Ilya Oratovsky

Ilya Oratovsky (Edmonton, AB) was first introduced to weaving, by peering into weaving factories when he was a delivery driver in his native Poland. Upon immigrating to Canada as a young man, Ilya built his own loom and has been weaving ever since. His finely woven blankets, scarves, and rugs are woven from local wool and alpaca. Ilya has recently been granted the Alberta Craft Heritage Award for his beautiful work.

Alpacas are raised for their exquisite fibre, known for its fineness, lustre, light weight and insulating quality, which is eight times that of wool. With the exception of mohair, alpacas produce the strongest animal fibre in the world. As alpaca fibre becomes finer, this unique strength does not lessen, thus making it very desirable in textiles.