Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Spinning Tussah Silk Noil

Now that I’ve got my weaving project underway, I can resume working on my silk goody pack.

The last of the silk noils is tussah. Tussah differs from mulberry mostly by it’s color. Mulberry silk is spun by domesticated silkworms whose diet consists of mulberry leaves. This produces a lovely white. Tussah refers to the silk spun by wild silkworms whose diet consists of mainly oak leaves. The tannin in these leaves colors the silk, so that it is a lovely warm honey color.

Since my goal has been to experiment as many ways as possible with my various forms of silk, I decided to blend this with some raw cotton lint.

The noil was quite clean but the cotton was not, so I had to scour it. For each 28 grams of cotton I used 1 liter of water, ½ tsp. of Ivory dishwashing liquid, and 2 tsp. of washing soda. I simmered it for about 2 hours. When scouring raw cotton, it is amazing how much dirt comes out of the stuff.

I’ve been blending on cotton handcards, about a 2 to 1 (cotton to noils) eyeball blend. I am spinning it long draw, quite pleasantly.

The particulars:
* Weight, 14 grams
* Fiber length was ½ to 1 inch
* Abundant bits & noils
* Spinning ratio 10:1
* Spun woolen method
* Singles, 30 WPI
* 2-ply, 18 WPI
* Yardage, 52

The challenges:
* None actually. It was enjoyable to spin. The only thing I’m wondering about is what to do with it.

Related Posts:
Mulberry Silk Noil - handcarding & spinning
Dyed Silk Noil/Alpaca Yarn - blending noils & alpaca
Silk Fiber Fusion - using dyed silk noils

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