Silk Yarns, Fibers, Threads & Ribbons

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Silk Fibers

By Karen Selk

Beyond the primary production of reeled silk from grade-A Bombyx Mori cocoons, many other wonderful fibers come from sericulture.

Nothing is wasted, resulting in a variety of silk fibers with endless uses. After the single filament is reeled from the cocoon, the remaining parts are processed. Bombyx Mori sliver is white and shiny.

Bombyx Silk Hankies Have Long Fibers

silk hankiePhoto by Karen Selk

 

Bombyx Silk Caps Are Similar To Hankies

silk caps being madePhoto by Karen Selk

Throwster Are A
By-Product of Reeled Silk

silk throwsters close upPhoto by Karen Selk
Silk Sliver or Roving
Silk sliver is created by carding or combing the shorter fibers, which are then drawn into long bundles where the fiber is somewhat parallel. When sliver is drawn further and given a slight twist, it becomes roving. The two terms, sliver and roving, are often interchanged.
Order Sliver/Roving here.
Degummed Throwster Silk
A by-product of the twisting of filament in the reeled silk industry, it is unlike any other fibre on the market and an inexpensive source of high quality, long silk fibre. It can be handled in several ways to create textured or smooth, shiny yarns and can also be an inexpensive source of silk for blending. The curly texture of this fibre is a fun way to add texture and colour to your quilting, stitching, needle felting, silk fusion and other fibre arts.
Order Degummed Throwster Silk here.
Silk Cocoons
The cocoon is the metamorphosis home of the silkworm. It is spun in one continuous thread almost a mile long. The cocoons vary in size. Most of them are an oval shape. They can be cut, dyed, painted and sewn.
Order Bombyx Silk Cocoons here.
Silk Carrier Rods
These slit tubes are the by-product of reeling silk from the cocoon. Rods are 5 - 6" (13–15cm) long when stretched out; there may be some short pieces and partially wound cocoons in the mix. They are wonderfully textural for stitching, silk fusion and any application needing depth. They can be pressed flat or pulled apart to reveal the interesting criss-cross of the fibres.
Order Silk Carrier Rods here.
Silk Hankies
Hankies (also known as mawata) are a ten inch square of silk fibre held together by a "selvedge." They can be used in silk fusion, needle felting, stitched onto fabric, spun into thread and more.
Order Bombyx Silk Hankies here.
Carded Silk Cocoon Stripping
This fibre is the first silk extruded by the silkworm and looks like slightly disorganized puffs of carded fibre. It can be spun into fairly smooth yarn with a matte appearance. Or use it to add texture and color to your collage, silk fusion, needle felting and stitching work.
Order Silk Cocoon Strippings here.