Soo… I tried something a little different today. Remember when I said that I had bought some silk cocoons? (Cut ones though, I refuse to buy anything which is bought about by cruelty). Today was the day I finally decided to try them out. The silk is very long and thin and catches on everything. 

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Cocoon fingers!!! (Childish but funny 😛 )

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I got hold of an old picture frame which had been thrown away, and took the back from it. On this I inserted eight drawing pins. Not the best thing to use, but it’s what I had on hand at the time. I put a pin in each corner, and one in the middle of each side. This is where I was going to put the hankies once they have been stretched.

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I then got hold of some fairly hot water and put into my individual dyeing jars. My thoughts were that I could keep an eye on each cocoon and watch it transform. Also, so that it won’t stick to others making it harder to use. I put a cocoon in each jar.

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But I found to my dismay that the water was just not hot enough, and I didn’t want to make it hotter or it would ruin the jars. I decided to find out my big dyeing pot and filled it half full with boiling water and some clothes washing powder. (I read that somewhere it would help clean and degum (?) it).

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I dropped them all in, and tried to keep them apart as much as possible. I tried to get a photo of them softening up, but as soon as the camera got near the lens got misted, haha. Once they were able to be squashed out of shape (pretty easily) and were kinda gooey I could start the hanky making process!

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The cocoons were so soft on my fingers. I did recall seeing on eBay that people were selling the cocoons as as way of making your skin feel nice and smooth. You soaked the cocoon in some warm water, stick your finger in it and rub it over your skin. Sound odd, but it does feel nice! (Though to be honest, they stink…).

I took the cocoon and stretched it as much as possible and put it over the pins on the board. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of this process, but it was a bit harder than I thought it was going to be. I mean, easy to stretch, but not easy to get into squares, haha.

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Very poor first attempt, but I’m learning, and I enjoyed the process. I did this for the other seven. Not all of them went on as neatly as I would have liked, and some didn’t even make all the nails. Patience and practice I think 🙂

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I think this is all eight. I only did that many to see how it works. I have another 22 or so to go, so that can be another days work. I then took these hankies, board and all, and rinsed it under the sink. My head kept saying noooo, they will felt! (But of course it won’t, it’s silk, not wool!) They can get matted, but I took extra care and did it really carefully.

I then peeled the hankies off and put them in a layer of kitchen roll paper. then this was rolled in a towel and stood on for a couple of minutes to get all the moisture out. Once done, I undid it all, and voila! A set of silk hankies! It is still drying as we speak, but this next photo is basically it. I’m so pleased.

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I don’t even want to spin with it, haha, I wanna keep it forever 😛 Nahh, I might try spinning with it tomorrow, we shall see. And if I make some more, I would like to try dyeing them too.

Overall, an interesting little project, but time consuming if you have lots to do, and not much to show for a lot of work. But, I found it interesting, an educational experience, and something I would def. do again. 10/10. I’d recommend it, even just to try it. But remember, get the cut cocoons, not the uncut ones. 🙂

And how did the rest of today go? I’ve got half my lessons planned, yay! Hopefully do the rest tomorrow. I also did mountains of washing and tumble drying, as well as folding.

Little Saffy is still here and she seems to be doing quite well. Her eyes were a bit stuck so I’ve eased them open with warm water and she has been crawling around on me. She has also eaten some bread and biscuits, which is great! And, the best thing? She tried biting me! Which hopefully means she is starting to get back to normal. She seems pretty weak at the moment, but hopefully she will improve. Such a sweetie.

Anyway, off to go do something else now, very probably wool/yarn related.

Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx

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9 thoughts on “

  1. Wow! So educational! I’ve wondered how silk was turned into usable fiber… quite the process… but it looks like fun! My kids were completely enamored by the little bit of silk fiber that came in my sample pack, and I’m excited to learn to spin with it too… so I will probably have to try this eventually, myself. Not feltable sounds attractive as well. 😉

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