Silks Part Five: Kibiso Silk

Several years ago Yoshiko Wada gave me some of this kibiso silk to experiment with. Then on a trip to a silk farmer in Japan, I asked for some. I was shocked when he presented me with an armful of 6 or 8 huge skeins of it. It’s the waste that is taken off the outer part of the cocoons. I’ve never seen a cocoon with this waste; it must be removed right away.

Here is a close up of one area of the skein. You can see there are finer and thicker areas. It is very stiff because the sericin is still on the filaments.

A close up of another area of the skein.

Here is a close up of an area of a hanging I wove with it as part of the warp. I didn’t put the kibiso threads in heddles but put them in between them. The threads didn’t go up or down but stayed in the middle of the sheds. When I wanted them on top I put the shuttle underneath the threads. When I wanted them underneath, the shuttle went over them. That is similar to how floating selvedges work.

Here is a close look at the loopy area.

Here is the whole piece. I did weave more small pieces and undegummed some of them. The fibers turned soft like cotton candy and the blue threads bled to dye them.

6 thoughts on “Silks Part Five: Kibiso Silk”

  1. Peggy,

    I understand the weaving concept in this piece but it would be nice to see the actual set up of the loom while you are weaving something like this.

    Thanks, Julie Snyder

    • A good idea. I’ll try to remember when I am at the loom. Which won’t be for a few months until after my big sale is over in November! I’m happy you understood the concept.

  2. Such intriguing experimenting, love seeing what your play and treasures combine to make! And then there are all the questions and ‘what ifs?’


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