The Manuelas are alpaca farmers who live in the high Andean region of southern Peru.

Highlands from distant horizons to over 4000 metres high, where the cold and pure air blows and where they raise their endearing alpacas.

Master knitters, they craft textiles by hand with love and precision, using the pure and natural alpaca wool from their own animals. A luxurious fiber, which is spun manually and dyed with local flora and which gives birth to extraordinary pieces that accompany you for life.

Las Manuelas Art Series: HuskMitNavn x Flora Hualpa


Las Manuelas Project

It all started in Paris in 2012. 

Alicia Villanueva, then Production Manager at Peruvian NGO Movimiento Manuela Ramos met Isabel Berz, then Head of Research Center at IED. The immediate connection and the common desire to rethink the existing processes of international cooperation inspired the start of a progressive research project: Las Manuelas.

Driven by the needs and dreams of a group of female alpaca farmers from a remote high Andean area, the project aims to explore other ways of doing things in the fields of art, design and fashion. And experience different possibilities of respectful, collective and exciting creation, elaboration and communication.

This is how the idea of developing a modality of collective creation, sustainable production and inclusive communication emerged. A radical dimension to promote the encounter and horizontal collaboration between the Peruvian alpaca artisans with artists, designers, art directors, curators and creative minds from all over the world.

Las Manuelas Project is a hybrid space, open and permeable, and a creative community without barriers, thanks to the collaboration of many people and institutions that have joined our journey. A collective commitment to preserve and honor, connect and experiment, discover and transcend the boundaries of disciplines: crafts, art, design, research, and cooperation.



Important, our values!

EMPOWERMENT The ultimate goal of the Las Manuelas initiative is to empower women living in the remote highlands of southern Peru; alpaca farmers and artisans who own between 30 and 300 animals, each of them, and have learned to transform their precious wool into extraordinary textile pieces. PROMOTION OF BIODIVERSITY A digital database provides information on the availability of wool in real time. This system respects the natural cycle of alpaca wool, avoiding any type of alteration in the processes and times of the respectful breeding of alpacas. NATURAL MATERIALS The women use only 100% natural alpaca wool from their own animals. The fiber is spun by hand and hand-dyed with the local flora. Sometimes we introduce external dyes like indigo and cochineal so women can get to know and experiment with other colors. TRACEABILITY Each piece is made by one woman, from the care of the alpacas, shearing, spinning and dyeing, to the final knitting of the product. A transparent process traceable to the animal. This in itself is exceptional! CONNECTION The digital platform allows the direct connection between the artisans and the artists who are at great distances, avoiding having to invest in travel. The digital platform has been proposed as an attractive and easy-to-use tool for both, the creatives and the artisans. INCLUSIVITY The Co-Design Platform offers a co-creation system so that artisans can intervene in the design process and contribute with their stamp. Each woman impregnates each piece with a piece of her soul, telling a very unique story. This is a key value of the Las Manuelas Project! EQUALITY The Co-Design methodology eliminates the hierarchy that traditionally exists between designers and producers: the platform recreates the original craft design process, going point by point, exactly as the artisans knit, point by point. A new dimension of equality has been built that requires the same amount of time for design development as it does for production. SINGULARITY AND PERMANENCE Each piece is unique and timeless, with the idea of ​​remaining in time. Regardless of the seasonal calendar, it is only produced on demand. Its versatility offers the possibility of using it as a fashion or home accessory, or simply as a piece of art hanging on the wall. CIRCULARITY Although our objective is to provoke the concept of durability and longevity, we plan to offer a collection service for all our products and to reuse the material for a new edition: LAS MANUELAS Recycled. All parts are made from a single material, which makes the product highly efficient to recycle. ECONOMY This initiative makes it possible to improve the lives of alpaca women and offer them the opportunity to use their wool instead of selling it, preserve and apply their ancestral skills, gain visibility in the international professional market and have direct access to economic benefits. All profits from the project are used exclusively for the improvement of their working conditions, training in the raising and maintenance of alpacas and to offer support in the education of their children.

Award! We have won the BID Prize, at the Ibero-American Design Biennial 20.

Meet our community!

Artisans: Herminia Perca Calizaya, Flora Calisaya Castillo, Gladys Sosa Condori, Vilma Freisa Juli Tacora, Ruth Fany Huancapaza, Norma Vilca de Chacez, Flora Huallpa Ventura, Hilaria J. Mucho Gutierrez, Alicia Calisaya Castillo, Patricia Perca Calisaya and Hugo Sosa Condori Artists: Irene Alonso, Carmen Delgado, Rosa Rubio, Gonzalo Fonseca, Raul Marina, Lidia Muro, Blanca Gómara, Cristian Quijorna, Claudia Signori, Helena Juara, John Eccles, Julen Linde, Manuela González, María de Zavala, Tíscar Espadas, Víctor Gosálvez, Lakwena, Solomostry, SatOne, Seikon, Zebu, HuskMitNavn, Broken Fingaz, Bicicleta Sem Freio, L’Atlas, Revok, Reka One, Adoración Beltran Velasquez, Jacobo Cobian Sanchez, Andrea Carrera Gonzalez, Javier Lasarte, Naia Escribano, Polina Bychkova, Daria Denzel, Sofia Makeeva, Maria Mamaj, Sofia Yurchenko Collaborators: Alex Carrasco, Pedro Medina, Javier Biosca, Aitor Baigorri, Lorena Prain, Gonzalo Fonseca, Andrea Zaragoza, Margot Matesanz, Brais Vilasó, Virgili Jubero, Veronica Galvez, Silvie Pourrat, Yukiko Yusawa, Claudia Signori, Sonia Caliani, Blanca Gomara, Yung Fu, David Lapof, Jacopo Manganiello, Carla Nuñez, Andrea Sanchez, Deneb Martin, Pedro Maia, Carmen Collado, Susana Zaldivar, Libe Mancisidor, Pablo Jarauta, Federico Antelo, Prof. Alexander Lavrentiev, Ekaterina Poliakova, Olga Sukhomlinova, Anastasia Keltsyna, Sofia Krasnaya, Olga Myelkova, Andrea Pozzi, Fernando Ochoa, Carmen Collado, Patricia Lallana, Alice Zainoun, Giovanni Ottonello. Co-founding partners: Movimiento Manuela Ramos Peru and Economists Without Borders Spain and their amazing teams: Alicia Villanueva y Veronica Galvez, MMR, Luisi Eba Armendáriz Echániz y Ma Luisa Gil Payno, ESF Institutions: IED Istituto Europeo di Design, Première Classe Paris, MAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Lima / Peru Design Net, Concento Japan, Bienal de Diseño Iberoamericana, Fashinnovation Worldwide Talks, Circular Sustainable Fashion Week Madrid, World Hope Forum, Vein Magazine.

And we keep walking …

Group of artisans from Las Manuelas walking in the Peruvian highlands

Las Manuelas Project continues!

Thanks to the passion and commitment of the three partners: Isabel Berz, Co-founder and Creative Director.  Madrid, España • Nelida Cruz Choque, Coordinator of production.  Puno, Perú • Herminia Perca Calizaya, President of the artisan collective.  Conduriri, Perú

Pay attention to our latest series:

LAS MANUELAS ART SERIES, a unique project carried out in collaboration with 11 international artists. Curated by David Lapof.

 The Manuelas with the scarves that they have knitted for Art SeriesLas Manuelas Art Series



Now available at ADORNO, our new ally for communication and distribution in the international market.

Thanks to IED, its human team and its students, for making the project grow.

We love to welcome you to our community, join us on Instagram: las.manuelas

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