Saturday, May 22, 2010

Soy "Silk"

I'm working my way through the plant-derived fibres that make up the last unit of my spinning course. After my dislike for the bamboo fibre, the soy was a pleasant surprise. I don't love it, but the fibres are longer and not so smooth. That makes the physical challenge of spinning easier. The material is not as evenly processed either. After the uniform white of the bamboo, a bit of twiggy imperfection was quite welcome every now and then. And I occasionaly spotted a bit of waviness in the fibre--not the elastic crimp of wool, but some sort of crimp nonetheless. The colour is this light honey tone: Having said all that in its favour, it's not silk. Call me biased, but look at this pic, you can see some lustre, but not enough for a real Wow.

As for environmental credentials: apparently this stuff is a made from a byproduct of tofu. That should please my vegetarian friends. I couldn't get any meaningful information about the actual processing, so I can't do a side by side comparison between cotton, bamboo and soy for "green value".

The next thing to think about is dyeing. I'm going to have to experiment. I'd lumped this fibre in with the "semi-synthetic cellulose" group, but apparently it takes acid dyes well. And if it's a tofu byproduct, then mabe there's more protein in there than I thought. I don't know enough about it at this stage.

I'm still strongly focussed on getting my spinning requirments ticked off, so just now it's most valuable feature is that it is done. Now for a soy-wool blend--maybe today--and two tencel skeins. The countdown continues!

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