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What is Cross-Knit Looping?

This is a Andean textile technique that permits the creation of volumetric figures which was the result of the evolving process of the weaving techniques of the Paracas culture (700 – 100 AD) settled in the central-southern coast of what is today Perú.

(tomada del libro Awakhuni)

(tomada del libro Awakhuni)

Nevertheless, it is during the first period of the development of the Nazca culture (100 AD – 700 BC), also settled in the central-southern coast of what is today Peru, when this textile technique gains importance. It was used to make the finishes of textiles, weaving small three-dimensional figures.

(fotografía de Isabel Martínez)

(fotografía de Isabel Martínez)

Soledad Hoces de la Guardia and Paulina Brugnoli have defined this technique in the following manner: “Tubular Cross-Knit Looping: a structure that utilizes an element that is interlaced with itself, generating a loop and a cross that repeats itself horizontally. Each row of loops attaches itself to the previous loop. If a row is closed in a circle, a tubular structure can be formed.”

(detalle tomado del libro Early Nasca Needlwork)

(detalle tomado del libro Early Nasca Needlwork)

Beyond the embroidery, the Nazca weavers used the cross-knit looping technique to embellish the borders of important textiles. The cross-knit looping textile technique is related to both, the simple linking and the cross stitch, and it is a technique used to cover a fiber or the heart of a textile. The thread is passed with a needle around the cross of the top row, attaching itself occasionally to the base weaving, and creating a surface of vertical chains or braids.

The cross-knit looping technique is found in an ample range of forms, form flat tabs of a ingle color attached to the border of a textile, to three-dimensional figures in the border of textiles. The figures include birds, beans, fish, flowers and humans that frequently have canes or fans. These figures are complex and were formed with pre-fabricated components.

(tomado del libro Early Nasca Needlwork)

(tomado del libro Early Nasca Needlwork)


Reference literature:

HOCES DE LA GUARDIA S. – BRUGNOLI P. 2006. PARAKAS: Bordando los colores del tiempo en el desierto. En: Awakhuni. Tejiendo la Historia Andina. Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago, pp. 28-35.

HOCES DE LA GUARDIA S. – BRUGNOLI P. 2006. NASCA: Fertilidad y exhuberancia. En: Awakhuni. Tejiendo la Historia Andina. Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago, pp. 36-43.

SAWYER A. 1997. Early Nasca Needlwork. Laurence King Publishing, Londo.

1 Comment

  1. Jean Perret

    I would love to incorporate this cross stitch loop with bead weaving, perhaps by itself as a border for bracelet. Is that possible?

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