Where Does Silk Yarn Come From? – Yarn University #9


Moths? In my yarn? Sounds like a nightmare
situation! But did you know some of the most luxurious yarn is actually made
with the help of these little critters? That’s right! Silk is made by bugs. (Pomp and Circumstance) (sheep baaa!) Silk is a natural protein fiber spun
from the cocoons of the caterpillars of the Bombyx mori otherwise known as the
silk moth. These moths mainly eat the leaves of mulberry trees so you don’t
have to worry about them getting into your precious sweaters. Each silkworm
cocoon is made from a single strand of wound raw silk that can measure over
3,000 feet long. Multiple cocoon threads are plied
together to create silk threads. It can take thousands and thousands of cocoons
to create the silk yarn you see on the shelf at your local yarn store. Silkworms
were domesticated in China over 5,000 years ago. Fabric of woven silk was found
in tombs of Hunan province dating to 3630 BCE. Today silk is still
predominantly made in Asia. Silk gets its shine from a natural prism structure and
it’s known for having a smooth, soft texture making it perfect for drapey
projects like shawls. It’s one of the strongest natural fibers but it has
little elasticity and can stretch out. Be careful when using 100% silk for
garments because they can lose their shape. When mixed with other fibers like
wool, silk can provide the strength to the project you’re making. Silk is also
lightweight and cool to the touch making it good for summer projects. Have you
worked with silk before? Did you know how it was made?
Leave a comment and let us know below!

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