Silk Long Underwear

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I machine wash all my silk clothing. I use the delicate setting and cold water. I also throw them in the dryer on the low setting.

As a result, a lot my Wintersilks clothes have fallen apart. However, my other silk clothes are fine so far. I use Tommy Bahama long sleeve button up shirts and pants for work. The pants (90% silk) I bought new with large discounts (eg 60-75% off) online from places like Nordstrom Rack and Sierra Trading Post. The long sleeve shirts (100% silk) I bought used on ebay for under $20.

None of my Tommy Bahama silk clothes are shiny or super smooth, though they are much higher quality than smooth or shiny Wintersilks clothes.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
hlat said:
I machine wash all my silk clothing. I use the delicate setting and cold water. I also throw them in the dryer on the low setting.

As a result, a lot my Wintersilks clothes have fallen apart.

I have the same experience. I just expect the Wintersilks to slowly degrade. They don't fully fall apart, just the seams. So it seems (no pun intended), that you could cut them up and make something out of them.

Since I'm usually hard to buy for, my mom and grandma usually buy me more Wintersilk underclothes for Christmas. Now I'm curious about the burn test. Maybe the silk makes good charcloth? :P
 

herondancer

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
monotonic said:
I did think of cutting them up to make quilts with, or having them tailored and asking the tailor to use the trimmings to make scarves for instance. It may be a good option, if the cost of tailoring is not more than the cost of a new silk shirt. If that's the case, then it may all just be a waste of money unless I can sell the shirts.

We have a front-loading washer which is less dangerous than a top loading washer, so machine washing is more feasible. However I'm not sure how far I can push this, I'm not sure how to know which shirts actually need to be hand-washed (most of them say machine washable). However these are men's shirts which seem to steer clear of very delicate washing requirements. What kind of soap do you use?

I use Woolite. It's meant for natural fibers. There are even laundry soaps especially for silk. I think your shirts will be fine in the machine set to cold water using a gentle cycle. No synthetic detergents and no dryer though. Heat and harsh chemicals will make the fiber break down.

Good luck with the alterations!
 

Altair

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
herondancer said:
monotonic said:
I did think of cutting them up to make quilts with, or having them tailored and asking the tailor to use the trimmings to make scarves for instance. It may be a good option, if the cost of tailoring is not more than the cost of a new silk shirt. If that's the case, then it may all just be a waste of money unless I can sell the shirts.

We have a front-loading washer which is less dangerous than a top loading washer, so machine washing is more feasible. However I'm not sure how far I can push this, I'm not sure how to know which shirts actually need to be hand-washed (most of them say machine washable). However these are men's shirts which seem to steer clear of very delicate washing requirements. What kind of soap do you use?

I use Woolite. It's meant for natural fibers. There are even laundry soaps especially for silk. I think your shirts will be fine in the machine set to cold water using a gentle cycle. No synthetic detergents and no dryer though. Heat and harsh chemicals will make the fiber break down.

Good luck with the alterations!

Indeed. Maximal 20°C, 400 cycles of rotation per minute and washing in a laundry bag with special "silk detergent".
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Slightly off topic, but I know a source for silk noil yarn, sold by the 1lb cone. Knit-it-now (formerly Bonnie Triola Yarns) will be ordering this again on March 15th. It dyes easily and makes sturdy, fairly thick (relative to most silk fabrics) garments and fabrics (for blankets). You could get a very thick fabric by double knitting, or even y using multiple strands together (which would knit up a lot faster!). I'm planning to buy a few pounds. If there is a lot of interest here, perhaps I can ask for a discount code for our group. Let me know if you would likely purchase some. The source is in USA. Usual price is $22/cone. It was on sale recently for $19/cone. I think this is a good value, even at $22.
There is a short video on the yarn on this page:
_http://www.knititnow.com/store/product/401/yeoman-silk-bourette/ConeDetails?utm_source=ConstantContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3-21-15-silk-yarn-on-cones

I've also attached a picture of a sweater I'm wearing now, made of something very similar, if not the same. This appears to have been knitted on a standard gauge machine 1/1 rib, dyed a camel color.
 

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Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Here is another source for silk, this time unspun fiber roving of various types and grades. I think silver bombyx is the best grade, but tussah might be useful too. One could knit with the roving (rope of unspun fiber) directly. I think a much better price is available in China. Anyone live in that or another silk production area?
_https://www.treenwaysilks.com/productlist.php?category=16

Here is a tutorial on knitting with roving. FYI, roving can easily be divided into much smaller diameter sections if you want something less bulky.


https://youtu.be/3Of4ytjVLkw
 

monotonic

The Living Force
Wow, interesting ideas. What about the washability of the yarn and roving? Down here in the south, everything picks up sweat over time.
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have machine washed this sweater on cold/gentle maybe 5-6 times. I got it from my sister who wore it for many years. The fabric is fine. One seam needs a repair.
I would hand wash anything made from unspun roving. Silk fibers are a bit sticky, as far as getting caught in tiny (invisible) skin cracks. I think if I made a thick blanket like that, I would enclose it in a duvet to keep in clean and to keep the fibers off of fiber magnets. Spun yarn is no problem this way. But if you want to spin it, you might as well buy it as a yarn.
Another possibility is to take old silk clothes, sarees, scarves... cut them into strips for knitting, weaving or crochet. It is possible to find bolt remnants and smaller yardages at a good price in fabric stores.
 

monotonic

The Living Force
Down here I have no use for a knitted sweater, even in the winter the wind just blows all the heat out of it. The roving is actually more expensive than the yarn by the pound. It may make a good batting for pillows or inside blankets though.
 

herondancer

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Yupo said:
Slightly off topic, but I know a source for silk noil yarn, sold by the 1lb cone. Knit-it-now (formerly Bonnie Triola Yarns) will be ordering this again on March 15th. It dyes easily and makes sturdy, fairly thick (relative to most silk fabrics) garments and fabrics (for blankets). You could get a very thick fabric by double knitting, or even y using multiple strands together (which would knit up a lot faster!). I'm planning to buy a few pounds. If there is a lot of interest here, perhaps I can ask for a discount code for our group. Let me know if you would likely purchase some. The source is in USA. Usual price is $22/cone. It was on sale recently for $19/cone. I think this is a good value, even at $22.
There is a short video on the yarn on this page:
_http://www.knititnow.com/store/product/401/yeoman-silk-bourette/ConeDetails?utm_source=ConstantContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3-21-15-silk-yarn-on-cones

I've also attached a picture of a sweater I'm wearing now, made of something very similar, if not the same. This appears to have been knitted on a standard gauge machine 1/1 rib, dyed a camel color.

I'd love to make an order. It's a bargain, but maybe they might give more of a discount for a large order. It must be rather thin as they recommend it for machine knitting, but you can always use two strands for a bulkier yarn. Good find!
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think this would knit up into very warm, very durable undergarments. My next question: since it is spun from short (trash silk) fibers, will it give RF insulation too, or is the staple length an important factor in the protective qualities of silk?
 

monotonic

The Living Force
I don't know the mechanism for RF protection by silk and it is almost certainly not the same as for normal materials. It may not even have anything to do with blocking RF directly. We know that the majority of frequencies used by humans pass unaffected. My educated guess is that even short strands will be long enough to perform it's function, whereas the size of the largest hole between fibers/knits will determine the coverage - a lacy garment full of holes will probably have much less effect. This is the same concept as braid coverage in a coaxial transmission line.
 
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