In northern Mexico net-work, rude lace-work in twine, are followed farther south, where finer material existed, by figured weaving of most intricate type and pattern; warps were crossed and wrapped, wefts were omitted and texture changed, so as to produce marvellous effects upon the surface.
According to the qualities of raw silk used and the throwing operations undergone the principal classes of thrown silk are - (1) " singles," which consist of a single strand of twisted raw silk made up of the filaments of eight to ten cocoons; (2) tram or weft thread, consisting of two or three strands of raw silk not twisted before doubling and only lightly spun (this is soft, flossy and comparatively weak); (3) organzine, the thread used for warps, made from two and rarely three twisted strands spun in the direction contrary to that in which they are separately twisted.
It warps and cracks rather badly, and weighs from 35 to 42 lb per cub.
It was not until the introduction of cotton warps into the Bradford trade about 1836 that the true qualities of alpaca could be developed in the fabric. Where the cotton warp and mohair or alpaca weft plain-cloth came from is not known, but it was this simple yet ingenious structure which enabled Titus Salt, then a young Bradford manufacturer, to utilize alpaca successfully.
The pioneers of the work were confronted with many difficulties; most people condemned the fibre and the cloth, many warps were discarded as unfit for weaving, and any attempt to mix the fibre with flax, tow or hemp was considered a form of deception.