Silk signals sophistication
Silk is a beautiful, luxurious and absolutely stunning fabric. There are several types of natural silks in the market and, often, it can be difficult to differentiate among them. The texture, drape and feel of silk depend on the type of weaving, quality of silk thread, where the silk was manufactured and several other factors.
When it comes to choosing silk, you have many delightful options as you plan your holiday gifts.
There are four primary types of natural silk produced around the world: Mulberry silk, Eri silk, Tasar silk and Muga silk. While mulberry silk contributes to about 90 percent of all silk produced, from that 90 percent, there are approximately 35 different types of silk fabrics used to make clothes and home furnishings.
When you touch a piece of silk cloth, the silkworm and country it originates from shines through in the fabric – each one carries different qualities and features that make them perfect for your specific garments.
All natural silk fibers are produced by silkworms when they spin their cocoons. These cocoons are spun with a single, long fiber or thread of raw silk. During the harvesting of this fiber, several of these threads are combined to create a stronger thread used to weave into the fabric of your choice.
Silk’s amazing properties
Silk is a lot more than just a beautiful fabric. It has amazing properties. Here are some fun facts you may not know about silk:
Silk comes from the cocoons of mulberry silk worms and the worm is regarded as the most important in the silk textile industry.
The fabric originated in ancient China and the first known example of silk dates back to 3630 BC.
A silk rope is stronger than an equally thick metal wire.
Silk is hypoallergenic, and this natural, protein fiber will not irritate or cause a reaction on sensitive skin.
It’s a very versatile fabric that has been used to make everything from formal wear to sleepwear, from parachutes to rugs, and even medical sutures and prosthetic arteries!
The unit price for raw silk is about twenty times that of raw cotton.
Silk makes up a minuscule percentage of the global textile fiber market (less than 0.2%). Yet the actual trading value of silk and silk products is billions of dollars.
The US is the largest silk importer in the world.
One of the most often referred to types of silk is Italian silk. What makes it so special?
Italian silk is made in the region of Lake Como, a lush region in northern Italy, where the highest quality silk is manufactured for export to some of the world’s top fashion houses. Popularly known as “the silk city,” Lake Como has an abundance of mulberry trees – fundamental for breeding silkworms. Thus, Lake Como offers perfect conditions for producing mulberry silk. This type of silk weave creates an alluring sheen that adds a subtle and luxurious element to the silk fabric produced. It also makes it crisp and well structured.