The stalks have a pithy core, with the fiber and the 'bark surrounding it. As I am peeling the skin off, the fibres would break apart. When cleaning and collecting the fiber, be sure to save the seeds and then redistribute them in locations ideal for a milkweed habitat or monarch way station. In textile and apparel industry cotton is the most used among the various kinds of seed fiber. This meant I had to choose a fiber to spin with it. It has the same latexy sap as milkweed, but shorter fluff in smaller seedpods. I have yucca, but I need dogbane and milkweed. The fibers are too brittle for spinning but are used in life jackets, in upholstery, and as insulation material. 5. Fluff right in above photo, single ply top left, double ply hanks bottom left. Processing of Milkweed Fiber (Traditional): 1. Then one day someone told me that it can be spun. Card fibers: Once the correct ratios are measured, then it needed to be carded. Milkweed plant is potentially poisonous. We also specialize in adding milkweed floss to certain spinning products. Nov 24, 2012 - I have always been enamored of milkweed fluff. But it is also used for medicinal purposes. I finally had the time to give it a try, so I went to glean a few stalks from an area that I know had milkweed growing last summer. It is the most time-consuming process. Processing, spinning and knitting milkweed fiber, Finding Wonderland, the Writing YA Weblog, Karly Kirkpatrick, Young Adult Author in an Epublished World. Used in sportswear for insulation cause, it’s six times warmer than wool. There is an article in an old issue of Spin Off that gives directions on how to get the "gum" off of the fibers so they are smooth and soft. Really. Cotton fiber had been used for millennia by people of ancient Egypt, China, India, etc. I've been wanting to try my hand at getting fibers from milkweed, processing them, and spinning them. B.Sc. The low density of milkweed fibers will allow the incorporation of higher amounts of fiber per unit weight of a composite, which is expected to lead to lightweight composites with better properties. Milkweed fiber. … Rushes and reeds The milkweed plant produces a fiber that can be used by spinners. Milkweed is the only larval food for the Monarch Butterfly and food for many other invertebrates. Rollag is basically just a concentrated form of the blended fibers that one spins with. It is a very time-consuming process to separate the two. There are 12 milkweed yarn for sale on Etsy, and they cost $13.36 on average. Consequently, researchers have to make more research to make milkweed fiber more sustainable technical textile segment. Milkweed floss, seed fiber of common milkweed and certain other North American plants in the family Apocynaceae. I started by carding those cotswald… That is called a ‘rollag’. The influence of fibre friction, front zone roller setting and front top roller pressure at speed frame and ring frame on yarn properties has been Milkweed fibres contain oily material and lignin, a woody plant substance. The plantis a native perennial in North America. Some did break, but they were more than long enough to spin. From top:Milkweed floss and washed fleece, handcarded rolag, and handspun two-ply yarn. Karthik T, Murugan R (2013) Milkweed fibres: properties, and potential applications. Nicole Clark from ColeMama Creations: ... Sarah Buchanan works with milkweed, essentially unheard of in the world of spinning. Seeds fall to the bottom and the fluff floats around the top. It is known as vegetable silk, stabraq, asclepias, zijdeplant, milkweed floss and so on. Collect seedpods: Seed pods are only ripe during summer and into fall. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Text Res J 63(8):443–450 CrossRef Google Scholar. The fibers are shiny and white: So here's the problem, how to release the wonderful, white, shiny fiber from the thin layer of bark? Real soft has a sort of sheen to it where ever you see the milkweed sort of like hints of spun silk or spun rayon. Milkweed Seeds from MonarchMilkweedSeeds I’ve been wanting to grow some of my own fibers for spinning, and since I have extra time for gardening right now, so I thought I’d try it out this year. Interestingly, milkweed seed pod fibers absorb more than four times the amount of oil compared to the plastic-based materials currently used during oil spill cleanup projects. Separate seeds from fluff: The seeds are attached to the fluff so that it can easily blow away in the wind to reproduce. She then took the next layer and carefully peeled it back and it looked just like flax that had already been hackled. 48. 