What is Recycled Silk Yarn?:
Recycled silk yarn is a lovely fiber that also happens to help people and the planet. As the name implies, recycled silk yarn is made from recycled silk, more specifically the waste silk from industrial weaving mills in India (the silk is mostly used to make saris). The yarn is hand-spun in Nepal, giving women there a way to work and earn money. It's beautiful all around.
The Beauty of Recycled Silk:
Because the hanks of recycled silk yarn are made individually, each one is unique. There's no dye lot on recycled silk yarn, and even if you buy two hanks from the same manufacturer at the same time there's no guarantee that the colors are going to be the same.
But really that is the beauty of using recycled silk. Each piece has its own individuality and everything you make from the yarn is its own work of art, completely unique.
Preparing to Use Recycled Silk Yarn:
The main thing you need to know about using recycled silk yarn is that it comes in a hank rather than a ball. That means the yarn needs to be wound into a ball before you start knitting.
Believe me, you want to take the time to do this. If you don't, the yarn will end up in a big tangled mess that will take you ages to sort out. If you don't have a swift, which is a fancy gadget that makes ball winding easier, drape the yarn over the backs of a couple of chairs and wind it by hand.
Using Recycled Silk Yarn:
Recycled silk yarn has variations in thickness an the amount of tension in the thread even throughout the same hank. It can get really twisted and kinky if you don't let it hang and unwind itself occasionally.
Recycled silk yarn is beautiful in small projects like bags, wraps, sleeveless tops and other small items where you'd like some luxury. This is especially true because the yarn is expensive, running upwards of $10 a skein for about 80 yards.