In the love land of rich, soft, vibrant fabrics, silk ranks among the top materials in fashion today. Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly from fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity.
The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.
Color me clothing chic, silk is a luxurious fabric that I seek!
Silk Fun Fact: Silk is produced by several insects, but generally only the silk of the moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. The word silk comes from Old English sioloe, from Greek serikos ‘silken’, and from an Asian source si, sirghe and sirkek.
Italy, known for fashion, was the most important producer of silk during the Medieval age. The first center to introduce silk production to Italy was the city of Catanzaro during the 11th century in the region of Calabria. The silk of Catanzaro supplied almost all of Europe and was sold in a large market fair in the port of Reggio Calabria, to Spanish, Venetian, Genovese and Dutch merchants.
King James I introduced silk-growing to the American colonies around 1619. The Shakers in Kentucky adopted the practice. In the 19th century a new attempt at a silk industry began with European-born workers in Paterson, New Jersey, and the city of Paterson became a silk center in the United States.
Soft, gorgeous, glorious silk!
Silk is an elegant fabric that works for many types of garments, from evening gowns to pantsuits and to, of course, pajamas. The fabric of silk, being soft to wear as well as beautiful and pleasing to the eyes, is a favorite of both men and women!
Manly and masculine in silk! Mmmm!
Silk’s absorbency makes it a comfortable fabric to wear in warm weather and while being active. Silk’s low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather. Silk is often used for clothing such as shirts, ties, blouses, formal dresses, high fashion clothes, lining, lingerie, pajamas, robes, dresses and purses.
Not one to the drape yourself in the dressy fabric that is silk, yet you love the silk look? Why not carry a silk handbag to add class and style to your daily outfit. You’re always sensational in silk!
Sassy and sensational in silk!
I simply adore silk handbags. They represent to me a mix of modern elegance and retro vintage all wrapped into one!
Silk Fun Fact: Fabrics that are often made from silk include charmeuse, habutai, chiffon, taffeta, crepe de chine, dupioni, noil, tussah and shuntag.
Silk is a perfect fabric to hold in your hand! You, fashion diva, look simply grand!
Silk Not So Fun Fact: As the process of harvesting the silk from cocoon kills the larvae, the process of making silk has been criticized by animal welfare and animal rights activists. Mohandas Gandhi was critical of silk production based on the Ahimsa philosophy which led to the promotion of cotton and Ahimsa silk, a type of silk made from the cocoons of wild silk moths. Due to the fact that silk cultivation inherently kills the silkworms, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urges people not to buy silk items.
World War II interrupted the silk trade from Asia and silk prices increased dramatically. The United States silk industry began to look for substitute fabrics, which led the synthetics such as nylon. Synthetic silks have also been made from lyocell, a type of cellulose fiber, and are often difficult to distinguish from real silk.
For every true lover of the fabric silk, think synthetic, synthetic, synthetic! Synthetic silk looks identical to real silk and feels just as soft and lovely against the skin.
Silk anyone? For fantastic, fabulous fashion fun!
Love the skin you’re in when donned in shimmering, sensational silk!
Soft and silky silk!
“That pantsuit you are wearing looks so lovely and smooth.”
“Yes, it’s a mix of elegant and hip, a real fashion groove.”
“Is it nylon perhaps? The color as white as milk.”
“That’s a good fabric guess, by this suit is real silk.”
“Striking…but I ask is it hard to keep clean?”
“No, make sure the cleaner’s uses the right drying machine!”
“So if I buy a suit as gorgeous I shouldn’t throw it in the wash?”
“Only if you plan to keep it around and not have to toss!”
Silk – is there a finer fabric for the fashion icon that is you to come across?
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846