Friday, November 20, 2009

Q is for Queen Fiber

I was reading some posts the other day by people who have no use for recycled sari silk yarn. Although I haven't used it much, I have several skeins in my stash and I like the way it looks.

Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that the yarn is made from old saris that had been chopped up and spun into yarn. I was wrong. I don't know why the word recycled was attached to this yarn, but it isn't accurate. The yarn is made from leftovers (aka waste) from the sari weaving process. The fibers in the yarn haven't actually been used for anything previously. I know there's a word for this but I don't know what that word is. Upcycled? Downcycled? Tricycled? I don't know.

To confuse matters further, the words silk waste have a couple of different meanings. There's the kind that is used to make recycled sari silk yarn. Then there's the kind that is leftover after reeled silk (aka the good stuff) is created. That silk waste is converted into something called spun silk, also known as queen fiber*. I don't think that spun silk is related in any way to recycled sari silk yarn, except that they both began with silkworms.

I learned that there are a number of different sources for recycled sari silk yarn. It is not all the mostly-red, overspun yarn that the posting people were complaining about. There are solid colors, variegated colors, and colorless yarns you can dye yourself. The fiber that the yarn is made from can be purchased and you can spin it yourself.

*Of course it would have made more sense for me to post this tomorrow as "R is for Recycled Sari Silk" or the day after as "S is for Sari Silk". I'd still be in need of a Q.

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