WINDING, SKEINING, AND PLYING
To wind, skein, and ply, single strands of yarn are first rolled into balls, and then skeined and washed. These strands can be plied (twisted together) in the opposite direction from which they were spun, or they can be dyed prior to plying them and kept in ball shapes. According to Vidal de Milla (2000), the wool should be separated according to where it came from on the animal and how old it is.
For example, the center part of the body has large and soft wool. Traditionally, too, threads are categorized according to the intensity of the twisting: pushkasqa (first twisting of single thread); pharisa (twisting two threads of mild intensity); and k’antisqa (the most intensely twisted thread). Different textiles may be made from threads of different categories. For example, for illcllas (shawls) they use k’antisqa or very intensely twisted thread. Thread itself has also traditionally been categorized according to its thickness (listed from thinnest to thickest: ichu, ñanu, murmur, and rampu) (Vidal de Milla 2000).
Vidal de Milla, Delia (2000). El arte textil: simbolismo de los motivos decorativos. Cusco: Municipalidad Provincial.