There is no more romantic fiber than delicate Silk fabric. Prized for thousands of years for its many luxurious properties, the creation of silk was a once a state secret which only reached Europe as a result of espionage by agents of the Byzantine Empire. The fabric itself was worn only by emperors and kings, it’s used often restricted by law to the higher echelons of society.
How did it all begin? A very long time ago (2700BC or so), in a land far away, Léi ZÇ”, wife of the legendary Yellow Emperor of China, was sitting , when the cocoon of a silk moth fell into the cup of tea. Léi ZÇ” noticed that the cocoon began to unravel so she pulled on the thread and soon found she had enough to stretch all across her garden. The thread glinted in the light and was very strong, Léi ZÇ” was curious to see if it could be woven into cloth, and so, legend has it, the manufacture of silk, known as sericulture, began.
The initial procedure is reeling of cocoons after they have been sorted by color and texture. The placed are in hot water where the natural gum is soften. They are unwounded; a single cocoon may produce from 610–915 m of a filament and 4 to 18 strands are reeled and twisted together to produce strong thread .Referred as raw silk.Initially it was human labour process,currently the work is made in Europe with simple machines.
The step after is known as throwing, the raw silk is prepared by doubling and twisting it to the appropriate thickness and strength requred. The process is now mostly made in large and big mills using special machinery . Silk has three forms after throwing. Singles,these are untwisted and used for the warping of very delicate silk fabrics.Trim, these are more than one singles, twisted ,doubled to be used to warp various fabrics.
The final is organzine which is formed from singles twisted one side, and later doubled and wrapped in the other direction, to wrap the thick fabrics. smoother twists and embroidery thread are used for sewing , this produces more doubles . In current plants producing frames finalizes the the loom preparation. .
Why is silk so prized? There are many reasons. Most silks are made from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm. These fibers are extremely strong and have a triangular cross section. The flat sides reflect light in interesting ways, giving the fabric its unique gleam. Because it is very absorbent, silk is a very comfortable fiber to wear in hot climates, it is also very light, allowing the wearer to almost forget he or she is clothed at all.
The smoothness of the Delicate Silk Fabric makes it pleasant to feel against the skin, but perhaps silks most outstanding feature is its ability to absorb dye. Silk fabrics are distinguished by their especially beautiful colors, outstandingly bright or brilliantly subtle. No other fabric takes dye in quite the same way, making silk the first choice fabric for garments which need to be light but warm, beautifully colored and with the delicate sheen of moonlight.
Despite the advances of science, natural silk remains as the most prized fibers in the world, especially for evening wear, romantic nightgowns, and robes.