Friday, June 16, 2006


For all those weavers who haven't yet encountered the horrors of using an Alpaca warp but are fondling hundreds of yards of Alpaca for warp they plan to use in the near future - a word of advice.
Alpaca is treacherously deceptive. Even if you test -break the warp thread to see the strength in tension, it could mislead you. Alpaca warps - especially thicker ones - tend to rub against the reed & heddles & pill insanely till you're left helplessly praying against one or several broken warp threads. As you start to wind the warp on, spray it with lots of sizing spray. I use the lemon scented one my husband uses on his cotton shirts before ironing them. It definitely helps. It might make the warp look stiff & ugly but will wash off easily when you block the finished textile to reveal the same beautiful Alpaca you'd fondled lovingly. Do the sizing BEFORE the weaving. If during the process of weaving it looks like the warp is still pilling near the heddle/reed area, blast it with more sizing spray! You can't go wrong with this approach. I did this Alpaca shawl & nearly tore my hair our because the warp pilled & broke 7 times! Then I did another Alpaca shawl with a much finer thread but used sizing spray & it didn't break once.
Keep the sizing spray handy & all well twisted Alpaca can be warped.

1 comment:

Swanknitter said...

Thanks for this. Haven't started weaving yet but this is a mistake I would surely make. Does it make a difference if the alpaca is commercially spun?