Mestana cloths are wonderful woven expressions of the Peruvian Andean weavers' worldview. Because many traditional weavers believe that all of creation is imbued with spirit, the patterns they weave into their textile goods also express this natural energy and spirit. A mestana cloth, (also sometimes mastana) is a hand woven cloth which has both practical and esoteric purposes. These cloths are typically used to carry belongings, infants, and food. Because of recent publications about the weaving methods of native Peruvians and Bolivians, we now know more about how the textiles are made, usually from native fibers such as alpaca, sheep and llama wool; how the wool is spun into thread and yarn; how the yarn is wound, skeined, plied and dyed, some with natural colors, or synthetic colors or both. The various types of weaving looms used in making textile articles is another whole topic of study in and of itself, as are the weaving techniques, such as the complementary warp technique which produces a piece which is identical on its front and back sides, except for the delightful color reversal of the pattern. There is also a body of knowledge being developed as to how the skill of weaving and knowledge of patterns is passed on from generation to generation. More here on our blog: Mestana Weavings of Peru.