Jillian’s Spinning: Soffsilk and a Saranac Yarn Comparison

I was given a few samples of Soffsilk at TNNA by the lovely ladies at Camaj Fiber Arts.  Soffsilk is a handdyed, cut, mulberry silk fiber that comes in a preparation that is similar to a cloud, puffy, fluffy and soft.

Soffsilk fiber

Soffsilk fiber

It was incredible easy to spin, when I let it do what it wanted to. It makes a textured yarn that can be quite airy.The fiber seems to have been cut and teased open, and I fluffed it even more by hand before I spun it. It would be fantastic blended into batts.  Spinners that need to make very smooth, controlled yarns should probably skip this fiber. Spinning this fiber was absolute potato chip spinning, I couldn’t stop trying things. In the end I made three yarns.

Soffsilk Yarns

Soffsilk Yarns

I spun (top, L to R) a Corespun yarn with a laceweight commercial wool as the core, a lofty textured 2-ply and a spiral ply with a Soffsilk single and Camaj Fiber Arts Boheme, a sari ribbon yarn. Besides the great colors and easy spin, what I found wonderful and unique about Soffsilk is how light the spun yarn is. Something I don’t often find in recycled silk fibers.


A quick Saranac before and after yarn comparison.

Remember my over plied Saranac yarn? I took out some of the ply and am now happily knitting with it. I promised you a few facts and figures about the two yarns this week. First, look at this photo:

Saranac yarns. Left, original over plied yarn; Right, yarn with much of the ply twist remeoved

Saranac yarns. Left, original over plied yarn; Right, yarn with much of the ply twist removed

A huge difference just visually. Here are the stats: Original yarn – Twist Per Inch = 4.5, Twist Angle = 50%, Yards Per Pound = 900. New less plied yarn – Twists Per Inch = 3, Twist Angle = 40%, Yards Per Pound = 1,150. Significant changes to a knitting yarn just with adjusting the ply twist – I love spinning. I wish you could all feel the yarn and knitted fabric too.

I think I am still going to run out of yarn. Thankfully a have stash and samples spun in colors that go along with these. Hooray for sampling!

Have you experimented through sampling or played with any new fibers this week?

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