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Spinning Directly from a Silk Hanky

A silk hanky is produced from a silk cocoon and is made up of one continuous gossamer thread.  The sericin (the glue that keeps the cocoon together) is first removed from the cocoon by simmering it for 30 - 45 minutes in a solution of water, soda ash and synthapol.  When the cocoon has softened it can be pulled out carefully and stretched over a frame to dry.  We sell this lightweight fibre is quantities of 100g which is a wad approximately 2cm deep. 

The frilly and glistening edge of the silk hanky can be used effectively in silk paper making and provides a clue to the fine yarn that can be spun from it. Here is how to prepare the silk hankies ready for spinning.

     
Peel away one layer of the silk hankies
open out the silk hankie
make an aperture in the spread out silk hankie

1. Peel away one layer...

2. open out...

3. push fibres apart in centre...

4. begin to pull, the fibres will slip easily...

5. keep pulling to form a long roving...

Ready to hand spin the silk hankie

6. tug fibres apart to make
a break...

7. twist the end and tie-up ready for spinning!

     

The Silk Hankies are available undyed or in a range of hand-dyed colours, find out more from our section on Silk Paper Making

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