Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium: Textiles as Cultural Expressions, September 4-7, 2008, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Copyright © 2008 Ann Pollard Rowe


The Textile Museum was recently given a Salasaca woman’s reobozo, collected in 1966, with an unusual design effect created during the spinning of the weft yarn. In normal Salasaca women’s wraps, the fabric is dyed wool with a few white cotton stripes along the sides and ends and across the center. Generally the cloth is woven in an undyed state, and then dyed. The wool yarns take the dye and the cotton yarns do not, and remain white. This shawl has these typical white cotton stripes but also an area near one end where the white is not continuous across the fabric but rather fades in and out. It appears that cotton has been spun alternately with wool in the same yarn.

The only other related example I have come across is in an Inca woman’s wrapped dress (aksu) that is warp-faced. It is white with some brown stripes at each end. When I carefully separated the warp threads to analyze the weft, I discovered that the weft changed color at more or less the same point that the warp yarns did. The color change appeared to have been done during the spinning process. The effect would not have been visible, but it presumably was done with the idea of having a more saturated color effect in the stripes.