Peru: Quechua; wool and alpaca

Encased in a hand-dyed, hand-woven wool and alpaca fabric from the Quechua people of the Peruvian Andes, our newest One Musubi release is the story of a proud people and their unbroken, centuries-old culture.

A tribe, a village, a family, a people

For the Quechua people of Peru, high up in the Andes Mountains, the weaving of their signature Chinchero fabric is not merely a functional art. Each piece, painstakingly dyed and woven by hand over the course of weeks if not months, carries the markings of tribe, village, family and weaver, establishing the story of an unbroken lineage traceable back to the Incas of ancient Peru.

Weavers learn their family's pallay, or symbols, by imitating the weaving of their parents and grandparents from a young age, slowly building up their own signature over many years of laborious repetition. The end result: a pattern utterly unique from artisan to artisan, infused with the love of their family and the pride of a people.

Respecting culture, ensuring sustainability

In order to make bookbindery possible with a fabric that is more traditionally designed for skirts and shawls, the atelier has partnered with a coalition of weaving communities near Pisac, high up in the Peruvian Andes. Together, we've worked to scale the patterns into an exclusive size woven especially for Musubi: one that both fits the dimensions required for bookbindery but also ensures that tribal and familial patterns are accurately reflected across the final work in a culturally-sound manner.

By working with local activists in Peru who function as our liaisons with our community of artisans, we bypass the usual fabric brokers who would otherwise keep the majority of the money paid by outside buyers for Quechua weaving — thus ensuring that the indigenous peoples we partner with receive the maximum amount possible for their work.

Supporting communities, building understanding

Through its One Musubi initiative, the atelier reaches out to disadvantaged communities around the world threatened by everything from climate change to economic non-viability and even political and cultural discrimination.

Working closely with local partners, the atelier uses its global reach to give these artisans access to a wider market than they could achieve on their own. By compensating fairly for work we provide artisans and their families with much-needed financial support and empowerment; by providing the proper respect and context for these crafts we raise awareness of these communities' proud histories and the difficulties they face in trying to preserve their way of life.

Socially conscious craftsmanship

Every Musubi journal is handbound in Singapore by a team of artisans with physical and intellectual disabilities. Your purchase funds employment opportunities for these talented individuals.

Your support also helps provide economic viability for the work of traditional Peruvian artisans. By finding modern uses for traditional arts, the atelier assists in ensuring that these techniques are not lost to time.

Unique materials, meticulously sourced

Our special edition journals feature unique fabric and paper from around the world, showcasing the breadth and depth of human ingenuity and high technology.

Each batch is made in small quantities limited by the amount of cloth available to the atelier, and as such may be difficult to restock once the production run is over.

Gift packaging included

Every diary comes ready to gift, packaged in a Musubi box with a certificate hand-signed by our team of artisans with disabilities. The certificate doubles as a bookmark and has a grid guide sheet printed on its reverse side.