8 Facts About Silk
The most luxurious fabric in the world is worth every thread

Silk carries a rich, 8500-year-old history

Silkworm species Bombyx Mori – which then turns into the pale-white mulberry silk moth – are gathered and cultured to produce the silky-smooth threads. The domestication of these insects is called sericulture, a process which dates back to thousands of years. Confucius himself must have worn a silk robe, for a text dated around 2700 BC led to the discovery of the origins of this fabric. The Chinese were considered to be the pioneers of silk, whose technology spread all over east and south Asia, and then to the whole world.

Its production is labour intensive

The commercial silk industry relies on the Bombyx Mori specie for today's manufacturing of silk, but creating the fabric is no simple magic. First, the larvae feed on mulberry leaves and undergoes moulting, a process where larvae wrap themselves with thin, silky filaments for hundreds and thousands of times. Harvesters must then wait patiently for the silk to solidify. One pound of raw silk requires about 2,500 silkworms; imagine wounding these delicate threads onto the reel, one by one!

Speaking of measurement, there’s Momme

Momme is the unit used to describe the density of a silk thread, approximately equivalent to the weight of a pound. A good-quality silk sheet has a momme of 12-19. High-quality silks range from 16-19. The standard for measuring this is by taking a sample piece, usually 100 yards in length and 45 inches in width.  The heavier the weight, the higher the momme. This means that a greater amount of silk was used in the weaving process of the fabric.

Higher thread count does not equal superiority

Instead of the usual thread counts, quality silks rely on its momme weight. The higher the momme, the more durable the weave, the better longevity. Mommes ranging from 16 to 21 are ideal; 19mm momme offers a balance of strength and smoothness.

Silk is your super-fabric

It may seem delicate and fragile - especially knowing its origins - but silk is one of the strongest fabrics around. It is made up of fibroin, an organic protein in nature, and sericin, nature's innate gum. The protein element of this material is known to encourage healing in the skin, making it suitable for the sensitive types. Bearing excellent tensile strength and elasticity, this fabric is known to endure abrasions, stretches and minor wrinkling.

It's like a soft, gentle hug, even in winter

Lightweight doesn't mean weak. The same protein in silk conducts heat, the same as the wool, making this fabric a perfect choice to warm you up during winter days. What's better? It has premium drapability - the fabric glides on your skin without the heaviness and pressure from other thick clothing. When the sun takes a blazing toll on summer, silk is your best friend too – its absorbent qualities make it comfortable to wear even on the hottest day. Here’s one good reason why you should go out of your house in your comfy camisole.

Probably one of nature’s best gifts

Silk is the best fabric to wrap yourself in, bearing the same pH level our skin has. It's anti-allergenic, even for clinical use; dermatologists allude to it as a superior alternative to traditional cotton, especially in pillowcases, for it reduces the friction between the human skin and hair against the pillow. In return, it lessens the case of skin irritation during sleep, helping you get your necessary Zzzs. And, unlike artificial textiles, silk is completely biodegradable; what is born of nature goes back to nature in a beautiful cycle.

Oh, and did we mention it is easy to clean?

We can thank the smooth surface of silk that prevents dirt - something which can easily be removed by washing. As opposed to a lot of fears, silk can be hand-washed and ironed. One trick of the trade: hang your silky pyjama in your bathroom as you take a hot shower; the steam will smoothen the wrinkles!

Soft, luxurious, long-wearing and visually elegant, silk does the job of making you feel cosy and look cool. Indulge in the silky-smooth feeling of this material as you go about your day’s work, and at night, dwell in sweet dreams while being wrapped up in a pair of classic PJs.

Nele Köstler

Nele is Co-Founder at RADICE. She loves to search for new trends and inspirational encounters around the world. As a philosopher she made reading an essential part of her daily routine. She writes about mindfulness, self-empowerment and health. She studied in Munich and New York, worked in international companies as well as small and vibrant startups. Her best advise for sleep? Calm your mind and soul before going to bed: take a walk, meditate or just have a cup of tea in the dark. Then rest.
Find her favourite items here

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