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Producing anything in South America can be challenging, and producing accessories is no exception. Alpaca is a rare expensive fiber, and mistakes are costly. If tension on the loom is too tight, the scarf won’t be soft. Too loose, and the scarf is flimsy.
Much of the work is in the warping process, where the long strands of yarn that run vertically are carefully rolled up on the loom. Once the weaving begins, the weaver adds in the weft, the strands that are woven across the warp. He adds and subtracts lines of color according to the design, carefully managing the tension so that the edge of the scarf is neat and straight. After the entire roll of warp has been woven, the scarves are cut one by one to their correct length, then washed, packed and then shipped to market.