Cutuchi - Cotopaxi 1/2
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The industrial and archaeological space Cutuchi, circumscribed in the Cotopaxi province, Latacunga canton, is a structure of lime and boulder which was part of the former textile factory San Gabriel, specifically of the Engine room.
PHOTO CREDIT: QUITO ADVENTURE

The textile factory is on the banks of the Cutuchi River. It was built during the industrial revolution in Ecuador, in the middle of the 19th century. Today its ruins are preserved; the factory was destroyed in 1877 by a natural catastrophe: the eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano.

 

In an area of approximately 6000 meters this factory operated until 1877. The same one had a channel of water due to it has a hydraulic power system. The factory used the energy provided by the Pumapunchi River and Cutuchi River to elaborate linens, textiles, cloths, reproducing the textile tradition of the province of Cotopaxi. During the 17th century the factory had more than 15 textile plant. Also you could find the engine room, the weaving room, cellar and carpentry, locksmith shop and mechanical workplace.

 

For the construction of this industrial space, one of the first in Ecuador and in the Andean region, were used the same materials that are used today with the exception of cement, in addition to traditional building materials.

 

For example the water channel, was built with stone; the walls were build with brick with mortar of lime and sand; and the floor was of brick also. In the construction were also used pebble (river stone), pumice stone and covers of wood and tiled roof.


The factory consisted of a channel of water pipe used for the hydraulic generation system and a ground floor covered with a tile roof. In the interior of the textile room were two spaces used for the production of consumer goods: in the first were made cleaning cloth, cloths, blankets, socks, linens, and other products; in the second space were made specialized goods such as wool comb, yarn spin, knitting, yarn dyed, ironed and pressed fabric process.

 

The excavations carried out in the mid 90's also permitted the discovery of several compartments and two wells for the production of mortars used for the construction of walls, fences and plasters on the South side of the San Gabriel factory.

 

According to history, the productive system destroyed by the Cotopaxi was one of the first attempts that are known in the Ecuador in the 19th century to industrialize the textile area, leaving aside the obraje system. For that reason, can be said the industrial space Cutuchi was an attempt to transform manual textile production in the era, in production on a large scale.

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