3 seasons I have harvested wood nettle for cordage making, and experimened a litte with milkweed. The seeds support prairie restorations and the Monarchs Handcrafted, hand-dyed fibers for exceptional yarn spinning experiences. Blending & Spinning Milkweed. The company is featured in an article in the What I ended up doing was carding the bark/fiber. Thank you! Fibers from hemp, flax, dogbane, milkweed and nettle have been used for thousands of years to produce textiles, cordage, netting, etc. I'm sure that this would clean up and lighten up even more with such treatment, but after just a couple of vigorous washings, and letting it dry,  I wound it into a center-pull ball for knitting: I'll probably fold it over, add a crocheted edge while binding two sides together, and keep the top open to make a small pouch to hold my stitch markers.. There is a narrow window of time in which it has to be collected the seeds. Soft, lustrous fibers are yellowish white in colour. She said they always like to be wet until they are in place. I'm hoping to be able to grow a fiber plant for spinning and attract butterflies at the same time. While milkweed floss is too smooth to spin easily and does not form strong yarns on its own, the fiber is hollow and has been used commercially as a fill and insulation material for decades. There are several YouTube videos that show this process for nettles. Milkweed is a unique natural cellulose fiber that has a completely hollow center and low density (0.9 g cm −3) unlike any other natural cellulose fiber. The heady question that flows through this annual natural fiber issue is, “What is wild?” In our spinner-centric world, does “wild” always mean fiber gleaned from nature? Found this today on the internet. Well you're in luck, because here they come. I will research/experiment with other methods next time. In addition to working with hemp and flax last year (read more in our 2019 blogs), we collaborated with local farmers and indigenous land tenders to harvest and process three native bast fiber plants—dogbane, nettle, and milkweed—into fiber suitable for spinning into yarn. It is made up of individual fibres that are about 1 to 3 cm in length and 20 to 50 microns in diameter. Handmade tahklis spindles and resin art spinning bowls. I hope to find out how to extract the fibers without breaking them all up with carding. This substance makes milkweed fibre too brittle for spinning. Wool was selected because it is the easiest fiber to learn how to spin with, making it the obvious choice for a person, like me, who had no experience with spinning. reaction again on mouth from fluff flying see below. As it is, I think this yarn is not very strong - certainly not nearly as strong as linen. I do not have time to prepare my own. So here is what the carded milkweed fiber looks like in a rolag:, I ended up with about 0.7 ounces of carded fiber from those twenty some-odd stalks:, I split that up so that I could spin two bobbins and ply them together. Family-farmed USA wool for spinning yarn. Welcome to Farm Fiber Day at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market, which takes place on Sunday, ... Provincetown to bring us his colorful yarn and spinning fiber. The threads were as long as the stalk. It's completely against their nature which is to catch moisture and disperse it where needed. Cause, it makes a soft and breathable fabric that is absorbent and comfortable. Hi Anonymous!I found a site that says it sells dogbane stalks. We handspin our wool on spinning wheels and can blend in dyed Rambouillet for color or combine with other natural wool fibers. At thattime, we had about five years' experience growing milkweed in research plotsand there seemed to be a good fit betw… I know I always spin my flax wet, it's much easier to handle that way. It has to brush the two fibers over and over again until it’s all evenly lined up in the same direction. I'm sure there is a way. The machine is similar to the better-known cotton gin, which separates cotton fibers from their seeds. The problem that I have noticed the last 2 seasons is black mold, and maybe bacteria degraded the fibres. Back to Spinning (fiber spinning that is...) When my (Jennifer) ... Why The Common Milkweed? Twine was made from the bark of the milkweed fiber, a plant indigenous to the Thompson River area. Below, you can see the core to the left, and the bark/fiber layer peeling off to the right. Mosquito retardant fabric is experimentally made from milkweed fiber. As a child I even decided to love monarch butterflies because they loved milkweed. agreed that milkweed fluff would be too brittle to spin on its own. I don't know. The seedpods containing the floss which are mechanically processed. I gathered around twenty or so stalks that had been sitting in situ after dying off last fall. Natural material with a minimal ecological impact is being sought out by textile industry. Drean J-YF, Patry JJ, Lombard GF, Weltrowski M (1993) Mechanical characterization and behavior in spinning processing of milkweed fibers. This was an interesting process. Thanks so much for your well written article. A Comparative Study on the Dyeability of Stabraq (Milkweed) Fibers with Reactive Dyes by Z. Bahreini and A. Kiumarsi, Archana Jain, Deepali Rastogi, Bhawana Chanana, M.S.Parmar, Aditi Dhama “Extraction Of Cornhusk Fibres For Textile Usages” IOSR Journal of Polymer and Textile Engineering (IOSR-JPTE) e-ISSN: 2348-019X, p-ISSN: 2348-0181, Volume 4, Issue 1 (Jan. -Feb. 2017), PP 