Monday, November 11, 2013

Milkweed Fluff

Milkweed grows everywhere around here.   We have mostly three kinds - Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed, the pretty orange stuff; Asclepias syriaca, common milkweed, the big stuff that the Monarch butterflies love; and Asclepias purpurescens, purple milkweed, the swamp variety, which we see, but not nearly as much as the other two.   

This pic is of the fluff that comes out of the pods of Asclepias syriaca.  There's a lot of it this time of year and its really interesting to read about the uses to which it has been put over the centuries.

The fluff can be spun into beautiful yarn, but it is not strong, so this spinner recommends blending it with something else.

The insulating properties of milkweed fluff are well known and have been taken advantage of for centuries.  Here's a site that tells you exactly how to collect it in quantities that you can use for making clothing, etc.

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