Thursday, December 21, 2006

Silk Yarns

The previous blog entry, written by Machteld, turned out to be quite interesting as to which yarn type she used to make her embroidery. I thought it interesting enough to write a complete post about the subject of silk yarns, and try to share with you everything I know about it... Which yarns to use when?

As Machteld wrote in her comment she uses 'Au ver a soie' silk embroidery floss, very similar to DMC cutton floss. I habe been using another kind of spun silk yarn, of which I do not know the brand. I have found spun silk to be ideal for making tassels, but less perfect for the embroidery itself.

An alternative to 'Au ver a soie' are the silk yarns by 'Devere Yarns'. Gina Barrett wrote about these on her blog:

"Oh, and I do have to say that if anyone wants silk, you really ought to try DeVere's. They are excellent - I have used them for years, and their silk is the closest I have
found to historic silk. It is filament silk, with so much more sheen that spun silk. They also do some lovely cottons and linens, and worsted threads, and I can't recommend them enough."

I must admit I have never used DeVere silk for embroidery before. I have just recieved my first order, but the yarn I ordered I will be using for fingerloopbraids. When I have some left, I'll sure use it for embroidery, and off course let you know the advantages and disadvantages compared to spun silk.

Also, an interesting discussion about this subject can be found on the Soper Lane forum. You can read it here. There are some members of Sopor Lane who are far mor knowledgeble on this subject than me, and have seen far more original pieces!
In the discussion, it seems to turn out that medieval silkwomen used to prefer to work with filament silk, and that for fingerloopbraiding, tabletweaving and embroidery, filimant silk was probably used in most cases. Spun silk could have been used for making tassels, or silkwork of lesser quality.

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