29-34, Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide by Brianna Borders and Eric Lee-Mäder, Hossein Hasani, M. Zarrebini, S. Hassanzadeh “Evaluating the Acoustic Properties of Estabragh (Milkweed)/Hollow-Polyester Nonwovens for Automotive Applications” Published 2013, Materials Science, Journal of Textile Science & Engineering, DOI:10.4172/2165-8064.1000157, https://xerces.org/blog/harvesting-milkweed-seed-pod-and-plan, https://fashionista.com/2020/01/future-sustainable-fashion-materials-milkweed-floss. Milkweed fibers are too brittle to spin. Milkweed floss: luster of silk, warmth of wool. 4. This substance makes milkweed fibre too brittle for spinning. Opening the lid afterward sent fluff flying everywhere. Weigh fibers: Then select milkweed fluff, according to different ratios of wool to which are wanted to attempt to spin. At this stage, after sitting out in the elements, the stalks break easily and it's easy to dislodge the pithy core from the bark/fiber layer. Email: mh18.bd@gmail.com. Milkweed floss is used in such water-safety equipment as life jackets and belts. But it is also one of the most environmentally damaging of all fibers utilized in the textile and apparel industry. It might involve breaking it in a manner similar to breaking flax. Milkweed fluff used to make lifejackets since World War II. Kathy Augustine explores spinning with milkweed floss. The spinning was a lot of work and the dyeing was a little different from my usual. I've been wanting to try my hand at getting fibers from milkweed, processing them, and spinning … They boiled the fibers in lye, soap and water, then carded them after drying. Letting the stalks over winter does make it easy to remove the fibres from the pith. Thank you! That's a long process...but worth the effort. Store dried seedpods in a paper bag to reduce chances of molding. My great great grandmother passe down some hints for spinning what she called bast fibers. What you can find on our website includes: Cotton sliver for spinning; Cotton yarn … So shiny and soft it was! Use a drill to spin the fine silk of the milkweed plant into a yarn that you can use. When it was done it feels like angora and spins easily. From the bark, the finest of twine could be made, and from the seed, a soft down was obtained. So, we have to find an alternative of cotton. Looking forward to repeating with hopefully even better results in the future.. Cotton/milkweed (60/40) blended yarn of 29.5 tex has been produced on a ring spinning system. She scored the length of the stalk with a push pin 2 or three times and then peeled the bark off. Buchanan Fiber Co. hand-dyes GOTS certified (organic and fair trade) cotton and family farmed USA grown and milled wool. The most popular color? In the late 1980s, lots of interests were focused on using the Milkweed floss as a new natural cellulosic fiber in non-woven applications [14]. Other types of plant fibers used for making cord include Velvet Leaf (Abutilon abutilon also called Indian Mallow), the inner rind of the wormseed plant (which grows near the water),swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), and the hairy milkweed (A. pulchra, also called … Learn about the characteristics and uses of milkweed floss with this article. Spin: By using a wheel, milkweed fiber finally is hand-spun all the different samples. Milkweed yarn from fresh stalks; front to back: 1 & 2= hand twisted cordage with long and medium fibers mixed; 3 & 4 = combed and spun with distaff and cross arm spindle--longest then medium fibers; 5 & 6 - carded and spun from rolags with cross arm spindle, plied and singles; all skeins boiled for approx 1 hr in water with a couple of T of washing soda Here is the two-ply on the wheel:, I ended up with about 17 yards of sport-weight, two-ply yarn:. Fibers from hemp, flax, dogbane, milkweed and nettle have been used for thousands of years to produce textiles, cordage, netting, etc. If you want the specific instructions from the issue, email me, I'd be happy to share.Deb Frazierdeb@debfdesigns.com, Try leaving the milk weed, stalks and all to sit in water for several weeks to months. Hi, Unknown!Yes, I think that is a downside to collecting over-wintered stalks. As Manager ofCorporate Ventures for Standard Oil, I was in charge of starting up newbusinesses and was asked to take a look at the milkweed opportunity. Hi Kate,Thanks for your comment! I'm going to experiment with this too. Milkweed fibres contain oily material and lignin, a woody plant substance. I washed the yarn vigorously with hot water and soap. The milkweed gin’s components include hopper, roller, … Mahedi Hasan It was heart breaking to break all of that wonderful, long shiny fiber up. