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what kind of silk?

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  • Verson Medvedinkov
    I m getting ready to do some garb, and I would like to make nicer stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of modern silks, I have no clue which I should
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 27 5:53 PM
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      I'm getting ready to do some garb, and I would like to make nicer
      stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of modern silks, I have no
      clue which I should use. What type would work for say an over shirt
      for a rich person around Kiev (1242)? Also what suggestions for cheap
      fake silk? I've seen some what I guess might be decent "costume
      silk" or something of the like that was 100% polly. And only $2 a
      yard. But for all I know, it might be the a very bad choice to use.
      What about silk with patterns? what should I look for and avoid?

      I would love to use some of the stuff
      herehttp://www.istok.net/home.php?cat=680
      but it is not cheap. And I have people who complain about me using
      the expensive 100% linen.

      -
      Verson Medvedinkov
    • Marilee Humason
      Hi, I got a few pieces from this company, the green garb I did that is on the groups SIG files is one of the pieces. From what I have seen of early period
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 27 8:28 PM
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        Hi,
        I got a few pieces from this company, the green garb I
        did that is on the groups SIG files is one of the
        pieces.
        From what I have seen of early period silk, it would
        seem that the plain, taffeta silk is a good plain
        albeit tight, tabby weave. A jacquard or woven silk is
        also period. Most of us use the noil, although it
        wasn't really used until the 16th century or so,
        (which is fine for me as I am 16th century Moscow) and
        of course the Dupioni because you can get it for 7.00
        a yard in a myriad of colors, although I haven't seen
        any real examples in any of the millions of books on
        silk that I have seen. At least for early period. The
        heavy silk satin is period, but you will have to
        probably dye it, I have only really found it in creme
        or white, unless you find something on ebay or on an
        interesting website.
        I am sure others on this list will have some ideas
        too.
        regards,
        Baroness Anastasia

        --- Verson Medvedinkov <Dragoslav_1242@...> wrote:

        > I'm getting ready to do some garb, and I would
        > like to make nicer
        > stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of modern
        > silks, I have no
        > clue which I should use. What type would work for
        > say an over shirt
        > for a rich person around Kiev (1242)? Also what
        > suggestions for cheap
        > fake silk? I've seen some what I guess might be
        > decent "costume
        > silk" or something of the like that was 100% polly.
        > And only $2 a
        > yard. But for all I know, it might be the a very
        > bad choice to use.
        > What about silk with patterns? what should I look
        > for and avoid?
        >
        > I would love to use some of the stuff
        > herehttp://www.istok.net/home.php?cat=680
        > but it is not cheap. And I have people who
        > complain about me using
        > the expensive 100% linen.
        >
        > -
        > Verson Medvedinkov
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Jennifer Nelson Kemp
        I use a lot of silk shantung which has the flow of nice silk and the durability of the satins. It comes in a huge range of colors and you can get it on sale
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 28 6:26 AM
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          I use a lot of silk shantung which has the flow of nice silk and the
          durability of the satins. It comes in a huge range of colors and you
          can get it on sale for as low as $4.98 a yard sometimes. It is not a
          "stiff" silk like the dupioni and it washes and wears very nicely.

          I usually get most of my silk at www.denverfabrics.com, they will send
          you out a newsletter for when things go on sale. I also just luv their
          wools as well.

          Ianuk
        • Tim Nalley
          That $2 ploy silk is horrible to sew with! ... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 28 9:31 AM
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            That $2 ploy silk is horrible to sew with!

