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Be it silk for bed sheets or for a dress, purchasing silk goes beyond just touching for texture and looking at colors. Knowing the different kinds would be a great advantage. This enables you to decide based comfort, durability, aesthetic, etc. But what makes a good quality silk a winner?
First of all, there are things to consider when choosing silk. Here are the major considerations: weight, elasticity, durability, texture, insulation, aesthetics. With these factors in mind, here are the kinds of silk (and where to get them).
This type technically talks about a particular manner of weaving which results to an extra luster at the front in exchange for a dull texture at the back. Charmeuse can be processed from all kinds of silk and is often used when the finished product requires showcasing of just one side of the garment.
This silk is made from cocoons of the Mulberry silkworms. The whole production of this silk is closely monitored. This type of silk is described as finer, smoother, lighter and uniformly colored more than any type in the world. The fibers are also known to be the strongest among all kinds of silk.
When the Mulberry silk is from Mulberry silkworms in captivity, those of Tussah are collected from the wild. While this does not actually mean it is of poor quality, the silk just lacks consistency in terms of quality as compared to those that were spun by silkworms in captivity. The texture is a bit harsh and less durable than its captive Mulberry counterparts.
The quality is average. The process of producing this type of silk is simple where the low-grade silk is sand-washed up to the point when it attains a kind of softness at par with the high-quality silks. The method, however, destroys the silk fibers and so durability is compromised.
This type of silk is strong and pretty but what it has in strength and aesthetics, it lacks in its texture. This type is harsh to the touch and would be of good use as decorations. duvets , for example, are just some of the most common end product of this type of silk, although the use should be more decorative than functional.
Where to Get Them
China actually pioneered the production of silk between 3,000 and 5,000 B.C. The trade traveled to India and later on to the world. While these two lead the production of good-quality silk, there are also other nations that were able to come up with productions that can compete with the two giant producers.
Below is a list of the 8 leading countries in the production of high-quality silk:
Whatever kind of silk you purchase, familiarity with these is the key. You may get some help from fashion institutions like Fabeusse; or maybe you have a friend that’s fashion-oriented, but if you are on your own, reading through the list can save your day!