Monday, April 27, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Silk Tram I am now winding skeins of fine silk tram for the gold and lime weft yarns. These yarns will form the motifs in the next crackle piece.

This is the first time I have worked with silk tram. I knew it was shiny and meant for weft. I wanted it to help highlight the motifs in this piece. The photo gives a good idea of just how shiny the yarn is.

Here is what MSN Encarta says about tram silk;

Tram is made by twisting in only one direction two or more raw-silk threads, with 8 to 12 turns/cm (20 to 30 turns/in).

But here is what Habu Textiles says, in part, about it:

This is a "tram" silk, which means it is specially made to be used as weft yarn for weavers. There is virtually no twist in the yarn, so it is very soft and shiny…. Because of the minimal twist in the yarn, the silk filament tends to get caught in rough hands. Dyes very well.

For this particular skein, at least, Habu has got a better hold on the twist issue. That there is virtually no twist is obvious when I handle it for the ends simply untwist into their component threads. My hands are not rough. I have never had trouble with silk in that respect. With this I am going to have be generous with hand cream.

Silk tram comes in various weights. This particular tram is only slightly heavier than the 60/2 bombyx silk.

I am glad that it dyes well because I think I am going to have lots of trouble, so the dyeing needs to be worth it. When I took the white skein meant for dyeing off the skein winder, the yarn just “flew apart.” The photo shows quite vividly just how flyaway the yarn is. I think it is going to be very very prone to snarling and knotting. Oh happy day…………

Related Post: Winding the Silk Tram

Silk Tram” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 27, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Leigh said...

I didn't know about silk tram and am always happy to learn something new. Of course, silk is out of my league for weaving, but I love it nonetheless.

Susan said...

Perhaps while you have it on the skein winder place lots of figure eight ties to keep the silk under (loose) wraps?

I would dye the skeins premordanted ( pre soaked in water/ acetic acid base ( vinegar) and not stir or disturb the fibre if possible. (Actually I would gently presoak to thoroughly wet the fibre. I have soaked silk for 2-3 hours and still had some white spots where the sericin interfered with the water take up. I laid the silk into luke warm water for 24 hours ahead of the mordanting and dye session)

I have wound bobbins directly from skeins on my swift when tangling was an issue over making a ball on the winder. It's slow but worked!


Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Leigh, the amount I am using is miniscule. Also, because I dye my own yarns and weave so very slowly (grin!), the total cost of my yarn is really low in terms of how long it takes me to use it up. True, I am not weaving fabric and that would definitely get very expensive!
Susan, I do use figure-of-eight ties, four of them. I could use eight or them and the silk would still fly away the minute I removed it from the winder. I soak it overnight. No problems with white spots from sericin interference. I wouldn't dare wind pirns directly from the skein. I have to use an electric winder for that or I could not package it hard and tightly enough. Winding pirns requires flawless cones.......sob..... I have another post coming up on the silk tram which might surprise you........