No fabric is as luxurious and loved as silk is.
For thousands of years, silk has been considered to be the queen of fibers, from the empresses in China to the royalty of the Roman Empire. However, why is silk such a cherished fabric? Silk has so many different timeless characteristics. Those qualities help to explain why silk has been so popular for such a long time.
Silk Is Naturally Hypoallergenic (and Great for Your Skin also!)
Natural therapist Sally Austin says, “With hypoallergenic qualities, silk is an excellent fabric option for people with sensitive skin, allergies, or asthma.” A small percentage of individuals are allergic to silk. It can help to ease sensitivities, since it naturally wards off some of the most common allergens in the world, like mold and dust mites.
Silk comes from silkworm cocoons that are spun by silkworms. They are designed to naturally shield the worm against common dangers and predators, such as fungus growth and mites.
Silk is primarily composed of sericin, which is a protein that organically repels many common allergens. Also, silk is resistant to fungi, mold, and mildew growth, which are very common irritants for humans.
According to accommodation business owner Tamara Large, “Silk bedding has become a popular choice, especially pillow cases due to these allergen and skin friendly qualities, plus it feels great!”
Silk is Biodegradable and Recyclable
The fashion industry contributes significantly to global warming. Clothes that are made from synthetic materials are usually not biodegradable or recyclable and therefore end up in landfills all over the world. Silk is recyclable, has a very low environmental impact, and is durable.
It takes around 1 to 5 years for 100% silk fabric to decompose, depending on the specific conditions. That is a lot faster than how long it takes for synthetic textiles to completely break down. For example, it can take as long as 200 years for polyester to decompose.
During the Winter Silk Warms You Up
Silk is a highly insulating natural fiber. That means that silk clothing is very effective at keeping warm. It has an impressive warmth-to-thickness ratio as well. When worn near the skin, even a lightweight and thin silk fabric will keep you warm. That is the reason why silk fabrics are such a popular choice to use for undergarments and other insulated clothing.
It is possible to weave silk threads very tightly. With a tight weave, every strand of silk gets woven very closely to the adjacent one. The tight that a weave is, the more insulating a fabric will be. A clothing item made out of tightly-woven silk will help your natural body heat to be trapped close to your skin. A silk fabric’s combination of natural properties and tight weave makes it a very insulating fabric. It can help to keep you warm all winter long.
During The Summer Silk Keeps You Cool
In addition to keeping you warm during the winter, silk clothes can keep you cool during the summer. Silk is able to absorb 10 to 30 percent of its weight in the form of moisture. That makes it a fairly breathable fabric. Also, silk is very thin and lightweight, which helps to keep you cool. It is great to wear loose-fitting silk clothing and accessories such as scarves during the summer.
Silk is Durable and Strong
Silk is able to last a lifetime and for very good reason. For such a lightweight and thin fabric, silk is very strong. Con Nicolau, a steel security door specialist says, “Compared to steel thread that is the same thickness, silk thread is four times tougher.” Armor was made out of silk hundreds of years ago by the Mongolians. Silk vests made from numerous layers of quilted silk dampened the impact of arrows driven into the skin. Not only is silk strong but it also has excellent resilience and great elasticity. Due to these invaluable qualities, silk was the first choice in fabric for manufacturing parachutes for a very long time.
Silk is Soft, Shiny, and Luxurious
There is a beautiful sheen to silk fabrics, due to the silk fiber’s prism-like triangular structure. A silk fiber’s shape refracts light at various angles, to give it that shimmering look. The production or weaving method on silk will also help to determine a silk fabric’s shine. Silk is a very versatile material and can be woven into a number of different weaves.
There are other qualities of silk that make it perfect for the fashion industry. They include silk being able to absorb dyes easily and that silk clothes come in many vibrant colors. Silk has a nice drape as well which makes it possible to create designs that are very beautiful and flattering to the body.
The six timeless qualities above make it likely that silk will continue to be the most loved natural fiber. For thousands of years, silk has made us feel beautiful and comfortable, and no other fabric can rival it.