Silk Tops? – no, not blouses!

Hmmmm – yes, when you Google “silk tops” to find out just what they are, you get all manner of clothing along with a small smattering of the type that I used in the bowl in the previous post.

Soooo – silk tops?  Silk tops are unspun silk fibres that have been brushed or combed so that the fibres are lying all in the one direction. They add lustre to projects, and can also be used in felting, made into what is termed “silk paper” (kind of like a thick piece of paper, or like felt, made from layers of silk tops adhered together), and more.

Mulberry Silk Tops

Above is a picture of some Mulberry Silk Tops – these are from  commercially reared silkworms of the species Bombyx mori, the cocoons of which are not allowed to “hatch” so that the fibre is very long. 

I also use Tussah Silk Tops, which are from wild silkworms, which have emerged from the cocoon – the fibres are shorter and rougher, and often quite coloured.  The Tussah I have in my stash is slightly yellower than the pictured Mulberry Silk Tops – therefore, in any photographs I could take, they would look the same.  However, the feel is soooooo different.  The Mulberry is very soft, and the Tussah rougher.

You can also dye the tops (see photo below).  Or, you can purchase the dyed tops from various places (Google to see the ranges).

Dyed Silk Tops


In the bowl in the previous post, the silk tops are layered, without spreading them out, on top of a backing and covered with sheer fabric prior to enclosing with machine embroidery.  So effective!

2 Responses to “Silk Tops? – no, not blouses!”
  1. weliza says:

    Hi Linda
    Wonderful something is happening on freemotions again! Your blog is great. I’m trying hard to get there on Sunday.
    Wendy P.

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