Hankie Pankie

Yesterday I made a silk hankie.  We had made one in level 3’s class work back in July, but yesterday I wanted to try a different method and I’m glad I did.  I degummed the cocoons!  The end result is a much softer, drapier hankie.

I started with pre-dyed cocoons I got from Celeigh Wool in Millet (no website, sadly).  Look how dark they are!

Then I put them into 7 cups of water (1 cup each, not that I think that matters) with 1 Tablespoon Orvus paste, and a heaping 1/2 Tablespoon Borax.  I accidentally let them boil in the water for a couple minutes; I was only trying for 185 F and stepped away to talk on the phone for a bit and they boiled.  Hhhhh.  Ah well, I think no harm, no foul.

Then I rinsed them a couple of times in hot tap water, and the last rinse had a shot of vinegar in it to cut the base of the Borax.  The cloud isn’t leaching dye, it’s degummed fibres.

Then I stretched them on my hankie frame.  It wrinkled my finger tips.

And once it was dry, I had a cute little hankie, and it’s a lot paler than we started with.  I still intend to spin it, but I got distracted by some machine-carded bamboo I got in the mail and needed to do a little non-homework related spinning.  So the spun hankie yarn is still to come.


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