Silk Challenge-Part 2

When I have new fibers or yarns and am trying to figure out how to use them my first step is to sample. Sometimes this is a full-sized sample. For instance I go ahead and weave a blanket or a scarf, etc and learn as I go how the yarns work together and decide if I like it or if I should change something next time.

The silk challenge poses a different problem for me. I don’t have any idea of how these yarns will work and I don’t really have an end project in mind although a scarf is one idea. By the way, the responses to the last blog were good ideas

  • color and weave effect
  • accent colors on woven sheep as in  some very cool sheep paintings that Dona sent
  • fabric for the “squares jacket” that Diane brought to WWW
So my first step was to wind a narrow warp and experiment with weft. I started with the heavier red silk yarn at 6 epi.  I used the sari silk yarn, silk rags and bamboo yarn in various combinations of fiber and weave structure. Interesting but nothing jumps out at me.
My next sample was to use the sari silk yarn for warp. I was hesitant about this because it is so “hairy” I thought that it might not work well as the warp. At 6 epi it worked fine in this narrow sample and I like the results better than the first warp. I will have to evaluate all these different sections as to drape, durability, etc and decide where to go with this project.
These are the samples. One thing that I don’t necessarily like about using the silk strips is that the colors become blocky–weaving 3-4 inches of each color. If I wove a wider piece that wouldn’t be as much of an issue but it will be in a narrow scarf.
In this sample I alternated colored strips so that one color blends into the next. I also beat more tightly. This wouldn’t be very good for a scarf but would be a great jacket or mat.
I like this part. I alternated the strips with the sari silk in a twill. This is beat more loosely so there is better drape, but it could be considered sleazy if the fabric was to be used for something that needed firmness.

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