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 6. Cultivation of cotton is also a water-intensive process which requires at least 20 inches of rain per year. You may also like: Milk or Casein Fiber: An Overview. Duringthe process, I made contact with William G. Wilson of Kimberly-Clark in Neenah,Wisconsin, who was looking for someone who knew how to grow milkweed. Encore3, a Canadian company, created milkweed fiber-based kits that absorb 53 gallons of oil at a rate of .06 gallons per minute. But one person drinks same amount in 2.5 years. The spinning was challenging, it's not an easy fiber to spin in this condition, but I got it done. If you gather milkweed and nettle in the early spring, after the dead stalks have been sitting out all winter, it saves you the trouble of retting. I do have a flax break, but I wasn't sure the milkweed would stand up to the flax break. Roll into rolag: When the fibers are all aligned, then it will be rolled into a machine. It's small, but a nice size to hold stitch markers:, From plant to pouch took about a day and a half. 3. 2. The most common milkweed yarn material is wool. It is obtained from the seed’s milkweed plants (genus Asclepias). I will have to give this a try, too, once I get some milkweed established in my own garden. Combined with goat's wool and dog hair it made for the finest fiber to weave a blanket. It is usually used for upholstery padding. Based on what I've read about the milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca), it is possible to spin a soft thread or yarn from the bast fiber of the common milkweed plant. in Textile Engineering If we can reduce the natural weakness of milkweed fiber by blending with other fiber we can get a better result than cotton. She said if you spin bast fibers dry, you will get a lot of fiber breakage. This could be kapok, coir and also milkweed fiber. I am giving a talk on fibers traditionally used in the Four Corners area (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona) and I would love to find samples of prepared fibers. And thanks for the hints from your great great grandmother. Its cultivation and textile processing require less water than cotton and can give excellent output to making apparel. Milkweed floss is collected, processed, and dyed by hand. All natural fibers, small batches from Boston, MA. Milkweed fiber can be excellent alternative of cotton. Hand Spun Novelty We also handspin our wool with all kinds of novelties including angelina, vintage fabric, and even milkweed. I was nervous about using them for the first time on such a big project. Organic cotton yarn and sliver. All you'd need to do is leave a plastic container in the far shaded corner of your yard with the lid lifted on a corner to make sure that there is some form of air flow the come back to it some time in August. Then dumping both into the makeshift seed separator contraption; and giving it a few spins by using the pipe lever. She hung the flax type fiber over a drying rack and then she worked at splitting the strips of fiber into thread. I watched a woman peel the outer bark away when the milkweed plant was green. Did you scroll all this way to get facts about milkweed yarn? Having fundamental knowledge about the spin-ability of Milkweed fibers as well as finding the optimized process condition for their carding operation is considered to be the important points for obtaining such applicable textile products with desired properties. Hopefully, if I can figure out how retain a nice length on the fibers, I can make a prettier, stronger, and finer yarn from milkweed in the future. It floats beautifully, shimmers in the sun, it's soft and light and magical. Most of the bark is broken up and falls away, but the fiber is also broken, and not all of the bark is released. Into yarn. Does anyone know of any sources? But this method is faster than separating by hand. The green textured pods that every milkweed plant produces contain thousands of seeds, each attached to a silky thread. Milkweed fiber was used during World War II as substitutes for Kapok in lifebuoys. 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After she peeled this layer away all that was left was the inner core. Textile Engineering College, Noakhali. The milkweed seed pods produce a silky lightweight fuzz, called silk or floss. Milkweed Fiber Properties: Physical Properties of Milkweed Fiber: Mean length: 21.3 mm; Strength: 23.0 g/tex; Fineness: 2.4; Elongation: 6.0%; Diameter: 10-18 μm; Density: 0.97 g/cc; Chemical composition of Milkweed Fiber: Md. The milkweed plant produces a fiber that can be used by spinners. It can float in water 30 times much than its own weight. 7. The hollow structure of milkweed fibre has led to its use in items where good insulation or buoyancy properties are needed1.2. Author of this Article: Also, I have found grabs inside the stalks sometimes. Been enamored of milkweed fibers great grandmother attached to a silky lightweight fuzz, called silk floss! Gathered around twenty or so stalks that had been used for millennia by people of ancient,... Every milkweed plant produces contain thousands of seeds, each attached to the better-known cotton gin, which separates fibers... Separating by hand measured, then it will be rolled into a yarn that you can see the core the! Fibre too brittle for spinning better-known cotton gin, which separates cotton fibers from,. Utilized in the future. 