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Sari Silk In All It's Glory - Our October BeWeave Unboxing

The BeWeave Yarn and Fibre subscription box provides an opportunity to explore fibres in many different ways. For October I chose to focus on just one material and share the many different ways in which it is prepared to create various types of yarns and ribbons.

One of my favourite weaving materials to use is Sari Silk ribbon and I have spoken about the many reasons behind this love in the past across the blog, social media and in A Makers Space Facebook group. Some of these reasons include the way it is made, the sustainable and recycled nature of off cuts from Sari factory floors in India, being sewn together and hand dyed by artisan women across small villages is inspiring, so there was no questions as to what fibre I wanted to explore in closer detail this month.

Saris are the the traditional garment of women in India and although they can be made from cotton, silk is the most popular choice. You can read more about this here.

Sari Silk became widely popular through the recycled Sari Silk Ribbon, however are now so many ways Sari Silk is used to form an amazing array of artisan ribbons. The Sari Silk Box for October introduced my BeWeavers to the different ways in which Sari Silk is prepared to create yarns, ribbons and fabric to bring the maker a treasure trove of colour and texture. With its many forms, colours and patterns Sari Silk can be used for weaving, knitting, crochet and sewing, bringing to life home decor and fashion.

Our October BeWeave Box featured Sari Silk in four different ways and this are just some of the ways in which it comes.

Recycled Sari Yarn

The name says it all. 100% silk, the threads are collected and saved from sari weaving mills. If you have played around with sari silk ribbon before you would be familiar with these threads, sometimes they get stuck to your hands but pull out easily. These threads are hand spun into a fun, textured yarn, in some cases it can be thick and thin in parts and is wonderful for weaving, knitting and crochet. Some things to keep in mind when using sari silk yarn is that this is a recycled and handmade product, it may also be hand dyed and usually in small batches, therefore consistency across each skein can not be guaranteed which for me, is part of the appeal. Sari Silk yarn also has very little to no stretch which may be important for some projects.

Braided Sari Ribbon

A new take on the famous ribbon, the braided sari ribbon includes additional sari ribbons in contrasting colours which are taken and braided onto the main ribbon. This creates a beautiful feature element of design and a pop of colour and texture.

The uses for ribbon is the same as yarn however the composition is different. Each ribbon is approx 1cm wide and smaller in the braided sections.

It is important to note that when weaving or knitting sari ribbons, that it does not stay flat and will curl on itself, this can create a heavier more robust look and feel if done tightly but is also strong.

Sari Stole

A Stole is a formal type of shawl, using expensive, light fabric such as silk or chiffon. It is used to cover the shoulders and arms perhaps to accent an outfit or cover bare shoulders in formal attire and for religious purposes.

Wide Sari strips and off cuts are sewn together to create a larger piece of drapey fabric with a stunning mix of colour and pattern. One of my favourite things about these stoles is the exposed sewn thread bringing the strips together. Fabric such as this can be used in many ways. As is for its designed purpose of course, but how about making a cushion cover, even add some macrame over the top. It would also make a beautiful lining to handmade purse or bag. If you are brave enough (and trust me it wasn't easy to do without feeling guilty) you can tear into strips, utilising those strong colours and patterns to create your own wide ribbons. As shown in the image above, I have done this, leaving the sewn edges in place and tearing either side for some added interest.

Wide Sari Ribbon

Created in the same way as our original sari ribbon however the strips are left much wider at approx 5-7cm. This width provides a bold ribbon which has a unique look when woven. My favourtie technique to weave with wide ribbon is rya loops.

As per normal sari silk ribbon, it is hand dyed and can come as a block colour or hand painted such as the one that featured in the box. I just love the uniqueness of hand painted ribbons, no two are ever the same.

Mini loom.

Each month we feature one non fibre item. This month we were introduced to one of our new mini looms, the rectangle. This cutie creates the sweetest little wall hangings to gift or make Christmas decorations with. This year my daughter has made her school teachers a Christmas decoration using these looms along with the wide sari ribbon and sari stole. The solid design of the loom creates a blank space for hand written notes on the back. A simple yet beautiful touch to a handmade gift that was super simple for little hands. These mini hangings were also the Inspiration project for the month. You can see them below along with a another wall hanging made using the sari silk yarn, braided yarn and wide ribbon.

As I said above these are just some of the ways Sari Silk is prepared for use by the artisan. You can get most of these mentioned above in the shop plus a few others such as an embroidered sari silk, rolled sari silk and of course the range of block, ombre and hand painted sari ribbon in the regular size.

Which is your favourite? I would love to know.

You can join BeWeave or jump on the wait list if sold out for our next round HERE

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