Monday, July 23, 2012
Hand-dyed Silk Hankies
My favorite method for spinning a hanky is to pull off one very thin layer (one cocoon's worth), punch a hole in the center with my finger and then start pulling it out into a large circle eventually breaking it at one end - so what's left is a long length of silk roving ready to spin. In spinning I make sure I hold my hands far apart as the silk fibers are very long and strong. It will want to spin thread thin on it's own.
Oh, just had a thought, some may not know what a silk hanky is. A silk cocoon is degummed and stretched over a square frame with one nail in each corner which is where the hanky shape comes from. Many of these cocoons are layered on top of one another. Usually the hankies are a pretty nice square like some of those above, but my last order of them were pretty weird shaped, not so pretty but will spin just the same. This same process may be done on a form similiar to a hat form which creates what are called silk caps.