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drew bru
(shorthairedhippie) - F
and unusual quilt idea on 02/28/2011 12:25:51 MST Print View

Hey everyone, I'm sorta new here. Been lurking a while, but now I've come up with a question! I'm toying with the idea of replacing our (wife and I) bulky, heavy, warm-weather sleeping bags with a quilt. I've found various patterns online, I think I can make a 2-person quilt without *too* much problem. BTW This would be mostly for canoe camping, occasional hiking. It doesn't need to be "ultra" light, just compactable.

My question though.....instead of using down (too expensive and ineffective if wet) I thought I'd use some Alapaca wool that I've got. It's loose and fluffy, not woven. It's right off of the animal! I've got 15lbs of it, so I've got plenty to experiment with. So why not give it a try? From what I understand, it's at least as warm as down or possibly warmer. It's quite fluffy, compresses fairly easily, and pops back to it's original "loftiness" (at least, it has so far). A bit like giant, football-sized cotton balls. It behaves very much like loose cotton.

So my only concerns are: For a 3 season quilt, how much of this do I use??? Should I just stuff it into baffles like a down quilt and aim for maybe 2" loft (or is 2" too much)? Should I try and comb it into a large blanket (like primaloft comes) and sew it between the DWR nylon? I don't want the thing to be *too* warm, lest we roast in our sleep and curse the day we thought of this hair-brained scheme. I've found commercial alpaca comfortors online, but I really don't know how warm/heavy they are.

Anyone out there have any experience/advice for me? Also, I could use any tips or pointers on making the quilt ;-)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: and unusual quilt idea on 02/28/2011 13:35:31 MST Print View

The Ray Jardine formula is minimum temperature F = 100 - 40 * loft in inches.

Loft of 2 inches should be good down to 20 F.

There have been several threads recently about making a down quilt, seems like you could just use wool instead of down.

You might want to stuff one baffle until it's 2 inches (or whatever), then weigh the wool, and use that much for each baffle, just to be consistent.

J Kamper
(HappyKamper) - F
Re: and unusual quilt idea on 03/01/2011 15:40:37 MST Print View

I too have been lurking for a while, and decided to de-lurk to comment. I spin- wool, alpaca, silk, etc, - into yarn, so your idea fascinates me.

Have you worked with alpaca fiber before? I think you'll want to wash and comb the locks of fiber. You'll also want to consider how the unspun fiber will hold up to repeated use and occasional washing. I have no idea about that because I usually make my alpaca into yarn, but you might want to do some testing. Alpaca can felt, although it is less likely to do so than sheep's wool is. If you want any other suggestions on processing the fiber, let me know, and I'll be happy to share my thoughts.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: an unusual quilt idea on 03/01/2011 19:18:31 MST Print View

Might Llama wool work as well? I'm not interested, but a friend with llamas will give you all the wool you want. He just throws it out after giving his llamas their regular haircut.