Spinning with Silk & silk blends

I love silk!
Mulberry i’ve found is best blended with shorter fibers like cashmere & angora. Tussah I like to spin by itself (it has great memory & doesn’t stick as fast as bombyx/mulberry).
Muga, I love, love, love. It’s rare & expensive but what a noble fiber & SUCH a pleasure to spin!
I once did a “raw/un-processed Tussah silk to finished yarn” exercise (pics & notes on my blog at http://yarnahoy.blogspot.com/2006_01_01_yarnahoy_archive.html).
One of my fav blends was a bombyx/angora/wool blend I blended on my drum carder. It was heavenly.


I have only spun tussah so far. I have some bombyx in my stash. I was waiting until I got better at spinning it to try the bombyx. After spinning for almost 4 years, I am finally getting comfortable with spinning the tussah. I find I really have to split the roving lengthwise and then predraft like crazy in order to have any type of control over what I am doing.

Have you been able to spin silk on your book charkha? I still don’t have a feel for spinning silk on the charkha. I love doing cotton, though.

Mad About Wool,
spinning silk on the book charkha is for those with iron will. the book charkha has a very high spin ratio (1:65 which is why it’s so great for short fibers like cotton, cashmere, angora etc), so unless the bombyx is blended with cotton,cashmere or angora, the possibility of going nuts while spinning such a long fiber on the book charkha is high.
However, spinning silk on something like the Attache charkha (a larger version of the book charkha) would be easier since it doesn’t have such a high spin ratio.
I think bombyx/mulberry are best spun on a regular wheel with the lowest ratio on it.
hope that helps :slight_smile:

Manasi - that sounds reasonable and why I was having so much trouble. I always did think silk fibers were too long, but I kept reading stuff about people spinning silk on the charkha… Go figure… There must be more iron wills out there than we think. :thinking:

Sometimes I spin a very raw tussah silk on the charkha - the fibers are much shorter than mulberry silk.
I haven’t had the nerve to spin mulberry on a charkha yet but i just blended some with cotton & am going to try that - the cotton should make it easier.

You are going to spoil me yet. I have never tried mulberry silk, but now I must find some. : :lol: (To spin on a regular wheel, of course).

You shall love it!
Pre-draft & be patient. Use your lowest ratio.

Kind of veering off the subject but: Yikes! I saw that MDS&W winning shawl on your blog!! I can only dream of ever becoming that good. Wonder if the person who did that would want to give some private lessons. :lol:

It sounds like you had a great time.

I had a great time all right!
I heard several people asking that questions to the person who was attending the exhibits. I think the person who made it belongs to the knitting guild in PA (State College). In all probability she must give lessons 'cos if there are any people like me around, they’ve probably hounded her into compliance. :smiley:

It is impossible NOT to have a great time there. I have only been once, but hope to get back - maybe next year.

Uh-oh, PA, is too far away… Too bad, too!