What makes a "wrapping quality"



What makes a wrap wrap the way it does?  is it the weave?  the fibers?  the yarn thickness?  the density?  what if I told you it was ALL of that and more.  When someone asks for wrapping qualities, there are soooo many things to consider.  I'm going to try to get into it here as best as I can, and answer all the questions that people often ask me.

Lets start with the most basic thing.  The yarn.  The yarn itself plays a huge part of how the wrap is going to feel.  Rayons, no matter what the rayon is, is going to be  cool to the touch, and soapy.  From peppermint, to rose, to sacandra glabra, to tencel.  They each have their own tiny quirks but for the most part, they all act the same way.  But it doesn't just end at that.  The way the yarn is plied, the twist, all play a part in how the finished product will feel.  The tighter the twist, the more energy in the yarn, the bouncier it will feel.  The looser the twist, the softer the yarn.  (think of braiding your hair:  A tight braid will spring up and down if pulled, and it will also be stiffer then a lose braid).  So, one weavers silk, for example, may not be the same as another weavers silk, even if its the same kind of silk.   This may not be something so easily ascertained, but its something to ask about when considering a weft choice, and I bring it up because of a recent conversation about plied yarn vs not plied yarn.  a 2 ply yarn is **generally** looser and less energetic then a single ply.  A single ply yarn, spun very thick, may be less energetic though so be sure to ask. 

Besides ply and twist, the combination of warp and weft play a role. 
A soapy warp + soapy weft = more soapy.   
soapy warp + textured weft = balanced
Textured warp + textured weft = super textured

This may seem like an obvious statement but i see people often shy away from soapy wefts b/c they don't like soapy things but I promise you should try it just once on a textured warp and see what you think.

But again...these are generalizations and it doesn't end there.  For example, a wrap made with a tencel weft and  a RS warp, woven in a weave with a lot of floats in the weft, you will fell the tencel more then a piece woven in the same  combination in plain weave, a weave with NO floats.   On the same token, a wrap with long warp floats, you'll feel the warp fiber more.

Confused yet?  I know there is so much to consider!!  So lets get more into the weave.  Bounce and recoil, cushyness, airyness...all come into play with the weave.  To go back to my example of plain weave, which goes over under, over under, there are NO floats.  It is a very solid weave.  It shows the warp off amazingly. . It is dense.  Its strong.  It has no  give.  The same goes for a 2/2 straight twill.  Or any weave that has floats under 3.  But plain-weave would be the most extreme example....And on the far end of that would be twills that have floats of 7 in some cases.  They are cushy and airy.  In between these two are crackles.  Crackles are made up of plain weave sections, and twill sections.  4 shaft crackles tend to be thick and cushy, but the large the twill pattern becomes, and the more plain weave you add...the flatter and denser it becomes.

The last thing to consider is DENSITY.  that is how dense the warp is set, and how dense the weft is woven in.  Carry Om wraps are woven to be balanced, or at least as balanced as we can get them .  We aim to have them dense and non shifty no matter what the fibers, whether they be slippery or not.  This is a big factor here because a lot of people have said they don't like soapy wraps, or they don't like bamboo, or tencel b/c of sag, and my answer to that is they haven't tried one that was woven dense enough.    Things shift, and sag, and dig, when the threads have room to move around. It also goes back to the floats too though, because the longer the floats, the more you will feel them moving around.  (think of a float as the amount of space until the end is stuck down again with another string) 

So...things to consider when planning out your perfect piece are
Yarn twist and ply. - is the yarn energetic? 
Weave - is it a flat weave?  will it impact the thickness combining w/ a thick weft?
Floats - do you prefer a tighter weave?
Density - Ask your weaver how dense they plan on making the warp, what is the Sett? 

The fun is experimenting, and trying different combinations.  I've been weaving for 6 years and I'm still learning every day!