Weaving stripes/mixed fibers

well, as usual, I jumped into a project and *then* started researching it!

I have an old (pre-pawl) Beka rhl on which I want to weave an alpaca scarf. I bought yarn, but lost the labels and receipts so I'm not entirely sure what I have. I plan primarily a natural color warp & weft, and have alpaca for that, but they didn't have soft alpaca in the colors I wanted so I went soft exotic--for the one black weft stripe about 6" from one end I got a cashmere/possum blend and for the one purple length-wise (warp) stripe I got  a blend that I've forgotten what it was except that it has some yak in it. I am almost finished threading the heddle ( I had to start over when I realized the heddle was upside down!) and now I'm wondering two things.

One: Will the finished project be a mess using different fibers? I can't rewarp at this point, but I could trade in the cashmere/possum, ordering black alpaca online I guess, though it's hard to trust something I can't touch and see.

Two: I've only woven (plain? Balanced?) where the warp and weft colors show equally. Is there something I can do on a rhl that will make the black weft and purple warp stripes stand out, minimizing the paler predominant warp and weft?

Many thanks for any help. I'm new here, and I didn't see any FAQs, so please let me know if in my ignorance I violate any group norms or etiquette.


Posted on Fri, 06/07/2019 - 23:55

I am not familiar with the yarns you have chosen, but with any changes in fiber content, you will not know how much it will shrink until you try it.  Weave the scarf, soak it in luke warm water, dry and press.  Even if there is differential shrinkage, the scarf will probably look just fine as long as your weaving is consistent.


Posted on Sat, 06/08/2019 - 17:46

I mix fibers a lot and don't have any problems; I always wash gently with cold water.  The only way I know of tho show off both a warp color and a weft color is using a 1/3-3/1 block twill.  on Rigid heddle, I think this would take four hexdles.  Packing the weft would show thw weft color more, but could give you a stiff fabric.  Usually when you want to showcase a particular color, you do that in the design phase.

Posted on Sat, 06/08/2019 - 18:49

I appreciate the reassurance about the fibers. I've warped but not started weaving, so I think I'm going to swap out my black weft stripe for a slightly heavier yarn, guessing that that will cover the thinner warp better and give that stripe more prominence. Beating it a little harder is a good idea, too.  And just let what happens, happen with the warp stripe. 



rhl newbie

Posted on Sun, 06/09/2019 - 00:40

If you use heavier weft and beat harder, you can achieve a board-like fabric.  Excellent for a rug, not so much for a scarf.