Monday, March 31, 2008


I have just finished winding five skeins of tassar silk organzine from Habu Textiles. It seemed awfully fine to me. Too fine? I checked the yardage. 60/2 bombyx silk has 15,000 yards per pound. The n-12 silk organzine from Habu has roughly 32,000 yards per pound. Not what I wanted.

How did I get sucked in? Well, when I ordered the yarn from Habu, the one I wanted they did not have and they suggested this as an equivalent. The recommended epi is 30-60. The recommended epi for silk runs around 60-72, So I thought, fine.


Not fine. But then I looked at the two yarns, the 60/2 bombyx and the n-12 organzine, side by side; frankly, the bombyx looked thinner. That can't be right! The bombyx weighs twice as much as the organzine!

Then I hooked a loop of the one around a loop of the other; the bombyx still looked a fraction thinner. Then I doubled the two yarns and hooked a loop of one doubled yarn around a loop of the other doubled yarn. Now the bombyx no longer looked thinner. But perhaps the organzine looked just a trifle thinner? Perhaps?

Doubts began to creep in. Should I use the organzine? Or was I just trying to rationalize not having to make more skeins?


The organzine is clearly softer than the bombyx. Perhaps the softness builds up thickness. Perhaps this is why Habu suggests an epi that can go as low as 30?

Softness in wool or cotton yarn certainly results in a bulkier yarn. Spinning worsted style results in a harder, and consequently thinner, yarn than does spinning woolen style.

But will it beat down to the equivalent of a 120/2 bombyx in the process of weaving? Will I need to adjust my beat to keep the organzine the soft thickness it has?


Clearly there are lots of questions. Only weaving with the yarn can answer these questions. Sooooooooooooo....................I'm going with the organzine. The risk, of course, is, that I may have dyed a whole lot of yarn to no purpose. But that should show itself fairly quickly and I can save the rest of it for another project.

The Habu website does say that it makes both good warp and weft. I'm hesitant to use it as warp for in winding the skein I had one problem with the yarn unplying for a few inches. I had to unwind back to that problem area and knot a new yarn on.

Habu has wonderful yarns. Not just silk, but paper, bamboo, wool, cashmere. Check them out here.

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