Silk Fabric – What Really Is It?
Who Discovered Silk Fabric?
Silk fabric was discovered around 3000 BC in China and it’s believed that the empress Xi Ling-Shi was the first to develop the silks into fabrics. For many centuries that followed silk fabric was a closely guarded secret of all Chinese Emperors. This created a rare and extremely exclusive product that was as precious as gold and exotic spices when it finally appeared in early international trade.
Subscribe with Us
Before reading on make sure you subscribe with us to get access to EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS and all the Latest News and Promotions. Join our othe lovely subscribers by simply enterring you details in the box right here on the left side of the screen. You’ll be so happy you did so!!
Even today, silk fabric is still a highly regarded and valuable product. Perhaps some of the reasons for this high regard come from the fact that it is a natural fabric with its own unique softness and luster.
Incredible Characteristics of Silk Fabric
Silk fabric is a really protein very similar to human hair and it contains some incredible characteristics that set it apart from all other fabrics. It is extremely durable, has a tensile strength greater than steel, can be dyed in a huge array of colours and has unbelievable moisture absorption capacity that gives it a soft feel on your skin as well as being warm in winters and cool to wear in the hotter months.
The Many Uses of Silk Fabrics
Silk fabric can be used for a wide variety of uses such as clothes, curtains, neckties, scarves and is even highly regarded as a fabric for home furnishings. Today silk fabric is highly valued by the world’s fashion industry and has established a benchmark of luxury and wealth.
Creating Silk Fabric
The various processes involved in silk fabric manufacturing is extremely time consuming and often very labour intensive. A huge amount of work is required to ensure the silk is of the highest possible quality to ensure, that in this very competitive international marketplace, the fibers and silk fabric products meet the customers’ expectations.
For example, it takes at least 1 week of a very competent hand weaver to produce enough silk fabric for a simple dress. This is one of the reasons why silk fabric products like dresses, neckties, drapes, scarves and even silk flowers are often so expensive.
However, the actual cost of silk fabric will vary considerably depending on the type you choose and there are some very high quality yet affordable silk fabrics available today.
4 Key Types of Silk Fabric
Mulberry Silk that is produced by silk worms fed exclusively on mulberry leaves. This is the basis of most commercial silk fabric. Raw mulberry silk can be either white or golden yellow in colour.
Eri Silk is created by silkworms that are fed on castor leaves with a pale yellow colour.
Mulga Silk comes from India and is produced by worms that feed on Soalu and Sorn plant leaves – usually mid-yellow in colour.
Tasar Silk produced by worms feeding on the leaves of the Asan plant. It is less lustrous than the mulberry silk but still of high quality. Tasar silk fabric is usually dark orange/copper colour
Other Silk Fabrics
These fabrics include Dupioni (probably the highest quality and most expensive silk fabric), Charmeuse and Chiffon (still luxurious but more affordable than Dupioni).
Other major silk fabrics include Jacquard (from the famous Jacquard automated looms), and Naturally Dyed Thai Silk that is chemical free, has a little less vibrant colours but with unique patterns, totally safe and 100% eco-friendly (see image above).