Northeast Fiber Arts Center

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Carrier Rods

This 100% silk form is reclaimed from the reeling process. One of the pieces on the machinery that is used to reel silk is called the "carrier rod". During the process of reeling silk, loose filaments get wrapped around this part of the equipment. The reelers remove this silk from the carrier rod when it builds up and that is what this form of silk is. Named for the part of the machinery it is cleaned off of!

Because it is wrapped at high speed around this metal dowel during reeling, it is condensed in a way that, when removed, this silk is almost like an elastic band. When dyed, the sections of the silk that are collapsed back on other sections of the rod "resist" the dye, so when you stretch out the silk carrier rod to use it (see video on silk tutorial page), there is a nice play of dyed with natural white.

Once stretched out, they can be used in felting as a surface embellishment and can be spun to produce a textural yarn.They can also be stitched onto a surface for embellishment. Being 100% silk, they take dye beautifully. If you want to experiment with them and don't want to get into dyeing them, there are some carrier rods included in the Silk Packs found here (which also have cocoons, hankies, and throwster's silk).

If you want to dye your own or work with white, they are sold here in 4 oz package for $10 (shown left). Other photos show carrier rod in felt and then spun.