Spinning Silks

Clockwise from top: silk hankies, tussah silk, and bombyx silk brick.

I’ve been spinning different types of silks on my drop spindles for the past few weeks. I spin silk a lot, but normally, I stay pretty monogamous with my silk spinning projects. But this time, due to spinning for several different projects, I had been mixing it up. Sometimes in the same evening.

All I can say is, wow. What a difference.

With silk hankies, it’s a bit like ripping fabric as you spin. You get lumps and bumps as you go. If you want perfectly smooth yarn, this is not for you. If you want a bit of texture like in a raw silk fabric, then this is for you. And it is just darned fun ripping into the silk hankie.

Tussah silk has a bit of a tooth to it. It’s a bit easier for new spinners because it isn’t too slippery. It’s not as shiny as the hankies or the bombyx. Natural tussah is typically honey colored so the dyed fiber has a bit of depth to it. This is because

Bombyx? It’s very very slippery but oh-so very lovely to spin. I find that bombyx needs a bit more twist in the singles than tussah requires.

You can read more about silk at Silk is the Bomb(yx) in Knitty by Michael Cook.