Nature has an astounding ability to produce breathtaking creations which spark joy and delight to all those who see. Silk manufacturing is the epitome of the beauty that lies in nature’s prowess.
Have you ever stopped to consider the process of silk making? Long before it is carefully crafted into gorgeous garments, the tale of how silk is processed is as charming and impressive as the material itself. Which comes as no surprise. After all, how could anything so magnificent not have a fascinating story behind it.
The process of making silk originally began over 4000 years ago in China, where the craft of silk was an ancient art saved for those of elite ranking. Whilst today the luxuriously soft fabric is accessible around the world, amazingly silk production hasn’t changed in terms of method.
Here we reveal the secrets behind the intriguing creation of silk….
The journey all begins with the silkworm. Throughout the world, there are silk farms on which the silkworms are bred, and nurtured by the farmers. Three times a day the worms will feast on their favourite snack - mulberry leaves. In this period they can grow in up to 40 times in length (a total of 3 inches.
Although silkworms are small in size there is no doubting their mighty power. The silkworm produces silk during its metamorphosis to become a beautiful moth. When the moth is ready, it is put in a round basket covered in cloth to keep them from flies. This graceful transformation calls for the worm to secrete a continuous strand of saliva that hardens when making contact with the air. This continuous process then forms the cocoon.
Steadily, over four days, the silkworm rotates its body in a figure of eight movements. Determined, it carries out this impressive rotation about 300,00 times until a full cocoon forms.
The single thread of raw silk which encompasses the entire cocoon is between 300 to 900 metres in length. In nature, the moth majestically tears a hole in the cocoon, through which it will spread its newly developed wings and embrace the world.
The more prevalent technique for silk production is to treat the cocoons with hot water and steam to soften the proteins (sericin) allowing the silk to become unbound from the cocoon. The warmth of the water dissolves the gum that holds the cocoon together causing it to soften and become soft like the silk we know. It is then delicately and carefully unwound to create a single strand.
The yarns are then spun by hand or on wooden tubes. The desired thickness of the silk will be the deciding factor in how many silk yarns will be woven together. The weight of the fabric will then be described as its ply, ie 2-ply, 4-ply, 6-ply.
With all these stages complete, the silk is now ready to be weaved into sheets of fabric and transformed again into the beautiful silk garments we know and love.
This is how silk is made, with silk the result of the silkworm’s labour of love.
We love the transformation silk goes through, and it only makes us even more passionate about this unique fabric. Every step of the journey is delicate, meticulous and fuelled by passion.
We are always in awe of the amazing journey silk has been on and consider this when sourcing ours. We work hard to create products that carry on the enchanting tale of silk and give everyone the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of nature with us. Click here to shop our range of 100% natural silk lingerie!