For the past couple of years, every time I saw a project idea that included supplies from Ornamentea, I checked out their site but didn't buy anything. Finally, the week before last, I surfed their tutorials and project ideas, then their sale items (naturally) and then their other listings.
Many of their sale items were sold out, but I did pick up a cute brass bulldog charm and some other goodies at nice prices. I also ordered a few lengths of dupioni silk ribbon at regular prices to use as stringing material.
What is dupioni, you may be wondering? I did, so I looked it up. "Dupioni" (sometimes spelled "duppioni" and "doupioni") comes from the Italian word "doppio," which means "double." If I understand correctly, that's because this fabric is made from the silk of two silkworms that have spun a cocoon together. Dupioni silk has variations in thickness, along with bits of cocoon left in the silk, which result in a nubby texture in the finished cloth. It's also woven with two threads. The finished cloth is sturdier than some other types of silk.
Dupioni silk - and any silk, really, I think - is gorgeous. Editorial note: I researched whether silk worms are killed when their cocoons are unravelled. Sadly, yes: The majority of silk worms are killed to obtain the cocoon, but a small percentage are left to live on. I now rank silk right up there with pearls when it comes to luxury materials that come with a high price on a few levels. (See my posting on pearls below.)
I will use it with respect.
The necklace below was inspired by a design I've seen in a couple of jewelry-making magazines and by ideas posted on Ornamentea's blog. I tried it first with strips of sari fabric I'd been storing for years, but they frayed much faster than the dupioni.
Have you made something similar? Send a good photo and I'll post it!