Julian and Ramon Castillo are two extraordinary weavers from Paccho Molino, a small town in Huancavelica.
Their father was a weaver that at the age of sixteen learned with a neighbor to weave traditional field products such as puyu, capapuyu, dishcloth and light cloth. Thanks to his skill, he built his own looms, and one for each of us so that we could earn our living.
While we were teenagers, we worked at Celestino’s workshop, and he taught us to weave the scarves, shawls and blankets that Allpa asked him to make. We worked with him for five years and learned to level the looms and weave in ways other than the traditional one.
We came to know Allpa directly when we were asked to weave for a very large customer in the United States. We went to Lima to train in Allpa’s experimental workshop and learned to weave rugs; something we had never done before. We had never been to Lima and were impressed by the heat, the noise, the jams.
Rug orders allowed us to employ not only weavers, but also our wives, who washed and prepared the loom materials and made coils for the weaving process. Once the rug is finished, the product goes back to the women who apply the finishes. We take care of quality control and ship the order to Allpa.
Textiles are ultimately pure math: when you are wrong on a number, the textile itself tells you, so you have to go back and change the numbers. We were not as careful before, because our clients did not demand us to watch weights and measurements.
“We are proud of our work and of working for our people.”
They joined Allpa in 2010 as a challenge to grow and we have seen how this has become a reality. Now they own an important workshop which provides permanent jobs to a big number of members of his families. Women and men work together building looms, weaving, embellishing our textiles and always interested in creating new products for our clients. They are a proof of how entrepreneurial artisans can be when given the opportunity.