Floss Silk

Unspun floss silk. Unspun floss silk. TRC collection.

Floss silk are the filaments from the soft, internal covering of a silkworm cocoon, and in particular from the places where the cocoon is not damaged by the caterpillar. Floss silk is normally classed as a continuous filament. The silk is unravelled off the cocoon, dyed and then made into hanks.

In Asia and the Middle East, the term floss silk usually refers to unspun silk filaments used as a thread.

In the West, the term of floss silk is often used to describe a thread made from lightly spun silk filaments (often also classed as flat silk). In medieval and later English it was called sleave silk or sleyed silk.

Floss silk is generally regarded to be very suitable for a number of specific embroidery techniques, including the plait stitch, satin stitch, split stitch and stem stitch, but also laidwork and couching.

See also: floss


  • TORTORA, Phyllis G. and Ingrid JOHNSON (2014). The Fairchild Books: Dictionary of Textiles, 8th Edition, New York: Fairchild Books/Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., p. 241.
  • Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: 'Floss-silk'.


Last modified on Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:48
More in this category: « Dacron Filoselle »