Habu kamikuri silk cocoons
First, I have to thank Wormspit for having such informative and confidence-boosting silk cocoon tutorials on his blog. Heck, he makes it look like any 'ol fool can just chuck a bunch of cocoons in a pot and whip up some hankies. And this fool did just that.
A few years ago, I went to the TKGA conference in Atlanta where I took a spinning class using a supported Russian spindle and I first ever saw Habu fibers. ( One event affects the other.) I circled around the Habu display a few times before zooming in and swooping up various stainless steel, silk and cotton yarns. And like the magpie that I am, I spied some bags of these kamikuri cocoons and bought a couple for good measure. And just what in the Sam Hill was I going to do with these nifty little blobs of gold? Uh, I dunno...sew them onto stuff? Make groovy fiber jewelry? Put them in a drawer for a few years and then recently find them?
During my recent manic craft week a go-go, I rediscovered the cocoons and decided to do a little research. It turns out that the kamikuri cocoons are considered much like the good looking children in a trophy marriage: decorative but high maintenance as opposed to the more classical bloodlines of their bombyx mori half-siblings.
Luckily, I have all the various chemicals needed for degumming as I'm housing a small DYE FACTORY in my guest bathroom. I like to think that the cocoons were taking a nice hot bath at some ersatz Japanese ryokan after a long spell in a plastic bag.
I'm sure the hardcore degummers have elaborate frames to dry their fibers on. Me? I had a big wire colander in my kitchen.