            --- Verson Medvedinkov <Dragoslav_1242@...> wrote:

            > I'm getting ready to do some garb, and I would
            > like to make nicer
            > stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of modern
            > silks, I have no
            > clue which I should use. What type would work for
            > say an over shirt
            > for a rich person around Kiev (1242)? Also what
            > suggestions for cheap
            > fake silk? I've seen some what I guess might be
            > decent "costume
            > silk" or something of the like that was 100% polly.
            > And only $2 a
            > yard. But for all I know, it might be the a very
            > bad choice to use.
            > What about silk with patterns? what should I look
            > for and avoid?
            >
            > I would love to use some of the stuff
            > herehttp://www.istok.net/home.php?cat=680
            > but it is not cheap. And I have people who
            > complain about me using
            > the expensive 100% linen.
            >
            > -
            > Verson Medvedinkov
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


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          • jennifer knox
            I have examples of medieval (12th to 14th century) dupioni style silk, if anyone is interested. There are two kinds of silk: The first kind gives you those
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 28 11:02 AM
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              I have examples of medieval (12th to 14th century) dupioni style silk, if anyone is interested. There are two kinds of silk: The first kind gives you those nice long unbroken fibers. They have to kill the silkworm to get this. The second kind is the silk you see with knobbly bits in it here and there (like dupioni), which is produced by allowing an escape hole for the worm. This makes shorter threads, but the worm lives. I cant imagine that the medieval industry would focus on making a kind of silk that would kill off its most precious commodity, and would reserve this kind of silk for the very richest. look in the museum cataloge of st. servaas in maastricht or in the catalogue for the berlin staatsmuseum, they have a special one just on their silks. if any of you speak dutch or german i can give you the isbn...
              anya


              Marilee Humason <stasiwa@...> wrote:
              Hi,
              I got a few pieces from this company, the green garb I
              did that is on the groups SIG files is one of the
              pieces.
              From what I have seen of early period silk, it would
              seem that the plain, taffeta silk is a good plain
              albeit tight, tabby weave. A jacquard or woven silk is
              also period. Most of us use the noil, although it
              wasn't really used until the 16th century or so,
              (which is fine for me as I am 16th century Moscow) and
              of course the Dupioni because you can get it for 7.00
              a yard in a myriad of colors, although I haven't seen
              any real examples in any of the millions of books on
              silk that I have seen. At least for early period. The
              heavy silk satin is period, but you will have to
              probably dye it, I have only really found it in creme
              or white, unless you find something on ebay or on an
              interesting website.
              I am sure others on this list will have some ideas
              too.
              regards,
              Baroness Anastasia

              --- Verson Medvedinkov <Dragoslav_1242@...> wrote:

              > I'm getting ready to do some garb, and I would
              > like to make nicer
              > stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of modern
              > silks, I have no
              > clue which I should use. What type would work for
              > say an over shirt
              > for a rich person around Kiev (1242)? Also what
              > suggestions for cheap
              > fake silk? I've seen some what I guess might be
              > decent "costume
              > silk" or something of the like that was 100% polly.
              > And only $2 a
              > yard. But for all I know, it might be the a very
              > bad choice to use.
              > What about silk with patterns? what should I look
              > for and avoid?
              >
              > I would love to use some of the stuff
              > herehttp://www.istok.net/home.php?cat=680
              > but it is not cheap. And I have people who
              > complain about me using
              > the expensive 100% linen.
              >
              > -
              > Verson Medvedinkov
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >



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            • Tim Nalley
              From the practical, utilitarian angle I have found that dupioni wears well over time and comfortably, besids coming in a wide and stunning range of colors. It
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 28 11:36 AM
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                From the practical, utilitarian angle I have found
                that dupioni wears well over time and comfortably,
                besids coming in a wide and stunning range of colors.
                It also adds a lot of shine and luster that contrasts
                very nicely with many brocades and voided velvets,
                particularly those with more somber hues. In fact,
                dupioni often acts to bring those fabric patterns
                "into focus" and make them "snap" to the eye,
                increasing the luxuriousness of the entire
                ensemble....whew, sounds like the dialogue from an
                episode of Queer Eye fro the Straight Guy.....but
                true, none the less. More then than now!
                'dok

                --- jennifer knox <jeniferknox@...> wrote:

