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.