Using silk knitting yarn can give your creations a wonderful softness and sheen, and is a popular choice for knitting warm-weather clothes.
Traditionally, silk knitting yarn is made from purely silk fibres, but these days, many variations and combinations of silk knitting yarns are readily available including synthetic knitting yarns with many of the same properties as silk. Still, for quality and originality, nothing can ever completely replace the genuine silk knitting yarns.
Silk yarn is generally woven into a very fine or lace knitting yarn. The sheen and tensile strength of the silk yarns tends to be much better than most other fibers but even among natural silk knitting yarns, there are subtle differences that will result in different results for your garments knitted with silk. The ideal silk knitting yarns are made with the long strands of silk taken in whole from the cocoon of the silkworm. The long strands of silk fiber are used to create the finest quality silk knitting yarn and silk cloth.
There are other methods of creating silk yarn, and not all silk is created equal … though certainly much of it is based on individual tastes perhaps moral grounds for some people. Retrieving the single strands of silk necessitates killing the silkworms. While sufficient qualities are allowed to survive to produce more silkworms to harvest more silk, this actually does present a moral dilemma for some people. Countries like India and a few other places around the world have taken a different approach to harvesting the silk for the creation of silk knitting yarn that is more durable and just as beautiful in nearly every respect.
The harvesting of wild silk is becoming an increasingly popular method for gathering silk fibers for the creation of silk knitting yarn and other silk products. The silkworms are allowed to live a complete life-cycle and only when the cocoon has hatched and the moths have discarded the silk cocoon does the harvest take place. While this does prevent the silk strands from being harvested in a single strand, it does have certain benefits.
The discarded silk cocoons are then carefully removed from their place and brushed and spun much the same as cotton or wool knitting yarns. When the silk is harvested in this fashion it is usually known as Ahimsa silk but this is not always the case. Natural Silk harvesting is becoming increasingly popular around the world. While there are many benefits to getting the silk this way … especially for the silkworms who are more personally involved, there are some drawbacks as well.
Natural silk yarns tend to be a bit more yellow, grey or even brown in shade than the more traditionally harvested silks and the single stranded silks do. This makes them especially difficult to die and they often lose some of their signature silk sheen as well. Fortunately, no matter what type of silk knitting yarn you are looking for, there are many options available these days.
Whether you want silk knitting yarns made from the single strands, wild silk knitting yarns or even synthetic silk knitting yarn, they are all easily found and in a wide range of prices and styles.