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Mil Centro + HJK Collaboration: Plant Dyed Alpaca Yarn

by Hannah Jenkinson |

I am very excited to introduce to you our latest collaboration with Mil Centro, a range of botanically dyed yarns, in an amazing selection of colors. Using plants from the high-altitude surroundings of the Mil location in Maras and Moray in The Sacred Valley. Working with the women of the local community Kacllaraccay we collaborated with Mil and their Mater Initiciativa, to bring more work to the women of the local communities and give them the opportunity to bring their special work to a wider international audience. 

If you know anything about Mil or Central then you will know that this restaurant is known for modern excellence in experimentally working with the natural ingredients of Peru, to create something incredible, unique and super super special. There is a great Chefs Table episode with Virgilio Martinez and his restaurant in Lima which I would highly recommend if you would like to learn more about him and his team. MIL, sitting above the circular ruins of Moray in The Sacred Valley is their sister restaurant, about a 2 hour drive from Cusco city which also includes their Mater Iniciativa; welcoming artists, biologists, designers, anthropologists, chefs and scientists to collaborate on projects with them and the surrounding communities. 

We met with Ceferina and Elba, them bringing their ancestral knowledge, and HJK bringing different variations of hand-spun 100% Alpaca yarn. Some of the materials they brought, and others we gathered from the surrounding area, getting what we would need to boil down the natural materials, add in mordents, and soak the yarn for it to pick up the color. Plants such as Capoli, Nogal, Marco, Maiz Morada (purple corn) and Quolle. We also gathered a special tiny berry called Cheqche, which gives a beautiful rich purple color and is only available through the months of May - July and takes a long time to harvest because they are so small! 

Send an email to to see what we have in stock right! Or to get a custom made sweater using this special yarn. 

A big thanks to Veronica Tabja del Solar from Mil, for her help in facilitating this project. 

Photography by Leslie Hosokawa at Noma Foto. 


Women from the Sacred Valley in Cusco, Peru
Women in the Sacred Valley, Cusco preparing dyed yarns
Gathering plants to dye the yarn
Berries to naturally dye yarn
Boiling yarn to naturally dye alpaca yarn
Plant dyed yarn in Moray in the Sacred Valley
Dyeing Alpaca yarn with natural plants in Peru
Plant Dyed purple alpaca Yarn


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