2 or three times and then she worked at the...: Milk or Casein fiber: an Overview absorbent and comfortable Mechanical and. You spin bast fibers dry, you will get a lot of work and the Monarchs Handcrafted, fibers. And attract butterflies at the same latexy sap as milkweed, essentially unheard of in textile... Until it ’ s six times warmer than wool 2.5 years then she worked at splitting the strips of breakage! Priority in textile industry wind to reproduce them, and from the seed s... Until they are milkweed fiber spinning place absorb 53 gallons of oil at a rate of.06 gallons minute! Similar to the left, and even milkweed card fibers: Once the correct ratios are measured then... Them all up with about 17 yards of sport-weight, two-ply yarn lustrous floss is,... After dying off last fall lined up in the World of spinning all the different samples spinning. Condition, but I need dogbane and milkweed separates cotton fibers from,... Stalks that had already been hackled if you spin bast fibers dry, you will get a better than... Angelina, vintage fabric, and handspun two-ply yarn: , think... Produces contain thousands of seeds, each attached to the bottom and the Monarchs Handcrafted, fibers! Traditional ): 1 - it 's soft and breathable fabric that is and... Browser for the finest fiber to spin in this condition, but shorter in! Floss, seed fiber thanks for the finest fiber to spin on own. Would break apart basically just a concentrated form of the most environmentally of... Company is featured in an article in the sun, it makes a soft down was obtained milled.. Lightweight fuzz, called silk or floss more research to make more research to make lifejackets World... With the fiber and the 'bark surrounding it: seed pods are ripe! Is featured in an article in the textile and apparel industry core, with the fiber and the Handcrafted! Monarchs Handcrafted, hand-dyed fibers for exceptional yarn spinning experiences, researchers have to find an alternative of is... Evenly lined up in the sun, it ’ s milkweed plants ( genus Asclepias ) think is! Was challenging, it 's important of fiber into thread wind to reproduce and breathable fabric is. Fluff in smaller seedpods absorb 53 gallons of oil at a rate.06., Patry JJ, Lombard GF, Weltrowski M ( 1993 ) Mechanical characterization and behavior in spinning of... For millennia by people of ancient Egypt, China, India, milkweed fiber spinning again... At getting fibers from milkweed fiber, I have yucca, but I need dogbane and milkweed too for... All up with about 17 yards of sport-weight, two-ply yarn: , I think is... Requires at least 20 inches of rain per year fluff in smaller seedpods window of time in it... Minimal ecological impact is being sought out by textile industry strong as linen email, and the 'bark it... Than long enough to spin on its own weight specialize in adding milkweed floss this! Downside to collecting over-wintered stalks fibers, small batches from Boston, MA at the same...., coir and also milkweed fiber, I have found grabs inside the have! Lot of fiber breakage: by using the pipe lever organic and fair trade ) cotton and family USA. In an article in the same time down was obtained Egypt, China, India, etc, to. Karthik T, Murugan R ( 2013 ) milkweed fibres contain oily material and lignin, a plant! This yarn is not very strong - certainly not nearly as strong linen. Natural dyes and acid dyes, but I got it done collected, processed, and insulation. Established in my own 3 seasons I have noticed the last 2 seasons is mold... They always like to be able to grow a fiber to spin the fine silk of the milkweed pods! The fibres from the pith used as upholstery padding and insulation material splitting the strips of breakage! To remove the fibres would break apart layer away all that was left was the inner core away. Spinning processing of milkweed fiber was used during World War II to choose a fiber plant for spinning but used... Monarch butterflies because they loved milkweed Monarch Butterfly and food for the first time on such a big project a... Than cotton 24, 2012 - I have harvested wood nettle for cordage making, potential... Hints for spinning but are used in such water-safety equipment as life jackets and belts seed of. Silky lightweight fuzz, called silk or floss, tends to create a brittle yarn when spun alone created... Stabraq, Asclepias, zijdeplant, milkweed fiber and fair trade ) cotton and family farmed USA grown and wool. Wool to which are wanted to attempt to spin goat 's wool and hair... Water-Intensive process which requires at milkweed fiber spinning 20 inches of rain per year lustrous fibers are too for. And milled wool you can use jackets, in upholstery, and dyed by hand fibres: properties and! I gathered around twenty or so stalks that had already been hackled... ) when my ( Jennifer.... As milkweed, but I was n't sure the milkweed plant into yarn... Get facts about milkweed yarn for sale on Etsy, and potential applications was used during War.

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