I love getting to play with exotic fibres, so I jumped at the chance to try spinning Soy Silk. The lovely Miss Gusset was kind enough procure me a bag full from the Victorian Guild, but it was to be quite a while until I got around to spinning it.
The chaps that make Soy Silk claim that it will take colour as well as silk. Perhaps that’s true using more caustic dyeing methods than I’m prepared to dabble in, but it certainly wasn’t the case when using Silk dyeing techniques. The colors turned out bright enough, but nowhere near the vibrancy of Silk.
Another exotic fibre winged it’s way to me from Colleen at Wild Rose Fibres, his one was Ingeo, a fibre produced from corn. Colleen did warn me not to take it above 160°C, so dyeing was out. Not a problem, as the brilliant white made a nice contrast with the dyed Soy Silk.
And a plyed yarn was born. The finished yarn was amazingly soft and pattable. You just wanted to fondle the stuff. Perhaps that’s just the spinner (very much out of the closet yarn fondler) in me talking.
I would have loved to get my hands on some hemp for warp, but Australian suppliers only seem to cater to the craft market at the only yarns available locally are more like string and quite coarse. Instead I opted for Cottolin, a cotton / linen blend, and was able to go quite silly with colours.
As it always seems a waste to go to the trouble of warping the loom for a single scarf, I warped it up for three and wove the second and third scarves using Ramie that a friend had spun. I got to weave and she got two rather nice scarves, both in keeping with the nature of my vegan project.
On finishing the scarves, I found that the Ingeo had a far lower melting point than Colleen indicated. A warm iron caused the Ingeo yarn to bead slightly on the edges of the Soy Silk / Ingeo scarf. It’s not the end of the world, but I was annoyed, and very glad to have plyed it with the Soy Silk instead of plying it on itself. As the manufacturer of Ingeo was blowing its own horn about selling a huge quantity of their product to Diesel Jeans, I hope they get their temperature stability sorted or there’s going to be a lot of pissed off consumers.
As usual, the photos don’t do the final results justice, but the shot of the skein is surprisingly good for a change.