Silk for rooting

I found some gorgeous silk on Etsy so I can try rooting, and it finally arrived today from Japan. It’s a twisted thread, but the twists are almost microscopically tiny in person. It’s only in the photos that I could really see them. How do I figure out what size/type of needle to use? If it’s just trial and error, would someone with a range of rooting needles be willing to give it a look if I mail you a small sample? I don’t own any needles yet so I don’t know where to start.

Look at the all the prettiness!

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I’m not sure if this would work… want me to send you some hair and a few needles to play with? Pm me if you want.

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That’s very sweet, but I’m badly allergic to mohair, and all the other animal hair fibers. I have no idea if this will work, but I wanted to try some natural fibers before moving on to the petroleum-based ones. In my crocheting I’ve been able to get a good movement out of particularly thin silk that made me think it might work well for hair, but who knows?

If I really like the look but the mechanics don’t work, I may try using it in a glued-on, laying down style.

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It looks coarse to me. Are the strands twisted together like embroidery thread is?

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Maybe try human hair?

Alpaca? I have some I processed - washed and combed - you could see if it caused a reaction?

Maybe raw mohair would be different and you wouldn’t have an allergic reaction? Maybe it’s whatever processing chemicals are used to color yarn?

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Oh ok I see, I wouldn’t mind sharing what I have… sorry about that.
This is very interesting!
What a neat idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out :slight_smile:

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Good luck!!! Following!!!

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There are two very fine strands spun together. In person it’s so fine that it took a magnifying glass to see that it wasn’t a single strand. Between two fingers it’s got the feel of coarser human hair, but actually still finer than my own. The fiber isn’t a shiny silk, but it still catches the sunlight, giving the impression of color variations like natural hair. It’s a very interesting fiber. It would make a lovely carrying thread for a varigated home spun.

Unfortunately I’ve tried every variation of alpaca, mohair, cashmere, and wool. For some reason my mother, sister, and I are all wildly allergic. If I touch any animal hair fiber my fingers will immediately begin turning an angry mottled red, then swelling, and stinging, burning, and/or aching. It will last a few hours to a day, depending on how much of my skin was in contact and how fast I could wash my hands afterwards. It’s annoyingly sensitive enough that this will happen if we touch clothing or yarn that isn’t one of those fibers, but has brushed against something that was. :roll_eyes:

ETA: Sorry, forgot the human hair. I don’t have any issues touching it, but that’s a little creepy to me.

In the BJD doll community they use a LOT of interesting alternate fibers for hair. Mohair is popular, but I’ve seen some really neat effects with spin silk, linen, wire, and the petroleum fibers. Those folks do such wildly creative stuff! It’s not that we don’t, it’s just that the vast majority of reborn dolls are going for ultra-realism while the BJDs are going for anything they dream up. It’s BJD folks I talk to on Instagram who suggested silk. It’s a little intimidating, lol. I’ve got two doll communities watching this experiment!

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This artist told me at IDTS that she uses silk for her doll’s hair. It’s also in the items descriptions.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/720552231/available-now-pam-pumpkin-needle-felted?ref=shop_home_active_5&frs=1

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Very neat! That’s more of a silk roving, or slightly spun silk. If I can’t get the strands to work, I might try that next for more of a messy hair look.

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Forgot to mention, for anyone curious the silk came from an Etsy seller ZELKOVAJAPAN. They’ve got a wide range of absolutely gorgeous fibers, and the shipping prices are really good. If you order more than one type of fiber you’ll get charged shipping for each one, but the seller will contact you to tell you the bundled price.

The silk I bought had been on a New Year special and was just $4 a bundle! It’s normally $8, which is still a great price. There’s a huge range of colors and it was all I could do to limit myself to just the two I bought…for now!

ETA: There’s still some of the half-price silk left, if anyone’s interested! Buy freely – I just bought the other two colors I had been interested in, lol.

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I’ve made fur by brushing out yarn so it can be done. Maybe brush it out so you have thinner fibers to work with? I tried rooting with roving just to see if it would would but it was way to Velcroish

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I had hoping this would be a single fiber, but it was hard to tell from the photos and the seller didn’t understand my question. I embroider as well as crochet so I knew I’d have a use for it anyway and took the chance.

There’s a seller in Germany, I think who appears to be making their own silk roving so I was going to contact them next and see if they could sell me some dyed single fiber. While it’s not perfect hair, so far I really like the look of this.

Can’t wait to see how it looks.

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Good luck, hope it works out. You should have a variety of needles on hand, where as one may not work but another does. Please show us your results

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