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Skein Lane Studio
208 Carmel Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530
510-525-YARN

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About Silk
 
Source
 

Silk is not a hair, like other animal fibers, but it is a protein thread spun by silk worms. The thread is used to create the worm's cocoon. Each strand of thread can be over 1000 yards long! To make yarn, the strands are unwound from the cocoons, cut into staples and spun into silk yarn. Silk worms may be wild or cultivated; the wild ones produce a coarser fiber than the cultivated varieties.

The finest silks are produced from worms who are fed a diet of mulberry leaves. Because of the high level of care required to farm silk worms and producing yarn, pure silk yarn tends to be expensive. But silk blend yarns are affordable; and combining with wool, cotton, rayon and alpaca with silk produces truly beautiful yarns.

 
Fiber Properties
 

Pure silk has a shining luster. It is both drapy and "crisp" to the touch.  Like wool, silk is a good insulator. 

Silk takes dye incredibly well, however it is more susceptible to fading than other yarns. Store silk yarn and stitched items in out of bright light.

There are a variety of grades of silk, based upon how clean and free of foreign material the fiber is when it is spun into yarn.

 
Durability
 

Yarn spun from silk is extremely strong and it can be spun into very thin yarns.  Garments made from silk are very durable. When blended with other fibers, it resists pilling.

Dyed silk is particularly sensitive to fading from sunlight, so garments made from it should be stored appropriately.

Silk and garments made from it is susceptible to moths. Use mothballs to protect your yarn and garments. If you don't like the odor, periodically place the yarn or garment in a plastic bag in the freezer for 48 hours to kill moth larvae. You should also air out stored fibers in the sun every now and then.

 
Care
 

Always read and use the care instructions on your yarn's label. If you need help interpreting the symbols used on the label, check our Yarn Label Symbols page.

Generally, you can hand wash silk. Skein Lane recommends using a "wool wash" product such as Eucalan, and tepid water (not cold); it's not just for wools. Never use Woolite, as it contains a bleaching agent that can discolor your yarn. You may add touch of hair conditioner to rinse water for extra softness.

Do not wring or twist the wet item. Wrap in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water. Then lay the item flat to dry in an area out of direct or bright sunlight. Store in a dark area as well.

 
Examples
 

Some popular silk and silk blend yarns at Skein Lane Studio are:

  • Elsbeth Lavold ....................Silky Wool
  • Noro Yarns.........................Cash Iroha
  • Queensland Collection...........Kathmandu Aran

Learn about

Acrylic  Alpaca  Angora  Bamboo  Cashmere  Cotton  Linen  Mohair  Nylon  Rayon  Wool

 
 
 
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