When Paradise Fibers sent me their Eco Soul Nylon for spinning, I was so intrigued. And when you spin as much as I do, it is not every day that you find a totally new type of fiber that surprises you!
I’ll get into why I found this fiber so interesting, but first, here’s a little background on nylon itself.
I use some affiliate links. They will always be clearly marked and you are never obligated to use them. If you make a purchase through the affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
What is Nylon?
Nylon is a synthetic fiber that was introduced to fashion in the 1930s as an alternative to silk stockings. They were really popular at the time.
As a synthetic fiber, nylon is different than wool. It is not fluffy or fuzzy like wool. Instead, it is strong, dense, and a little ropey. These properties make it a great fiber for certain projects that require those properties, but it is not a great replacement for wool.
Beyond fashion, the invention of nylon and other synthetic fibers have had a huge impact on the world, including things like parachutes and uniforms in WWII, as well use in astronauts’ suits and going to the moon! Nylon is a dynamic fiber that is used everywhere. It has opened the doors for a lot of great things. You can read more about the history of nylon here.
Unfortunately, nylon’s latest impact on the world is in landfills. It is a plastic material that takes generations to degrade.
What is Eco Nylon?
That’s why Paradise Fibers created their Eco Soul Biodegradable Nylon Blend. This eco nylon has been developed to degrade much faster than other nylons and synthetic fibers in commercial landfill conditions. In a landfill, which has anaerobic conditions (meaning no oxygen), the eco nylon is designed to biodegrade within five years.
Do Projects Made with Eco Nylon Fall Apart?
Does that mean all your projects will degrade too???
No, don’t worry! The “no oxygen” part is key here! You can wear and wash your eco nylon projects to your heart’s content and never have to worry about them “rotting” or breaking down. Any environment that you expose the nylon to will have oxygen, so your projects will always have the properties of strong, durable nylon. You can read more about eco nylon here.
Since nylon is known for its strength and durability, it can be a great fiber for making bags. I thought that a bag project would be perfect!
So, for this project, I decided to spin yarn from the Eco Soul Nylon, create a cabled yarn, and make a cute drawstring notions bag that was woven with a pin loom.
Let’s Get Spinning!
How to Spin Eco Nylon
Since the Eco Nylon is an innovative fiber, I thought it was only fitting to use an innovative spinner! I used my Eel Wheel Nano for this project. This spinner created two cute little bobbins with about 50 g of nylon yarn on each.
Avoid Overspinning Nylon
You have to be very careful when spinning nylon. It does not have any forgiveness for overspinning. If you overspin it, it will become very dense and tough like rope.
Of course, if you need a really strong fiber, overspin this fiber and see what you can do with it! But for my bag project, I didn’t need the fiber to be too rope-like, so I was careful to draft quickly so the fiber did not take on too much twist.
One thing that helped me with drafting this fiber was to “pre-floof” it a bit and pull the fibers out sideways. That gave it the fluff that I needed to manage the fiber while drafting. I did not pre-draft or pull it lengthwise.
How to Ply Eco Nylon
Next, I plied the yarn with my Ashford E Spinner 3 and a DIY lazy Kate that I made from a shoebox and a dowel rod (which worked great!). The yarn had a ton of twist energy, but I love how it came out. It worked really well for this project. It had a lot of elasticity and bounce.
Next, I turned the yarn into a sort of cabled 4-ply. It is not technically a 4-ply because it didn’t have four separate bobbins going into it. Instead, I took the 2-ply yarn I just created, doubled it over onto itself, and plied it one more time. I used my ball winder and then plied it from a center pull ball.
Next, I spun it in an S direction (clockwise), then plied it the first time in a Z direction (anti-clockwise), then plied it again in the S direction.
For this project, I wanted to make a cabled yarn because they are very strong. Creating a cable yarn is a good technique for taking a thin, slippery fiber like nylon and turning it into a thick, strong yarn.
How to Wind Eco Nylon
Finally, I wound the yarn onto my Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Swift skein winder. Since nylon is a synthetic fiber, you cannot wash, whack, and set the yarn — it won’t do anything! So, I think winding the yarn onto the skein winder provided it with some room to evenly distribute out in case any spots gained too much twist.
Then I was ready to weave on my Schacht Zoom Loom!
Weaving the Eco Nylon
Using the Zoom Loom worked really well. It created a fabric square that was very strong and sturdy. However, since the yarn does not have any stretch to it, it got a little bit tight and difficult towards the end. So if you follow this technique, be sure to leave yourself plenty of wiggle room when you first wrap the yarn onto the loom!
The final product
I ended up making a cute drawstring bag with this yarn. My original plan was to make a reusable market bag, but life happens! I am moving and just did not have time to make the larger bag. However, I still wanted to get something made with the cute little woven squares and put this yarn to the test!
The drawstring bag will be perfect for holding a bunch of the little things that I like to keep by my spinning wheel. I can even hang it right on my spinning wheel.
This will keep everything nice and organized. Plus, when I want to switch spinning wheels, I can just grab the bag and take everything that I need with me.
Since it will hang on my spinning wheel and get used a lot, this will be a great test of the durability of this yarn.
Let’s Be Fiber Friends!
I enjoyed this project and I can’t wait to see how the bag holds up. It was a different experience working with the Eco Nylon. It is a niche fiber that is not for everyone, but I think it was perfect for this project!
If you enjoyed this project and want to see more, you can buy me a coffee (or a floof of fiber!) to help support my next textile adventure. And remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel and Patreon!
If you are interested in private virtual spinning lessons, you can send me an e-mail at [email protected].