Lucre Wool Factory
Project info

In the remote valley of Lucre, Peru in 1861, the Cusco Factory Wool Spinning and Weaving (Fabrica de Hilados y Tejidos de Lana) was founded. Owned by Nadal Garmendia y Cia , it was directed by Francisco Garmendia. In an operation that could serve as a sequel to Fitzcarraldo, industrial equipment for the wool spinning mill was shipped from Belgium to the inlet of Islay on the coast of Peru. From there, 800 boxes were transported by mules 800 kilometers through the Andes. The first muleteer could not handle the narrow bridle path and returned the goods. Miners were hired for the second attempt and new roads were built to accommodate the six mule teams needed to move the heaviest of the boxes.

While on the trip to Europe in 1872 to purchase more equipment to expand the plant, Francisco Garmendia died. His widow continued the operation until her death in 1899 when the factory was taken over by a partnership of Garmendia Brothers. The factory was “particularly known for the high quality of its fabric.”

The factory continued operation until 1968 and has since been used for a variety of purposes the last of which is a workroom and storage area for a sculptor. The original equipment was left as was it was on its last day of operation with bits of fabric partially finished.

The images in this portfolio were taken in natural light inside the factory on April 20, 2011 with a Leica M8 and 35 mm / 1.4 Summilux-M lens.