                > I have examples of medieval (12th to 14th century)
                > dupioni style silk, if anyone is interested. There
                > are two kinds of silk: The first kind gives you
                > those nice long unbroken fibers. They have to kill
                > the silkworm to get this. The second kind is the
                > silk you see with knobbly bits in it here and there
                > (like dupioni), which is produced by allowing an
                > escape hole for the worm. This makes shorter
                > threads, but the worm lives. I cant imagine that
                > the medieval industry would focus on making a kind
                > of silk that would kill off its most precious
                > commodity, and would reserve this kind of silk for
                > the very richest. look in the museum cataloge of
                > st. servaas in maastricht or in the catalogue for
                > the berlin staatsmuseum, they have a special one
                > just on their silks. if any of you speak dutch or
                > german i can give you the isbn...
                > anya
                >
                >
                > Marilee Humason <stasiwa@...> wrote:
                > Hi,
                > I got a few pieces from this company, the green garb
                > I
                > did that is on the groups SIG files is one of the
                > pieces.
                > From what I have seen of early period silk, it would
                > seem that the plain, taffeta silk is a good plain
                > albeit tight, tabby weave. A jacquard or woven silk
                > is
                > also period. Most of us use the noil, although it
                > wasn't really used until the 16th century or so,
                > (which is fine for me as I am 16th century Moscow)
                > and
                > of course the Dupioni because you can get it for
                > 7.00
                > a yard in a myriad of colors, although I haven't
                > seen
                > any real examples in any of the millions of books on
                > silk that I have seen. At least for early period.
                > The
                > heavy silk satin is period, but you will have to
                > probably dye it, I have only really found it in
                > creme
                > or white, unless you find something on ebay or on an
                > interesting website.
                > I am sure others on this list will have some ideas
                > too.
                > regards,
                > Baroness Anastasia
                >
                > --- Verson Medvedinkov <Dragoslav_1242@...>
                > wrote:
                >
                > > I'm getting ready to do some garb, and I would
                > > like to make nicer
                > > stuff in silk. But as I look at the types of
                > modern
                > > silks, I have no
                > > clue which I should use. What type would work for
                > > say an over shirt
                > > for a rich person around Kiev (1242)? Also what
                > > suggestions for cheap
                > > fake silk? I've seen some what I guess might be
                > > decent "costume
                > > silk" or something of the like that was 100%
                > polly.
                > > And only $2 a
                > > yard. But for all I know, it might be the a very
                > > bad choice to use.
                > > What about silk with patterns? what should I
                > look
                > > for and avoid?
                > >
                > > I would love to use some of the stuff
                > > herehttp://www.istok.net/home.php?cat=680
                > > but it is not cheap. And I have people who
                > > complain about me using
                > > the expensive 100% linen.
                > >
                > > -
                > > Verson Medvedinkov
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > SPONSORED LINKS
                > Society for creative anachronism Medieval
                > costume Medieval knights Slavic
                >
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                >
                > Visit your group "sig" on the web.
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
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                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
                > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >
                >
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                > Roosevelt
                >
                > ---------------------------------
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              • Jennifer Nelson Kemp
                I m still of the opinion that the period silk would not have been as stiff/brittle as dupioni. I hate working with it and much prefer the ease that shantung
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 28 11:45 AM
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                  I'm still of the opinion that the period silk would not have been as
                  stiff/brittle as dupioni. I hate working with it and much prefer the ease
                  that shantung has...it is just as lustrious depending on the manufacturer
                  after washing, is easy to sew and I find it doesn't wear out as quick as
                  dupioni. Plus I find that the shantung doesn't cling so bad to the skin in
                  warm climates (I live in AZ).

                  Ianuk
                • Paul W Goldschmidt
                  OK, so my silkworm knowledge is second hand, but if you allow an escape hole in the cocoon, you are releasing the moth, not the worm. Given that one moth
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 28 11:53 AM
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                    OK, so my silkworm knowledge is second hand, but if you "allow" an
                    escape hole in the cocoon, you are releasing the moth, not the
                    worm. Given that one moth can lay hundreds of eggs (apparently
                    300-400 eggs), I would imagine that the husbandry of silkworms is
                    much like any other sort of animal: you let a few live to propagate
                    the next generation and kill the remainder by boiling the cocoons or
                    (slightly more brutal!) unwrapping the cocoon while the pupa is still
                    inside and alive.

