Silk Part Three

Here are more bits and pieces of silk information that I think are interesting.

This is a corner of a large cap (flattened out) made of layers in preparation for spinning.

You can see one thin layer pulled back and the interesting edges of the layers.

I’m sure I bought this just because it was so interesting. I’m glad I saved the label. 130 layers is a lot of layers!

During the pandemic I brought home this silk roving and my spinning wheel. Remember, I’m a weaver and not a spinner! Besides my wheel doesn’t like to spin fine; it’s better just as a twister. But since silk doesn’t draw like wool, I thought to give it a try.

My silk spinning with no instruction. I’m reminded of how proud I was when I learned to spin wool and my thick and knobby yarn! Junco Sato Pollack wrote and suggested having a bowl of water to wet my hands but it all seemed too much. I’ve taken the spinning wheel back to the studio and don’t plan to spin any more in this lifetime. In the meantime, I have some thick silky yarn for a future weaving project.

Here is some silk that Junco raised herself.

These spools are what I used for the warps for sheer fabrics and my ruffles. The color is fugitive–temporary—only so those at the mill could know which were S or Z spun or plied or overtwisted. Most are undegummed (stiff) and highly twisted. You’ll see how fugitive the colors are in the next photos.

This is the color those threads on the spools turned into as soon as they hit the air on my warping reel. The white “fringes” were from a silky silk (degummed) skein that I gave up on unwinding and just cut the skein and laid in the long threads.

The overtwisted character made for wonderful collapse pieces. I had fun with collapse and was careful to keep water away from anything I didn’t want to collapse.

My ruffles I made by weaving very long tubes and turning them partially inside-out. The sett probably was 96 epi at one repeat (8 ends) per dent in a 12 dent reed.

This is a skein a friend gave me of silk chenille. I dyed it with black walnuts. It’s so precious I don’t know what to do with it.

9 thoughts on “Silk Part Three”

  1. Thank you,
    You give me courage to explore more.
    I’m laughing. I refer to your statement on the fringe with the degummed silk you
    ‘gave up on’ and so blatantly cut it and made it so stunningly beautiful.
    There’s a freedom there worth pondering. 🙏🏼

  2. Thank you so much for the fascinating and beautiful exploration of silk! I love how you work with, and appreciate, the fiber and its characteristics, and end up making creations that highlight the fiber. Really inspiring!

  3. I’m mostly a spinner not a weaver but I really enjoy your blog. So I was delighted to see your attempt at spinning silk top! It honestly didn’t look too bad! If you ever try again, try spinning from the fold. It makes it a little easier. Again, I think you did a great job. I have hundreds of skeins of yarn that I’ve yet to weave or knit. Silk is my favorite thing to spin. I never use water to spin silk though, I only do that with flax. 🙂


    • Does that mean I fold the piece I’m spinning from instead of working from the end? Thanks for your encouragement and kind “great job”.

  4. The silk chenille, “so precious I don’t know what to do with it,” doesn’t have to become anything, if it blesses your life as it is.
    But maybe a scarf/shawl to make warm thoughts of your friend into a warm physical hug?

  5. I’m a spinner and want to be weaver (and yes, I have your Beginners Book amongst others). I have loved relearning about silk, especially the rare cocoons and your amazing silk spinning, silk weaving and more.
    It inspires me to keep going…… Thank you.


Leave a Comment