All About Crocheting with Silk Yarn

Hey y’all!

I’m continuing my series about the different types of yarn, what they’re good for, and answers to some frequently asked questions. This post is all about crocheting with silk yarn!

Silk yarn is a very luxurious yarn. It’s smooth and shiny so it’s great to crochet with. And it’s also quite strong until it gets wet, then it becomes delicate. So there’s some pros and cons you need to know before using it.

Read on if you want to know more about crocheting with silk yarn!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you.

Where does silk yarn come from?

Traditional Silk

Silk yarn is made from silkworm cocoons. More specifically, the Bombyx mori silkworm.

The females lay eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larvae eventually grow enough to spin a cocoon around themselves by secreting a liquid from their head, which hardens into silk when exposed to the air.

Once the cocoons have been spun, they’re carefully harvested. This is usually done by boiling the cocoons in hot water to soften the sericin, a protein that holds the silk filaments together.

After boiling, the softened cocoons are unwound. A single silk thread is made up of multiple filaments, and these individual filaments are gently unraveled from the cocoon using a process called “reeling.” The reeled filaments are known as “raw silk.”

The raw silk filaments are then twisted and spun into silk yarn. The twisting process aligns the fibers and gives the yarn its strength and durability. The resulting yarn can vary in thickness, from fine and delicate to heavier and more substantial, depending on the desired end use.

After spinning, the silk yarn can be dyed to achieve the desired color.

The entire process, from silkworm rearing to the creation of silk yarn, is labor-intensive and requires expertise. This is why silk yarn is more expensive than other types of yarn and not as common.

If you would like to read more about how silk yarn is made, ToniaKnits has a more in-depth description on it.

Peace Silk

There is a new technique for harvesting silk that doesn’t involve killing silkworms. It’s called peace silk.

With this technique, the cocoons aren’t harvested until after the worms emerge from their cocoon. Because the cocoons are broken, which makes the fibers shorter than if left whole, the process is more similar to making other natural fiber yarns. The short fibers are spun together to make long skeins of yarn.

Is Silk Yarn Vegan?

Because of the process required to make silk yarn, which involves larvae being boiled in their cocoon and then the harvesting their cocoon to spin into silk, it is not considered vegan. It takes around 3,000 dead silkworms to produce a pound of silk according to PETA.

Even peace silk is not considered vegan, because the worms still produce the cocoon which is used for the silk yarn.

Is Silk Yarn Biodegradable and Sustainable?

Silk is biodegradable, meaning it will break down naturally over time, unlike some synthetic fibers that can stay in the environment for extended periods.

It is a natural fiber produced by silkworms, and it can be considered a renewable resource because silkworms can be continually cultivated, and their cocoons can be harvested multiple times. This is in contrast to some synthetic fibers, which are derived from non-renewable resources like petroleum.

Depending on the ethics of the company producing the yarn, it can be considered sustainable.

Is Silk yarn good for crochet?

Silk yarn is wonderful to crochet with because it’s so smooth and… well.. silky. It’s a great yarn to use for the right project. But it’s not great for everything.

Pros of Crocheting with Silk Yarn


Silk yarn has a natural sheen and luster that gives your crochet projects an upscale, elegant appearance.


It’s is incredibly soft and comfortable against the skin, making it ideal for creating items like shawls, scarves, and fine clothing.


Silk is hypoallergenic, making it a suitable choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies to other fibers like wool.

Temperature Regulation:

Silk has natural temperature-regulating properties, making it suitable for both warm and cool weather items. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


Its drape and fluidity make it ideal for creating flowing, graceful items, such as evening wear or formal accessories.


Silk is naturally moisture-wicking. This makes it really good for projects that you’ll sweat in.

Cons of Crocheting with Silk Yarn


Silk yarn is often more expensive than other types of yarn, which may not fit every budget.

Slippery Texture:

Silk is a slippery fiber, which can make it challenging to control tension and may require more attention when working with it.

Limited Stretch:

Silk has minimal stretch, so projects that require elasticity or flexibility may not be well-suited for this yarn.

Special Care:

It often requires special care, such as hand washing to keep from breaking.

Lack of Availability:

Silk yarn may not be as readily available as more common yarn types, so finding specific colors or weights could be a challenge.

Weak when Wet:

Silk goes from strong to very weak when wet. I don’t recommend using it for any projects that will be used in water.

Crochet Project Recommendations for Silk Yarn

Silk is great for projects such as:

  • Shawls
  • Scarves
  • Cardigans
  • Headbands
  • Sweaters
  • Hats

As long as a project won’t need to be washed a lot, silk can be a pretty good candidate. I’d stay away from towels, dishrags, and children’s clothes.

Types of Silk Yarn

Mulberry Silk Yarn:

Mulberry silk is the most well-known and widely used type of silk. It is obtained from the Bombyx mori silkworm, which is exclusively fed mulberry leaves. Mulberry silk is known for its softness, sheen, and durability. It is often used for a wide range of projects, from fine lacework to heavier-weight items.

Tussah Silk Yarn:

Tussah silk, also known as “wild silk” or “peace silk,” is derived from silkworms that feed on a diet of oak leaves and other plants. Tussah silk has a more textured, matte appearance compared to mulberry silk and is often used for rustic or earthy-looking projects. Peace silk is a variety of tussah silk that focuses on ethical and humane practices in silkworm rearing and silk production.

Muga Silk Yarn:

Muga silk is a special type of silk found in Assam, India. It is produced by Antheraea assamensis silkworms, which feed on primarily aromatic som (Muga) leaves. Muga silk is known for its golden-yellow color and lustrous appearance. It is a luxurious and rare silk variety often used for traditional Indian attire.

Eri Silk Yarn:

Eri silk, also known as “eri, endi, or errandi silk,” is obtained from the Samia cynthia ricini silkworm. Unlike other types of silk, eri silk is non-violent, as it is collected after the moth emerges from the cocoon. Eri silk is a staple fiber in the northeastern regions of India and is valued for its warmth and texture.

Bourette Silk Yarn:

Bourette silk, also called “noil silk,” is made from the short fibers and small remnants left over after the spinning and reeling process of silk production. This type of silk has a rustic appearance, with a slubby texture, and is often blended with other fibers for added strength and texture.

Duppioni Silk Yarn:

Duppioni silk is known for its irregular texture and slubs. It is produced when two silkworms spin their cocoons closely together, creating a yarn with a unique, visually textured appearance. Duppioni silk is often used for elegant, high-end projects.

Silk Blends:

Silk is often blended with other natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, or bamboo to create silk blend yarns. These blends combine the best properties of both fibers, resulting in yarns with unique characteristics and textures.

Recycled Silk Yarn:

This type of yarn is made from recycled silk, typically from reclaimed silk saris or fabric remnants. It’s eco-friendly and often showcases a variety of colors in each skein, creating a distinctive look in crochet and knitting projects.

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And that’s all folks! 

Hope you enjoyed this article all about crocheting with silk yarn. Let me know if you have any questions. And don’t forget to pin this post on Pinterest to save it for later!

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