                    I hadn't, though, realized that there was an option to let the worm
                    live and still cultivate the threads because I had read that the
                    remaining threads would be too short to weave at all, so I learned
                    something here as well.

                    -- Paul

                    At 01:02 PM 2/28/2006, you wrote:
                    >I have examples of medieval (12th to 14th century) dupioni style
                    >silk, if anyone is interested. There are two kinds of silk: The
                    >first kind gives you those nice long unbroken fibers. They have to
                    >kill the silkworm to get this. The second kind is the silk you see
                    >with knobbly bits in it here and there (like dupioni), which is
                    >produced by allowing an escape hole for the worm. This makes
                    >shorter threads, but the worm lives. I cant imagine that the
                    >medieval industry would focus on making a kind of silk that would
                    >kill off its most precious commodity, and would reserve this kind of
                    >silk for the very richest. look in the museum cataloge of st.
                    >servaas in maastricht or in the catalogue for the berlin
                    >staatsmuseum, they have a special one just on their silks. if any
                    >of you speak dutch or german i can give you the isbn...
                    > anya
                  • Shannon Anderson
                    I took a SCA class a few years ago from a member who raises silk worms. I wish I could remember her name! All I can recall was it was at a Coronation in
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 28 12:06 PM
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                      I took a SCA class a few years ago from a member who raises silk worms. I wish I could remember her name! All I can recall was it was at a Coronation in Cleveland. At this class, the instructor suggested that the Italian silk houses raising the worms would boil most of the cocoons in order to get continuous silk threads but would put aside the nicest, whitest, largest cocoons to allow them to reach moth-maturity and by this way would phenotypically select the next generation for these characteristics.

                      Gregor Mendel would have been fascinated. And much better dressed.

                      Margarita


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                    • Ronald Roberts
                      but it is not cheap. And I have people who complain about me using the expensive 100% linen. i dont know who you are hanging out with man but if you
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 28 1:24 PM
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                        " but it is not cheap. And I have people who
                        complain about me using
                        the expensive 100% linen."

                        i dont know who you are hanging out with man
                        but if you have the means and the money always do it all the way
                        i am poor so i find myself using a lot of spectator linens and linen blends
                        and with linen and silk in many situations you get what you pay for
                        the cheap ones are usually loose weaves with poor fibers
                        so dont be afraid to splurge
                        ask for a sample from any company you buy from so you dont waste money
                        many reputable companies will provide a sample for the price of shipping or
                        a little more

                        as for what silk to use dupioni or raw silk are both acceptable
                        the more period silks cost a fortune, sadly
                        have fun
                        Zhugmun' Broghammer (zippy)

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                      • jennifer knox
                        apparently its the worm that will crawl out. If you poke a hole, it will crawl out before it changes (depending on how early you do so). Otherwise you
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 28 1:26 PM
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                          apparently its the worm that will crawl out. If you poke a hole, it will crawl out before it changes (depending on how early you do so). Otherwise you harvest the whole cocoon before the moth hatches and the worm dies. I teach English to a fabric technician :-). You also have to look at agricultural factors, too. I mean, the Byzantines kidnapped a Chinese monk to get the silk technology, and the Italians in turn snuck the info out of Byzantium. With such a precious commodity one has to assume that they wanted to keep as many worms alive as possible, right? And when you see silk textiles with the bumps here and there, that's actually the breaks in the cocoon. There are tons of examples of such silk (dupioni is only one kind of this) in the church treasuries and museums over here... I'd offer to scan it and post pictures, but we've all seen how reliable I've been with the Moldavian garb picture and the Byzantine handout :-) (I'm actually revising it...I got a few new books and
                          want to include the information in it, sorry guys, hopefully it will be up soon, but I work about 12 hours a day plus travel time and just autocratted an event, and, well, you get it)
                          My knowledge of silk is also second hand and from what I've seen in museums and read online: there is a silk museum nearby in the Netherlands, with a pretty decent website, you should check out.
                          Anya


                          Paul W Goldschmidt <goldschp@...> wrote:
                          OK, so my silkworm knowledge is second hand, but if you "allow" an
                          escape hole in the cocoon, you are releasing the moth, not the
                          worm.

