What is a good vegan/ cruelty free substitute for silk yarn?

What is a good vegan/ cruelty free subsitute for silk yarn? I’ve heard that Tussah silk is from “free range” not killed worms. Is this true? Is all silk/ silk yarn called “tussah” guaranteed this?

What are other good sub.s? What is most like silk? Rayon? Soy silk? Corn silk? other? :slight_smile: Thanks! :slight_smile:

Don’t know about the silk, but have you tried any of the bamboo yarns? They are very soft and I love to just fondle them! I’ve seen them in DK and sport weights, but I’m sure they are in other weights as well. Oh wait, I do remember seeing some bamboo in fingering weight, now if I could just remember where. :??

Also in the new Knitty under “Viveka” it is mentioned that tactel yarn is a vegan yarn. I believe it’s a type of nylon that is soft to the touch. The only drawback with the yarn is that it’s dry clean only.


Please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it technically impossible to have vegan silk? Doesn’t vegan mean absolutely no animal products?

Southwest trading company has a couple of animal fiber alternatives. Their yarn, “pure” is 100% soysilk and A-maizing is made from corn fiber! I have the corn one and it feels great. I’m getting the Pure this week to check out! I’ve heard great things about it.

Also…not to start a whole conversation about this because I respect someone wanting to use a non-animal fiber…but I am sure there are companies that advertise treating their sheep with the utmost respect. Really any company would be silly to treat any animals poorly…it’s quite an investment.

Alpaca farmers seem to be particularly attached to their animals and there are a lot of “mom and pop” type companies that sell their home raised alpaca fiber.

wow I didn’t know the killed the worms when they got the silk, not that I have anything that is silk anyway, me being poor and all :teehee:

I highly recommend bamboo - specifically Plymouth Royal bamboo - it feels just like silk. I was also going to suggest South West Trading Soy Silk :slight_smile:

Here is someone’s blog who reviews alternate fibers: fake sheep
Fake Sheep list of yarns

Some of the basics (cotton etc.) you might already know but some info and links (textile company links) might be worth reviewing.

and I too would think that there is no “vegan” silk unless it is soy-silk or corn-silk etc. Silk with wormies would imply animal product but then you also said 'cruelty-free" didn’t yah… so that I don’t know about with silk. I just started looking into some of these alt-fibers.

Yeah I’ve seen the fake sheep site. :wink: It’s pretty good. I use wool, I use cotton etc. I’m not looking for alternatives to them… but I love the feel, sheen etc. of silk yarn. I was (as pointedly stated in post ) look for a SILK alternative. Because silk worms are always killed for silk unless it is the “peace”/ or tussah silk kind where (silk worms are raised in fields and when they hatch from cocoons the silk is collected (the worms/ moths fly away) ) (usually the silk worms are boiled alive). I just figured if there were a “veggie” alternative I’d try it. :wink: I have heard about the corn silk. I was wondering what ya’ll liked best. :slight_smile: (p.s. as per one poster’s comment/ question? there are vegan silk “alternatives” like corn silk and vegans often feel it is fit to use peace silk).

Oh…somehow I missed the point of the worms being killed. :doh: I’m not sure there is anything that feels quite like silk as we know it. I did have the chance to feel some tussah silk…it’s kind of a bumpy slub…I don’t know if all tussah silk is like that or not. Soft but certainly not like “regular” silk yarn.

Ah really? pood. :frowning: (bumpy slub) … I was HOPING I’d find a good silk sub. lol. I LOOOVE the way it feels but now if I buy it every time I’ll use it I’ll think of worms being boiled so its not worth it lol. No, I don’t have a problem with wool/ alpaca etc. in general. EXCEPT! if you can avoid it (if its labeled) avoid (in knitting or buying clothes) Australian merino wool. They use a very outdated method of shearing they (no razors!) strip the wool of sheep ( just pull it out!) and it really hurts the sheep and injures their skin (obviously) so I try to avoid Australian merino wool. It isn’t always labelled as Australian so I just tend to avoid merino wool (I hate the feel of %100 anyway so it doesn’t really bother me. lol :wink: … ) :slight_smile:

p.s. - Natasha - knitpicks (.com) is a great source for nice, cheap wool. :wink: They’re elegance wool is awesome! :slight_smile:

I haven’t used any silk-like materials yet, sorry. I had added the Fake Sheep link above as 1) only an FYI not necessarily in answer to your question 2) and because she might be a good person to ask your question to also.

Good luck

I have some tussah roving – I haven’t spun any yet, though, so I can’t speak to how the yarn feels – but the roving is absolutely gorgeous, and very very soft.

Must depend on the way it’s spun then! Good to know. You’ll have to share with us after you spin it.

Hmmmm… I never thought of emailing the fake sheep gal. :wink: Tell me how your roving spins up! :slight_smile: I’d love to create yarn but don’t want to invest $$$$ in a wheel and drop spinning looks SO tedious.

I’m not so sure this is true… My inlaws were in Australian within the last few years, and they watched a demonstration on sheep shearing and it was just like all the demonstrations I’ve seen here. They use the hand held shearers, basically just larger and more powerful than what barbers use to cut hair. I also met a guy who sheared sheep in Australia for years. He actually competed world-wide and won many shearing competitions. He was an amazingly skilled man, who sheared with the hand held shearers. And after talking to him, he never mentioned “pulling it out”.

well, I don’t know if ALL Australian wool farmers do it this way (probably? not) but many still do. It is an outdated method, its not “shearing” (as with scissors/ shears etc.) its mulesing (it’s awful. They strip wool out with hands!)

Here is a link: (p.s. read the article on this page if you want but CAUTION! going to far into the site, I think? they’re are some disturbing pictures.) :

ooooh thanks mulene! :wink: I’ll look for the bamboo silk. :wink: :slight_smile: