“SIX SLICK SILKS” – Silk Reeling Workshop
Teacher: Michael Cook
Website: WormSpit – A site about silkworms, silkmoths, and silk
Dates: October 20-22, 2023 (Friday-Sunday)
Cost: $275 (includes materials)
Location: Guild House
Students will learn two distinct styles of reeling (single basin, or village, and double basin, or international), and how to throw the resulting filament to make a variety of yarns suitable for weaving, embroidery, and knitting. Class will cover basic information about sericulture and proceed through reeling, throwing, plying, and degumming; these techniques will enable participants to understand silk yarn structure, and build a yarn for whatever purpose they wish.
Students will need some kind of twisting device - the optimal setup is a high-ratio spinning wheel (lace flyer), but any variety of twisting implement from drop spindle to electric spinner can yield good results. No silk-reeling experience is required; this class starts with the very basics and builds from there. Basic spinning ability and basic yarn-handling skills such as skein-making and knot tying will be helpful - but not necessary.
Successful and focused students should be able to go home with at least six skeins of finished yarn, ready to dye or use as-is for various weaving, embroidery, knitting, etc.
Here is a brief video from American Museum of Natural History featuring Michael showing the process: Traditional Silk-Making - From AMNH's Silk Road Exhibition