                          "Speak softly and carry a big stick" -- Teddy Roosevelt
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                        • Paul W Goldschmidt
                          Sorry, Anya, but that doesn t make sense to me. The worms die. If you break the cocoon early, they can t just weave another cocoon. And again, given the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 28 1:46 PM
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                            Sorry, Anya, but that doesn't make sense to me. The worms die. If
                            you break the cocoon early, they can't just weave another
                            cocoon. And again, given the economic involved, you'd want to allow
                            the best silk worms to reproduce and cultivate (i.e., kill the
                            rest). It's basic agriculture.

                            But to move this beyond the realm of conjecture, here are some sources:

                            http://www.vegansociety.com/html/animals/exploitation/silk_worm.php
                            -- a biased site (anti-silk) but they confirm what you are saying
                            about silk being made from broken cocoons but also that very few
                            cocoons need to be/are cultivated that way.

                            http://www.aurorasilk.com/raisesilk/index.shtml -- also mentions the
                            "peace silk" you are discussing, but again states that commercial
                            silk isn't cultivated that way.

                            http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/silk.asp -- not terribly
                            well written, but again, there is no conflict between killing most of
                            your worms and promoting the next generation.

                            Whether you let them become moths and lay eggs or whether you boil
                            them alive to cultivate an intact cocoon, you cannot keep them alive
                            (as worms). No one attempts to keep them in a worm state. You
                            either breed them or cultivate them.

                            I'm not denying that peace silk exists, but that it is more common
                            because of a desire to not kill the worms? That seems very far
                            fetched and unsupported by the evidence.

                            -- Paul

                            At 03:26 PM 2/28/2006, you wrote:
                            >apparently its the worm that will crawl out. If you poke a hole, it
                            >will crawl out before it changes (depending on how early you do
                            >so). Otherwise you harvest the whole cocoon before the moth hatches
                            >and the worm dies. I teach English to a fabric technician :-). You
                            >also have to look at agricultural factors, too. I mean, the
                            >Byzantines kidnapped a Chinese monk to get the silk technology, and
                            >the Italians in turn snuck the info out of Byzantium. With such a
                            >precious commodity one has to assume that they wanted to keep as
                            >many worms alive as possible, right? And when you see silk textiles
                            >with the bumps here and there, that's actually the breaks in the
                            >cocoon. There are tons of examples of such silk (dupioni is only one
                            >kind of this) in the church treasuries and museums over here...
                          • Tim Nalley
                            Mistress Emmyline. Her contact info. is on the Midrealm Laurel page. She actually got elevated two years ago for just that. ...
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 28 1:49 PM
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                              Mistress Emmyline. Her contact info. is on the
                              Midrealm Laurel page. She actually got elevated two
                              years ago for just that.

                              --- Shannon Anderson <kitonlove@...> wrote:

                              > I took a SCA class a few years ago from a member who
                              > raises silk worms. I wish I could remember her name!
                              > All I can recall was it was at a Coronation in
                              > Cleveland. At this class, the instructor suggested
                              > that the Italian silk houses raising the worms would
                              > boil most of the cocoons in order to get continuous
                              > silk threads but would put aside the nicest,
                              > whitest, largest cocoons to allow them to reach
                              > moth-maturity and by this way would phenotypically
                              > select the next generation for these
                              > characteristics.
                              >
                              > Gregor Mendel would have been fascinated. And much
                              > better dressed.
                              >
                              > Margarita
                              >
                              >
                              > ---------------------------------
                              > Yahoo! Mail
                              > Bring photos to life! New PhotoMail makes sharing a
                              > breeze.
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                              > removed]
                              >
                              >


