Spinning Silk Hankies

The other day I talked about how much I enjoy spinning silk. Today I’d share some ideas on spinning silk hankies 

These are my favourite form of silk. The fibres in hankies tend to be long so it holds together with little twist. In fact, you can knit with pre-drafted hankie without spinning it.  The  yarn can be used as a singles, plied with itself or is great as a finer ply to give an art yarn. 

The other thing I use hankies for is as a base for core spinning but we can talk about that another time  

Like everything in spinning there are many ways to spin hankies. This is just the way I like to spin them. If you have other ways I’d love to hear about them  

Separate a single (or 2 or 3) hankie(s) at the edge, place hand on pile and pull the single hankie(s) away from the pile.

Don’t be tempted to remove more hankies or it will be difficult to draft


Pre-drafting a silk hankie

Make a hole in the centre of hankie,  then, starting one side gently pull to draft. Hold the fibres open; if you let it bunch it is impossible to draft and can cut your hands.

Draft the first 50cm then start spinning and draft as you spin remembering to have a wide drafting triangle so the fibres draft easily 

Spinning silk

You may read about pre-drafting the full hankie or even a series of them and making into nests or wrapping round a toilet roll. 

I have tried both and found the silk loves to tangle so now I find much easier just to start the drafting then draft as I spin. 

Let me know how you spin hankies and any other tips you have to share.

If you’d like to learn more about silk, I have a silk spinning workshop in October. It should be great fun, or come for two days and learn about luxury fibres too silk spinning workshop

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