These photos are a little out of order but you’ll get the gist. the gist is, if you have an opportunity to take a class with Michael Cook on how to tie your shoes, SIGN UP!
The classroom was ready on time. Each student got 8 ounces of silk cocoons. Enough to play with for 2 days an even more to take home.
There was a lot of twisting and twisting and twisting. It’s actually known as throwing.
There was also a lot of winding and transferring and winding. All to get the moisture out before the twisting (throwing)
But before all of that twisting and transferring and winding there was reeling. This is Michael showing the Lao technique that needs VERY little equipment.
This is my degummed wet skein. It has over 300 yards…my estimate was around 100:-)
This is how the silk looks after throwing but before degumming.
The degumming process is a simmering process with a couple of chemicals in the simmering water. But not hard.
After the silk simmers and is rinsed it has a bath in a citric acid solution and another little rinse and then it dries.
This is a medieval reeling machine. I took the photo after the cocoons were reeled but look at the amount of silk on that reel!
My twisting took all day.
From these bobbins. There are about 12-16 cocoons reeled together and then 2 or 3 or 4 or as many as you like of those are all thrown together to make a singles yarn or filament. it has to do with the thickness you want your final filament to be.
This is the setup for the Japanese technique.
And a tiny bit better photo. if you look closely you can see the silk on the aparatus.

Some students brought show and tell….this is a silk worm in the process of spinning.
And we got to keep some of the worms that Michael brought. The kids are thrilled and we have a mulberry tree just over the neighbor’s fence. Who knew?!

It was a fantastic class. I learned a ton. Take this class!

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