Recycled Fibers

bamboo, soy, rayon, tencel, seacell & rose

About Recycled Fibers

Recycled fibers are essentially crushed and broken down into a pulp (think of paper-making), then regenerated into filaments a la synthetic fibers. Recycled fibers like bamboo (viscose), soy, rayon, tencel, and seacell tend to have a sleek, silky texture with lots of strength. They're a great substitute for silk -- both on their own and as card-ins with other fibers. One caveat: some recycled fibers, like corn and banana, are biodegradable -- meaning they will start to decompose into dust if you don't care for your textiles. (Really wish I hadn't found that out the hard way! But, now you won't have to.)

Allison's Tips for Spinning Bamboo and Tencel

Trick #1 will help you learn to love spinning recycled fibers:

  1. Spin from the fold.
    I often see bamboo described as "slippery," but personally, I would call regenerated fibers "sticky." The fibers love globbing together, and spinning from the fold helps ameliorate that -- giving you more control over your draft.

  2. Spin. Faster.
    If you don't want those sleek, silky fibers falling apart, you're going to need more spin! Increase the uptake on your wheel, use a high-whorl ratio, and do what you gotta do to spin faster. Maybe, pretend like it's cotton.

Blogs about Spinning Recycled Fibers

A roundup of some great tips and experiences!

Where To Buy Recycled Spinning Fiber

A curated list of indie vendors and artists offering up synthetic spinning fibers: