Skip to content

silk

May 18, 2012

what is there to say?

  Silk fibre, yarn and fabric has captured the hearts of millions over the centuries and played a role in the making of history.

Bryan breeds his own silk worms, manages the mulberry trees that feed them and reels the silk from the cocoons.

first the cocoons go into a hot water bath

that softens the sericin (or gum) excreted by the silk worm 

it takes a single fine thread from approximately 10 cocoons, reeled together to create one very fine thread

the cocoons remain in the water bath and are reeled onto a bobbin using a simple, hand-operated machine

and voila, that precious yarn 

 reeled and spun silk, natural dyes. The green silk is a natural colour spun by silk worms when they are fed a particular diet.

for my minor part in helping with the weaving I was paid in worm spit!

a work of art.

eventually I will weave something? The ball, center front, is my 2 ply handspun dyed in a logwood exhaust bath to add to the mix.

sorry about the quality of the images, it was late at night without much light and Bryan NEVER stops moving.

 

13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2012 2:41 pm

    the epi is one of the things which made my jaw drop while i watched my friends weaving kimono cloth at kawashima. i try not to complain when i’m warping only 20 epi! thanks!

    Like

  2. May 19, 2012 2:09 am

    oooh you’re making me reel!! did you buy some from him? that would make me jealous:)

    Like

  3. May 18, 2012 11:00 pm

    I was too tired to take any picture or give much attention at the time, thank you for this post.
    I am curious to see what you will be weaving with the beautiful silk.

    Like

  4. May 18, 2012 5:26 pm

    that is really neat! it looks easy, and makes such wonderful stuff. did you happen to get a sample of the natural green silk? it’s interesting learning all that you did on this trip, keep it coming!

    Like

    • May 18, 2012 5:37 pm

      Velma – it’s good enough to eat.
      Anastasia – I got more than a sample, 2 skeins of spun silk and an incredible skein of reeled.

      Like

      • May 18, 2012 7:18 pm

        oh, lucky! when you happen to start work with them, could i beg of you some thrums to add to my sample fiber collection? did you work on your journal while there? it must be stuffed full of interesting things!

        Like

  5. May 18, 2012 5:18 pm

    delicious silk!

    Like

  6. May 18, 2012 4:28 pm

    This was such an interesting part of our program! When we were children we used to keep silkworms. I wish I had been taught how to extract the fibres from the cocoons. It seems a natural extension of growing the cocoons.

    Like

    • May 18, 2012 4:39 pm

      I wish we had done more of it – and not after a long day and in the dark. I LOVE SILK.

      Like

      • May 18, 2012 8:01 pm

        I love silk too, Jean. It has always been my favourite fabric – so delicate but so strong. Warm in winter, cool in summer. Beautiful and varied. I have had a stash of it for many years which I keep in a large calico bag. I don’t use it very often but I’m TRYING. Mostly I just get it out and drool.

        Like

      • May 18, 2012 10:02 pm

        Anastasia – I’ll save you a sample but I definitely won’t be using it as warp, the sett would be approx. 120 epi
        Myra – I think drool must be good for silk, that’s what my lovely basket full is getting.

        Like

  7. May 18, 2012 1:13 pm

    I love hearing all about your trip!

    Like

    • May 18, 2012 1:56 pm

      thanks, Kathy. I had to check out your blog because at first I confused you with my daughter-in-law or a student – I’ll be back, happy to meet a new fibre person.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: