Silk has always been considered one of the most preciousand well known natural fibers thanks to its ancient history.
In our collective imagination Silk’s story will always be linked to China and the famous Silk Road, sericulture has been indeed an exclusive practice for many centuries in China, in the XIIIth century this practice also arrived in Italy where the mulberry plants start being cultivated as long with the silk production.
This practice has been used until the beginning of XXth century, but after the second post war, this activity has stopped due to the highly exhausting work and the low income.
In the successive years Italy kept working with silk buying it from China which is the global monopolist of Silk, even if there are a few producers in South America; we also want to remember that in the last decades some small companies have decided to restart this production in Italy as well.
We all know a little bit about the silk productive process, from the moriculture to the small larvae that who will form the cocoon, the unravelling of these has been the dread of many Chinese girls; this is what we know, but many don’t know what happens after this.
The transformation into yarn is obtained by the twisting and it’s a fundamental process which makes the fibers resistant and usable. This process is realized through a twisting machine where a raw silk is twisted to avoid the separation from the cocoon.
The main yarns are the organza, the crepe, bourette, tussah and shappe.
The main characteristics are the resistance, lightness and brightness, its softness, and its isolating power. This will make it warm during winter and fresh during summer.
Silk fabrics can be dyed in boiling or raw procedure, yarns can be dyed before being woven and they can become canvas fabrics in natté or ottoman.
The most popular is the crepe de chine for shirts together with the chiffon with his incredible softness and thinness, the silk organza when it’s dyed raw it’s perfect for ceremony and wedding dresses for the creation of voluminous and vaporous skirts.
The yarn dyed fabrics surely are the most precious and delicate with a structured hand perfect for tailors to create important dresses, the most notorious are the taffetas and duchesse; another type which is less known but still valid is the Mikado, which is usually used for wedding bride dresses.