I am pleased to say that, after six years of searching, I have found a source for hand-reeled silk yarn from Laos! I’m ordering direct from a co-operative in Laos, and have ordered 5 kg (mustn’t get greedier than that…mustn’t get greedier…finite space…finite space…) of it in white. It also comes in naturally dyed colors. And they are only charging me wholesale prices…$35/kg plus shipping from Laos!! That’s only about $16/lb, or what I’d pay for cotton, here!
At least I hope that’s what I’m buying. There’s the language barrier, of course, and there was some momentary confusion about whether I was buying cocoons or yarn, or what kind of yarn I wanted, and it took me nearly two weeks to worm a price out of them…and I still don’t know the grist (weight per pound) of the stuff they’re sending me…so I am not exactly sure whether the yarn I’m buying is the yarn I want. That’s the hazard of ordering from a non English speaking country! But on their website, the yarn they’re using is the same as the yarn I saw whilst traveling in Laos, so I feel it’s a fairly good shot, and at $16/lb I can afford some risk. If this order goes well, next time I’m going to order a big pile of their naturally dyed silk – the colors are gorgeous.
If at this point you are wondering, “What is Lao hand-reeled silk?”, it’s a loosely twisted, incredibly lustrous, hand-reeled silk of weight between 30/2 and 60/2 silk. They use it to weave their gorgeous tapestries. You can see photos on my Laos textile webpage from my travels. OMG the stuff is beautiful. It was so beautiful that I bought several pounds when I traveled through Laos, despite not being a weaver! Since then I have been carefully hoarding it, feeling that my skills were not yet up to doing the yarn justice.
At any rate, I am extremely happy to be getting my hands on more, and am hoping that everything works out as planned on my order!
In creative news, I have a pile of chocolate boxes, trays, molds, etc. to wash on the living room table. It’s literally three feet high (or would be if I stacked everything). I’ve mostly been working my way through that, and catching up on sleep, but I’ve also done some technical investigation on Weavolution. I hope to get back to weaving soon, though Weavolution will continue to occupy a good chunk of my time.