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                            • jennifer knox
                              well, whatever, at any rate, the bug is dead for the dupioni style thing, and the bug is alive for the smoother silks. Also remember that modern commercial
                              Message 14 of 15 , Feb 28 2:32 PM
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                                well, whatever, at any rate, the bug is dead for the dupioni style thing, and the bug is alive for the smoother silks. Also remember that modern commercial silk production is very different from medieval silk production, so i would check for primary sources rather than relying on what modern silk farmers do. Also remember that there were many grades of silk produced, and the weavers did not necessarily always want the best quality silk. For example, in the 16th century, an Italian silk weavers guild actually went on strike because they were being denied the right to produce cheap silks like all the other cities (ill get the exact city for you tomorrow, its 11:30 pm here now), and poor quality coccoons were definately harvested, because there are quite a few classes of silk listed in the guild charters, . what my point was, was that the higher quality and more expensive silk was made from the unbroken coccoons, of which there would have been fewer of, as you dont want to kill off
                                the majority of your silk worms no matter what the agricultural situation is, and that the less expensive, lower quality silks (like dupioni) would have been made using the broken coccoons, of which there also would have been more of. Not all silk was harvested to be high quality silk. It would seem like the weavers were actually losing money in this city (think it was venice but ill let you know tomorrow) because their city guild forbade them from selling cheaper silk, and therefore being competitive in the market. this was my original point. i never said that all the worms were kept alive, but that it was more economically viable to keep, say, over half of them alive. Also remember that there were only a few areas where silk worms could live happily (whereever the mulberry trees could also live happily) and so they had to be more careful with how many worms were kept alive than we do now. Modern sources are looking at a totally different economic system.

                                Paul W Goldschmidt <goldschp@...> wrote: Whether you let them become moths and lay eggs or whether you boil
                                them alive to cultivate an intact cocoon, you cannot keep them alive
                                (as worms). No one attempts to keep them in a worm state. You
                                either breed them or cultivate them.

                                I'm not denying that peace silk exists, but that it is more common
                                because of a desire to not kill the worms? That seems very far
                                fetched and unsupported by the evidence.

                                -- Paul



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                              • Marilee Humason
                                Unfortunatley we only have the fragments or bits leftover from graves ect. to look at, they are defiantley not crisp. but that doesn t mean they weren t when
                                Message 15 of 15 , Mar 1, 2006
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                                  Unfortunatley we only have the fragments or bits
                                  leftover from graves ect. to look at, they are
                                  defiantley not crisp. but that doesn't mean they
                                  weren't when they were made. However, I suspect they
                                  were not as stiff as ours because I have friends who
                                  have tried weaving different types of silk and they
                                  were definately not stiff. Also I believe chemicals
                                  such as formaldhyde are used in the fabrics today,
                                  that definatley makes them more stiff to begin with.

                                  I believe the SCA mostly accepts whatever type of silk
                                  we can get, Dupioni comes in a myriad of colors and
                                  can be gotten as cheaply as 5.00 a yard. The same with
                                  noil.If someone is at least attempting to do silk I
                                  applaud them and just make sure they understand what
                                  they are using and why.

                                  I really hate the answer "I liked it, it looks
                                  pretty". I prefer to know that someone actually did a
                                  bit of research first and chose the silk based on the
                                  closest thing they could find that they could afford.

                                  When I am entereing a contest I save my money and I
                                  buy the best and closest I can find. When I am just
                                  making a new outfit for fun, I get what I can afford,
                                  still trying to get a period feel for the garment.
                                  regards,
                                  Anastasia

                                  --- Jennifer Nelson Kemp <lady.ianuk@...> wrote:

                                  > I'm still of the opinion that the period silk would
                                  > not have been as
                                  > stiff/brittle as dupioni. I hate working with it
                                  > and much prefer the ease
                                  > that shantung has...it is just as lustrious
                                  > depending on the manufacturer
                                  > after washing, is easy to sew and I find it doesn't
                                  > wear out as quick as
                                  > dupioni. Plus I find that the shantung doesn't
                                  > cling so bad to the skin in
                                  > warm climates (I live in AZ).
                                  >
                                  > Ianuk
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >


                                  Baroness Anastasia Alexandrovna Andreeva (OL)
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