Spinning from a silk hankie or spinning bell is essentially the same.  The shape of the two are different but after all the peeling, stretching and attenuating, it becomes the same thing, a long piece of silk roving.

To begin, you need to peel a very thin section from your silk hankie.  Look at the edges, and you will see layers and layers of silk threads.  Gently begin peeling up as thin of a layer as possible.  If your layer could be thinner, see if you can separate it again at the edge.  

 

Peel layer

 



After some pulling, tugging and perhaps a few choice words, you should have a fluffy layer of silk separated from the main hankie.  With your fingers, feel around the center of the layer and begin working a hole in the middle.

 

Open The Layer

 



Now you can insert your thumbs into the hole and begin pulling, tugging and working the hole bigger and bigger.  When you have stretched it as far as possible you will have one big loop of fairly consistent diameter.

Finding a weaker spot, you can break the loop by pulling the fibers apart at this point.  Be sure to keep your hands a good distance from each other, so that the very long silk fibers can separate.  Now you and go up the length of the silk and draft out any excess to the diameter you want for spinning.  I noticed that the silk compresses quite a bit, so you may want a fatter roving then you might think at first.

 

Break Loop

 



Join on to your leader and begin spinning.  Any drafting you do, if needed will require your hands spread very far apart.  It also takes a little more muscle power than most fibers, as the silk wants to stick to itself and everything else.   This is compounded by the very long staple length of the silk used for hankies.

 

Begin to Spin

 



Your fiber supply will start to look ratty and tattered if you do much drafting, but don't worry, it's normal and will be corrected shortly.  Keep spinning until you run into the ratty area.

 

Ratty Fiber

 



Slide your drafting hand back a good distance of at least a foot and give the fiber supply and good pull, and it will all straighten out like magic.  Now you can keep spinning and repeat this process as needed.  If you pre-drafted your fiber just right before you began, you may not need to do much of this.  

plied my silk singles with a wool singles I spun from some hand blended washed, dyed and carded fleece.  This silk and wool look nice together, but I did notice that my wool needed more twist added to the single before plying.  The silk will absorb quite a bit of twist, so try and keep track of about how much you add, then try to duplicate it with your wool singles if you try this.  Nevertheless The result was beautiful, and now I can begin spinning enough for a project.

 

Finished Yarn