Silk yarn properties
Combining the Blended Yarns
All of these fabulous blends are stunning woven on their own or mixed and matched together for even greater, more exotic diversity. Men particularly like the handsome fabric made with natural coloured silk/yak in one direction and silk/camel in the other. Another distinguished mix for men is the beautiful silvery silk/yak as warp with black 30/2 silk as weft. The softness of hand and colour of silk/camel woven with silk/cashmere is delicious. Silk/ramie woven with 30/2 silk or silk/cotton is a perfect fabric for summer wear. The exciting mixes goes on.Photo by Karen Selk
Dyeing Silk Blend Yarns
Some dyes work best on protein fibres and others work better on vegetable fibres. When blended yarn has both protein and cellulose fibres, one of them will not accept the dye as readily as the other. Often the appearance is heathered, giving it an added dimension. When different protein fibres are blended together, they accept the dye beautifully. Some blends may look like they accept more dye than others.
As glorious as silk is, sometimes a marriage with other fibers is practical and enhances both fiber types.
These unions can be made in two ways: blending fibers in the carding process before it is spun into yarn (see listing of Treenway Yarns) or using a mixture of different fibers in a woven item.
Each fiber shrinks at a certain rate, however. Group only one or two ends of the same fiber together so that individual yarns must compromise and settle in harmony. If many threads of the same fiber are grouped together in bands, the result may be unsolicited seersucker. It is safe to use one yarn type in the warp and another in the weft. Each direction can shrink as it likes without affecting the other.
Silk 55% / Angora (Rabbit) 45%
Rabbits of many colours, specially bred for long fur, provide Angora fibre. There are a number of different breeds, each with distinctive characteristics. Angora rabbits have two types of fibre in their fur. The outer layer is longer with shiny, stiffer guard hair, which protects the inner fibres. The inner layer is thick and fluffy to keep the rabbit warm. The different breeds have varying amounts of these fur layers. The rabbit fur is removed by plucking or shearing three to four times a year. Small-scale growers usually pluck the rabbit, which is believed to give the best quality fibre. This is not feasible on a commercial level, where the rabbits are shorn. Neither process hurts the rabbit.