You learn something new every day. At my last spinning gathering I learned that you can spin fiber created from milk protein. Creating these fibers is an industrial process using a multi-stage chemical process, but is also green as the process (according to the internet) doesn’t release any pollutants. Cool beans, right? The casein proteins have historically been used in paints to create paints that take dyes well and create colors that hold up well over time.
How did I find out? Another spinner had been gifted some milk to spin and generously offered to let everyone else try some too. With just a tester amount didn’t spin it immediately, but waited to try it on my favorite drop spindle, which would give me the greatest degree of control. It spun with relative ease and was very easy to attach a new bit of fiber too. The finished single is not as strong as other fibers I’ve spun, but it retains the beautiful sheen and soft feel of the fiber. I can’t drink/eat milk anymore so it’s entertaining to think of spinning it instead. It did make my nose itch, though that could have been a coincidence, but it might be worth it for such a soft, shiny yarn. The picture above of the sample (about 4″ in length) doesn’t do it justice, because it rode around in my bag for a day before being rescued. Originally it was all smooth and still shinier than it appears in the picture.
I’m so lucky to be included in such a knowledgeable and generous group of spinners/weavers. It’s a little intimidating, but also thrilling to be learning and to have new fiber friends to play with.