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The History of Silk

According to Confucius, it was in 2640 B.C. that the Chinese princess Xi Ling Shi was the first to reel a cocoon of silk which, legend also has it, had dropped into her cup of tea. From that historic moment, the Chinese discovered the life cycle of the silk worm and for the next 3000 years were to keep their monopoly of silk.In the 3rd Century B.C., Chinese silk fabrics were beginning to find their way throughout the whole of Asia, and were transported overland to the west, and by sea to Japan, in those long itineraries known as the silk roads. It was in Asia that the Romans discovered these wondrous fabrics but they knew nothing of their origin.

The early part of the 20th century, whereas European sericulture continued its slow decline, the silk industry succeeded in maintaining a strong position through its technical innovations and the development of silk blended with other fibres.

The next major turning point was to be the Second World War. Raw-silk supplies from Japan were cut off, and the new synthetic fibres captured many of silk's markets, such as stockings and parachutes. This interruption in silk activity in Europe and the United States sounded the death-knell of European sericulture.

After the second world war, Japan restored her silk production, with vastly improved reeling, inspection and classification of her raw silk. Japan was to remain the world's biggest producer of raw silk, and practically the only major exporter of raw silk, until the 1970s. Then China, thanks to a remarkable effort of organisation and planning, gradually re-captured her historic position as the world's biggest producer and exporter of raw silk. In 1985, world production of raw silk was about 56000 tonnes (the same as in 1938) of which over 50% were produced in China. The other major producers are Japan, India, the USSR, the Republic of Korea and Brazil. Silk is still produced in smaller quantities in many other countries, and several developing countries are studying new sericultural projects.


What exactly is silk?

Silk is the fine thread with which a silkworm spins its cocoon. The silkworm pupates in its cocoon and emerges 20 days later as a moth. The thread which is produced by the spinning glands of the silkworm is the finest and strongest natural fibre in the world. Silk is a protein fibre, meaning that it is chemically quite similar to human skin. Because of this, silk is an ideal "second skin".


Why is silk so special?

Silk Shines : Because of silk's unique sheen, colours radiate and assume a luminant character. This gleaming, however, is not the only quality of silk.

Silk Caresses : Thanks to its extremely fine and smooth fibre structure, silk flows in a supple and soft way.

Silk Insulates: Silk cools and warms simultaneously. Silk garments are perfect for Summer and Winter. Silk worn as a second layer underneath warms without being bulky. It can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. Silk will absorb perspiration while letting your skin breathe. Silk contributes to your well-being.

Silk Wears: In spite of its delicate appearance, silk is relatively robust. Its smooth surface resists soil and odours well. Silk is wrinkle and tear resistant, and dries quickly.

Silk is Safe: Because of its protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics. That means it's less likely to cause allergic reactions to the wearer. Silk is also fire retardant. It keeps fire from spreading to its neighborhood, even if it catches fire.

Silk Flatters: Silk has been celebrated throughout history: Princesses are clad in silken robes and noblemen in silken capes. 2000 years ago, Chinese poets wrote of the harmonizing virtues of silk clothing. Silk remains a magical fabric with often subtle benefits.Silk is naturally wrinkle-resistant, glossy, hypoallergenic, and easy to care for. Other fabrics can only claim these qualities after being treated with additives.

Silk Care

Is silk difficult to take care? What needs to be done?

Silk is amongst the most easy fabrics to take care of. Also our fabric is produced keeping in mind your cleaning requirements. Our fabric is built to last and last well. However, as a rule, it is advisable to clean silk as little as possible, because silk will lose its special sheen if it is repeatedly or wrongly cleaned. Silk should only be dry cleaned professionally. In the case of an emergency, we have, however, added here some guidelines for keeping your silk clean and special as only silk can be.

Chemical: Petroleum ether, turpentine, spirit of wine, benzine, benzene, surgical spirit, acetone and methanol are all flammable and must only be used in small quantities.
Washing: Wash only with very mild soaps and only in a slow and tumble mode.
Ironing: Use regular iron boxes with usual instructions for use on silks. Iron only after drying and hang to dry indoors, never in direct sunlight.
Stains: Most stains will require expert help from a professional fabric care specialist.
Blends: Care for blends on the same lines as pure silks.
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