For thousands of years, silk has been prized for its luxury. Produced by raising silkworms, this delicate fabric was first developed in China. Today, it is produced all over the world and yet only comprises less than 1% of fibers made worldwide. When you think of what goes into making one silk dress, it’s easy to see why this material is considered a luxury. In order to make enough silk for one dress, you need the silk from thousands of silkworms. What are silkworms, you ask? They are actually caterpillars and, if left to finish their life cycle, grow into moths. The domesticated silkworms used to create silk are raised on mulberry leaves. It takes over 90 kg of mulberry leaves eaten by about 3000 silkworms to create enough silk for one dress! When a silkworm makes a cocoon to transform into a moth, the cocoon is dipped into boiling water then unraveled to give one continuous silk thread. The resulting fabric is easy to dye and has a natural shine.
Silk is a comfortable fabric to wear in warm weather and while active. It is often used for more formal clothing, such as blouses, dresses, and ties, but is also used for window treatments, robes, lingerie, bedding, and much more.
While it is true that 100% silk garments need special care and attention, you don’t need to shy away from adding this beautiful fabric to your wardrobe. Simply keep a few care tips in mind and you can enjoy the look and feel of real silk.
First, it is important to protect the appearance of your silk garments. Avoid getting perfume or deodorant on silk, which may stain or discolor the fabric. Never bleach silk, and if you must iron it, do not spray with water and iron only from the back of the fabric. Do not store silk items where they will be exposed to sunlight and avoid treating stains with water. If a silk item gets wet, do not wring it out. Silk is made of a protein fiber, similar in structure to human hair. It is more susceptible to damage from heat and water than other fabrics.