Black and White Alpaca Dress


This black and white palette gives me an excuse to use my alpaca hand spun yarn for the weaving. These are two of my three alpacas, Tequila is the white one and Pepsi the black.  They are over ten years old now and been together since they were born.  They are sheared once a year in May by a lovely girl who has known them all their lives so they are very relaxed with her.

May 2014 Sheep to Shawl 007

I have the fleece processed by Norweft Alpacas in Wales where they turn it into sliver ready for me to spin and dye.  They have own flock of alpacas and make beautiful items from their fibre so they are very sympathetic to the handling of the fleece.  I use to do the whole process myself but over the years I found I could not keep up with the shearing so now take this short cut to the finished yarn!

May 2014 Sheep to Shawl 001

I wove the fabric on a 16″ (41cm) rigid heddle using a 7.5 reed and a commercial black and white wool and alpaca warp.  I had spun a soft, fairly thick singles for the weft which I weighted after I had washed the skeins to try to eliminate any extra twist that I may have added. I wove half the warp with a white singles and half with the black.


Using a simple pinafore pattern which I had cut in half just above the waist,  I added extra turnings to the pattern before I cut out one back and front in the black fabric and the same in the white fabric. I used the woven iron-on interfacing in both black and white to secure the edges before over-locking all of the cut edges. This is a lovely easy pattern to make up, with no fastenings. It is fully lined so slips smoothly over your head and is comfy to wear.

DSC00381 DSC00378

Always remember to wash the fabric before you start sewing as it does allow the yarns and fibres to come together and gives far more drape and flexibility to the fabric.  The woven iron-on interfacing will secure even the most loosely woven fabrics and make sewing so much easier.


3 thoughts on “Black and White Alpaca Dress

  1. Pingback: Black and White for Winters Grey Skies | Creative Weaving

  2. Love you latest garment, you can wear any colour with that lovely black and white pinafore, I have just woven enough to make trousers, in black plied with pale walnut dyed white, not quite black and white, more brown. still working up to cutting it out, its a tight fit to make the pattern fit the cloth!!!!! The black wool is a shetland fleece bought from Jean. see you soon Sue

    • Glad you liked it Sue. I look forward to seeing your weaving, come garment later in the month and you too and all the little lambs. Your colours sound like a good combination, soft and subtle. Happy weaving, Elisabeth

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