REAL SILK: GET TO KNOW THE QUEEN OF FABRICS
Silk has been around for over 5000 years since its invention in China. Once forbidden to the public by the Chinese emperor, nowadays many refer to silk as the Queen of fabrics by many. It has been discovered in Egyptian mummies and in Rome, people claimed women were at risk of becoming promiscuous. A lot has happened since then and nowadays many value silk not only for its luxurious and soft qualities but also because it’s durable, hypoallergenic, and it provides an unbelievable feeling on your skin. It’s one of the most valued fabrics in the world, in part because of its benefits. But to reap all the benefits that silk offers, consumers should keep in mind that only real silk can truly offer what they’re looking for.
Here is some interesting info you need to know about real silk.
Is real silk expensive?
The price of real silk is higher than synthetic silk and the primary reason is the production process. Real silk is not mass-produced but delicately crafted by experts, silk producers, and silkworms using traditional equipment and investing a significant amount of time. A yard of silk can cost up to $100, but the price depends on the type of silk and the amount of work put into producing it. If we consider the labor, the craftsmanship and the uniqueness of each garment created following the traditional techniques, it’s worth the price.
How can you tell if it’s real silk?
Real silk has benefits that synthetic silk simply can’t offer: it doesn’t dry your skin, it’s very soft to touch and it will help your skin feel warmer or cooler depending on the season. It’s also hypoallergenic, which means it doesn’t cause skin reactions and it doesn’t remove moisture from the skin. With so many options on the market, to find out whether a garment is made of real silk can be daunting. How can you tell if it’s made from real or artificial silk? Here are 5 ways to know:
A garment made of real, handcrafted silk will not have the same price as cotton or other fabrics. It’s not always the case, but if an item seems too cheap to be true, ask the supplier.
Handcrafting silk makes every piece of fabric unique, which means it will not be perfect. There will always be a sign that someone did that and not just a machine. If your garment is perfectly smooth and with no imperfections at all, that probably means it’s synthetic.
Real silk shines a bit when placed in sunlight. If you see no shine or sparkles, that’s not real silk.
As mentioned above, natural silk will keep your skin warm or cool, and it does that naturally. Synthetic silk will feel like a regular soft fabric on your skin. Real silk leaves a unique feel on your skin that other fabrics simply don’t.
Real silk is very strong, it will not tear easily. To test its durability and strength without destroying your garment, just pull out a thread and try to fluff it up: if it’s real silk, it will remain the same. Also, if you burn that thread, you will know if it’s natural silk or not: if it smells like burnt plastic, it’s definitely not silk.
What is real silk made of?
Real silk is made from a natural protein fiber produced by silkworms to form their cocoons. To manufacture silk, first, the silkworms need to be cared for since they are eggs until they complete their cocoons and this requires a substantial amount of time and land to keep them in their trees, usually mulberry trees, to feed off the leaves. Silkworms have a tube in their head, called a spinneret, that secretes a liquid that becomes harder when exposed to air and it becomes two filaments which will then be merged by another liquid called sericin. A sericulturist then will soak the cocoons in hot water and weave the filaments into beautiful, soft, and luxurious silk fabric. Real silk results from a wonderful combination of nature and wonderful artisanal skills.
What is pure silk?
When purchasing silk, the most important thing to consider is: is it real, natural silk or is it mixed with other materials?
The increasing popularity, availability and demand for silk also brings deceitful or mislabelled products into the picture that we should know. Many brands use a mix of natural and synthetic fibers for their garments, as it reduces production and manufacturing costs.
The most common and highest quality type of pure silk is mulberry silk. It is also the most traditional one, its production is still following traditional methods today. They only fed the silkworms mulberry leaves, and the produced silk is one of the finest in the world, with its natural color being pearl white. It’s also the most durable type of natural silk and it represents 90% of silk production.
There is another type of pure silk: Tussah silk. It uses wild silk moths that feed on a wide variety of vegetation, giving the fabric a surprising range of colors, including cream, honey and brown.
There are many misconceptions around silk, and many labels can be misleading. For example, satin is not a type of silk. It is a weaving technique, also used to produce fabrics made of real silk. To make sure you buy a garment made with pure silk, look for the word silk on the label. An honest seller will always include 100% silk in their descriptions or labels, and it’s recommended to always ask the seller before purchasing silk.
When choosing a piece of clothing, check the labels closely: the terms Chiffon, Organza or Crepe are also types of fabric made with pure silk, but watch out: they might contain other synthetic fibers.
All our silk garments at LeaSilk are made with 100% pure silk and you can order from our Etsy shop.
And if you want to learn more about silk, check out our post about the power of silk here!