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April 30, 2011

Greetings from Peru! I'm in Lima reporting from the showroom floors of the National Gift Show and Peru Moda, a fashion tradeshow, taking place April 27th to 30th. An estimated 5,000 people come to the Gift Show, now in its 13th year, to spy the handcrafted wares from the Andean highlands to the coastal cities and everywhere in between. The designs at the Gift Show were 100% Peruvian made down to the cotton fibers in the textiles, the alpaca wool woven into rugs, the woods carved into ornaments and trinkets, and the natural dyes that saturate everything with bright hues. In this slideshow, have a look at some of the objects that caught my eye. Most were traditional handicrafts—quite wonderful and a real treat to see—though my favorites were the contemprary upcycled designs of Nuna Lab and Geldres Design.

Miniature ornaments such as these were on display throughout the show. Though small in size (no larger than your thumb), these trinkets were among my favorites at the fair.
Miniature ornaments such as these were on display throughout the show. Though small in size (no larger than your thumb), these trinkets were among my favorites at the fair.
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Most of the 5,000 people attending the fair were buyers representing countries and companies from all around the world.
Most of the 5,000 people attending the fair were buyers representing countries and companies from all around the world.
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<a href="http://nunalab.com/">Nuna Lab</a> had some mighty fine knits, all made from reclaimed and upcycled materials.
Nuna Lab had some mighty fine knits, all made from reclaimed and upcycled materials.
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Scarves by <a href=http://nunalab.com/">Nuna Lab</a> are made from materials leftover from Peru's clothing industry
Scarves by Nuna Lab are made from materials leftover from Peru's clothing industry
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These upcycled pillows by <a href="http://nunalab.com/">Nuna Lab</a> feature remnants of t-shirt material sewn together to form a cushiony, confetti-like surface.
These upcycled pillows by Nuna Lab feature remnants of t-shirt material sewn together to form a cushiony, confetti-like surface.
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These handmade ceramics derive their color from natural red and white clays mixed together on a potter's wheel and are fabricated by the <a href="http://www.perwaq.com/">TAWAQ</a> association of artisans.
These handmade ceramics derive their color from natural red and white clays mixed together on a potter's wheel and are fabricated by the TAWAQ association of artisans.
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These hedgehog-like toys by <a href="http://geldres.com/">Geldres Design</a> are made of reclaimed rubber from tires.
These hedgehog-like toys by Geldres Design are made of reclaimed rubber from tires.
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Also from <a href="http://geldres.com/">Geldres Design</a>: a series of robots carved from cardboard sandwiched together.
Also from Geldres Design: a series of robots carved from cardboard sandwiched together.
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These ornaments are hand-painted with an intricate pattern. I could not believe the painstaking attention to detail present in these objects.
These ornaments are hand-painted with an intricate pattern. I could not believe the painstaking attention to detail present in these objects.
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A playful toy dog by <a href="http://www.mueblescasas.com/">Muebles Casas</a>.
A playful toy dog by Muebles Casas.
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Textiles are a huge part of Peruvian design, especially cotton. Here, the three stages of the material: a cotton bale, long combed strands of raw material, and woven threads. The cotton here was one of the softest materials I've touched, rivalling even ca
Textiles are a huge part of Peruvian design, especially cotton. Here, the three stages of the material: a cotton bale, long combed strands of raw material, and woven threads. The cotton here was one of the softest materials I've touched, rivalling even cashmere.
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Combed cotton fibers are draped over a chair. Very Campana Brothers-esque.
Combed cotton fibers are draped over a chair. Very Campana Brothers-esque.
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Colorful pompoms in all the vibrant colors found throughout the fair.
Colorful pompoms in all the vibrant colors found throughout the fair.
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A trove of yet more vibrantly colored rugs, pillows, and blankets.
A trove of yet more vibrantly colored rugs, pillows, and blankets.
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This boldly colored and patterned rug stood out from the more traditional color combinations in the show.
This boldly colored and patterned rug stood out from the more traditional color combinations in the show.
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A felt bauble necklace, chunky wooden rings, and scintillating silver earrings by <a href="http://joyascontemporaneas.com/">Mariana Sanz</a>.
A felt bauble necklace, chunky wooden rings, and scintillating silver earrings by Mariana Sanz.
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A felt necklace by designer <a href="http://www.vacideerdazimic.blogspot.com/">Vacide Erda Zimic</a>.
A felt necklace by designer Vacide Erda Zimic.
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No, this isn't a supercomputer—it's a row of embroidery machines.
No, this isn't a supercomputer—it's a row of embroidery machines.
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At the fair, a man was busily knitting away on this contraption.
At the fair, a man was busily knitting away on this contraption.
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And another knitting device! The woman on the left turns a crank as the woman on the right feeds in yarn. The tool has a series of plastic "teeth" that somehow work in symphony to create a knitted object. A knitter I am not, but this made me consider taki
And another knitting device! The woman on the left turns a crank as the woman on the right feeds in yarn. The tool has a series of plastic "teeth" that somehow work in symphony to create a knitted object. A knitter I am not, but this made me consider taking up the hobby.
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Here's what's inside a traditional <i>retablos ayacuchanos</i>, folk art objects that depict scenes of everyday life.
Here's what's inside a traditional retablos ayacuchanos, folk art objects that depict scenes of everyday life.
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On view was a Peruvian showhome that combined traditional with contemporary. The designer, Alejandro Rincon Diaz, says he aimed to combine a mixture of rough and finished textures in the pieces he selected for the space.
On view was a Peruvian showhome that combined traditional with contemporary. The designer, Alejandro Rincon Diaz, says he aimed to combine a mixture of rough and finished textures in the pieces he selected for the space.
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This anemone-like lamp in the show home features movable tendrils.
This anemone-like lamp in the show home features movable tendrils.
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A playful take on spools of wool (they're stools) in the section I've dubbed "the homage to the alpaca." Stay tuned for more coverage from Peru!<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.
A playful take on spools of wool (they're stools) in the section I've dubbed "the homage to the alpaca." Stay tuned for more coverage from Peru!

Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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Miniature ornaments such as these were on display throughout the show. Though small in size (no larger than your thumb), these trinkets were among my favorites at the fair.
Miniature ornaments such as these were on display throughout the show. Though small in size (no larger than your thumb), these trinkets were among my favorites at the fair.

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