Saturday, September 24, 2011

Level One silk class

 (Original post March 19, 2006)

Silk cocoons

   This class was "all about silk" and the MSW (masterspinner wannabe - who is moi) enjoyed herself immensely. I have decided that I like silk! Alot!
Cultivated silk is white. It is very fine, and comes from a silkworm called a Bombyx Mori . (This site is German? But has great photos).
Tussah silk is wild silk. It is harvested from the  large saturniid moth (Antheraea paphia), that produces a coarse brownish or yellowish silk. It is coarser to the touch than cultivated silk.

Yes these ugly yellow curds really are silk! These are dyed cultivated silk noils. Noils are shreds of waste silk. Little leftover bits. They are soft and feel like lint bits.

The silk noil lightly placed on the handcarder. These are regular wool carders and will work fine, but if you have cotton carders they are preferable.

Carding silk noil with wool fibres

Here is a wool/ silk noil blend "sausage"

Handspun wool/silk noil blend. This would be a good novelty yarn. I'm not crazy about the colours but I think it has potential.


This handspun sample is 100% cultivated silk noil. It was slow going to spin, as the fibres are very short lumpy and irregular shaped. It was an inch worm process. Once done a lumpy novelty sample.


This is silk top hand dyed by our instructor Ruth - lovely!


For this exercise, the hand carders were "lightly" loaded with variegated silk top sandwiched between domestic wool top.


First pass of the carders...


Second pass of the carders...


After a third and final pass on the carders...
Six pretty pastel sausages ready for spinning!

 Sample skein of handcarded wool/silk blend. (2/3 wool : 1/3 silk)

Now that's eye candy!

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