Samite Silk Blend
Samite is our homage to the history of textile manufacturing. With fifteen shades inspired by the pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements, and colour names selected from late nineteenth century poetry, we wanted to pay tribute to the value Victorians placed on unique and thoughtfully crafted objects. The very special silk content of Samite inspired us to name the range after the opulent woven silk fabrics produced in Medieval Europe.
To make this woollen spun yarn, we blended 30% smooth drapey Blue-faced Leicester, with the bouncy froth of 40% Shetland, the cruelty-free luxury of 20% Ahimsa silk, and 10% of fibre from Sue Blacker’s own Gotland flock. This combination of pale and dark fibres creates a yarn with glorious depth of colour and delicate nupps of silk.
Samite was born out of a curiosity to see how a woollen spun silk blend would behave. We love the luxury of worsted spun silk blends, but find their tendency to pill frustrating. Because it is woollen spun, Samite retains the characteristic bounce and memory of Shetland and is more durable than a standard silk blend, making it ideal for colourwork, cables and texture. The addition of silk still gives an increased drape to the yarn when worked at a loose gauge. It responds exquisitely to delicate lace and large needles, creating a light airy fabric.
This truly is a yarn for creating heirlooms. Its 3-ply thickness requires time to work up, but Samite will repay your dedication with a strikingly unique garment that lasts. If you do prefer to work with thicker yarns, why not try using it doubled to create a DK weight fabric? You could even combine two shades to create a subtle or striking marl.
At Blacker, we hold ourselves to very rigorous standards when it comes to the traceability and ethics of our fibre sourcing. That’s why we’ve chosen to spin Samite using Ahimsa silk. This is the only method of silk production which allows the moths to reach maturity and emerge from their cocoons. Like many of you, we’re thinking about the future of our planet and investing in Ahimsa silk guarantees that there will still be moths to make the silk of the future!