of public lighting to reduce light pollution and preserve the sky resource since 1995. The main stage for star gazing is the famous
    Mamalluca Observatory
    ,

From my astronomical ignorance I was surprised to see that the telescopes are automated, you can type in the name of the star you are interested in looking for and the telescope locates and focuses it!