Recycled Silk Yarn

recycled silk yarn is a unique product great for its environmental and social good as well as being fun to knit with.
Recycled silk yarn in the ball and worked in Stockinette Stitch. © Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Recycled silk yarn is a lovely fiber that also happens to help people and the planet. As the name implies, recycled silk yarn is made from recycled silk, more specifically the waste silk from industrial weaving mills in India (the silk is mostly used to make saris). The yarn is hand-spun in Nepal and India, giving women there a way to work and earn money. It's beautiful all around.

The Beauty of Recycled Silk

Because the hanks of recycled silk yarn are made individually, each one is unique.

There's no dye lot on recycled silk yarn, and even if you buy two hanks from the same manufacturer at the same time, there's no guarantee that the colors are going to be the same.

But that is the beauty of using recycled silk. Each piece has its individuality, and everything you make from the yarn is its work of art, completely unique. It can be a lot of fun to see how the different colors play together and look harmonious even though the colors are often wild.

Knitting with Recycled Silk Yarn

Recycled silk yarn has variations in thickness and the amount of tension in the thread even throughout the same hank. It can get twisted and kinky if you don't let it hang and unwind itself occasionally.

Recycled silk yarn is beautiful in small projects like bags, wraps, sleeveless tops and other small items where you'd like some luxury. It is especially true because the yarn is expensive, running upwards of $10 a skein for about 80 yards.

But it's fun to use, and the funky nature of the yarn hides mistakes (and stitch patterns), so it's a great yarn for knitters of all skill levels to use or for when you want to knit something simple but still have it look great.

Projects Using Recycled Silk Yarn

Of course, you can use silk yarn to make any project you like, but sometimes it is nice to see how a project looks in the sort of fiber you are going to use, so here are some projects that already use this yarn:

Where to Get Recycled Silk Yarn

There are lots of different manufacturers of recycled silk yarn. I have tried a few, and they seem to be similar in terms of colors, content and how they look when knit up.

If you get a chance to try them out, I encourage you to. It's a lovely product with a great back story that helps you make striking knits with ease.