Fabrics Used to Make Designer Clothes - Silk
fabric your clothing is made
with is important. This choice can make the difference in the look,
comfort, durability, or practicality of the purpose of the particular
article of clothing. The choice of fabrics is never more important
that the clothes you wear every day at work. Your work uniform must
be comfortable yet durable. It must be stylish yet practical. The
average person will spend more time wearing their uniform than any
other article of clothing with maybe the exception of sleep clothing.
The fabric your uniform is made from is important and with today's
fabrics you have a wider choice than ever.
used to manufacture clothing today has its own characteristics and
uses. When choosing clothing as important as your uniform, it is
important that you understand the characteristics of the different
fabrics. This is the first in a series of articles where we will
explore the different fabrics and manufacturing process of common fabrics.
discuss fabrics such as cotton, wool,
polyester and many other natural and synthetic fabric materials.
Information will be presented about the history, manufacturing
methods, characteristics, and uses of the different fabrics.
Information concerning the cares of fabrics will also be presented.
This is the
second in my series of fabric characteristics (the first was about
cotton) and again we will go way back to the beginning of another
natural fabric, silk. Silk
dates back as far as cotton as a material in which clothing and
material were made from. Silk was a material that separated the
common man from the elite population of early times. Evan today, silk
material is commonly found used by the upper class of society.
history of silk is somewhat of a mystery. Historians say that silk
production, called Sericulture, originated in China 10,000 years ago.
However ancient Chinese legends contribute the origination of
Sericulture to the Chinese empress Si Ling Chi who ruled in 2,600 BC.
The story goes
that one day Empress Si Ling Chi was sitting under a Mulberry tree in
her palace garden drinking some tea. A cocoon from a silkworm fell
into her cup of hot tea. She watched as the silk fibers of the cocoon
began to unravel in the hot liquid. She became recognized as the
goddess of silk worms.
of silk slowly developed into manufacturing process in China by the
14th century. Silk production became a cornerstone of the Chinese
economy where the silk was used for musical instruments, fishing
lines and bowstrings. Silk was also used to pay the civil servants in
China as a reward from the rulers. The Chinese also used ilk in
foreign trade exchanging it for spices and jewels brought from India.
kept the secret of silk production to themselves for more than two
thousand years. It was so guarded that a penalty of death was placed
on anyone found guilty of smuggling silkworm eggs, cocoons, or
mulberry seeds out of the country. But buy the year of 200 BC the
secret of silk had spread to Korea and then slowly throughout the
rest of Asia and India.
wasnât until the 13th century that silk production
reached Italy when Persia sent 2000 skilled silk weavers. Thos led to
the production of silk throughout Europe. Even though silk production
has spread worldwide, China is still the largest producer of the
worldâs silk today.
manufacturing process of silk begins with the silkworm its natural
ability to produce silk fiber and spin their cocoon with it. There
are basically two types of silkworms. One is the silkworm that feeds
on oak leaves and produce Tusha silk. The other, mulberry silk moth,
produces the highest quality silk called Bombyx mori. This silkworm
feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree. The silkworms spin a cocoon
that contains an average of 300-400 meters of silk fiber. It takes up
to 5500 silkworms to produce 2lbs of raw silk fibers.
of the silkworm's cocoon to make silk filament is called sericulture.
Sericulture is done under controlled conditions and environments on
silk farms. The silk worms are raised from eggs and allowed to go
through its entire life cycle. The optimal time for harvesting silk
is at the cocoon stage.
are harvested and sent to the factory called a filature. Here the
cocoons are unwound into silk strands and collected on skeins. The
operation consists of four separate operations:
Cocoons; Cocoons are sorted according to color, size, shape and texture.
sorted cocoons are immersed in a series of hot and cold solutions to
soften the fibers to permit unwinding.
filament; consist of unwinding the cocoons and twisting the strands
together to make a silk thread.
silk thread is wrapped onto skeins and packed into small bundles
called books. The books are put into bales and shipped to the silk
mills where it is woven into material.
Silk is a
protein fiber which gives silk material its characteristics. Silk has
a high tensile strength but won't stand up to heavy use or abrasions.
Silk will become brittle when exposed to sunlight, high alkalinity,
acid, or oily soils will breakdown silk fibers. The appearance of
silk depends on the size of the silk yarn used to make the fabric.
Large yarn may make the material appear more like cotton or a
synthetic. Small well refined yarn will give the silk material the
silky feel and look we expect.
Silk is still
today the primary material used to make our finest outerwear. Luxury
clothing including fine silk suits and evening
gowns are made of the finest
Other uses of
silk material include:
men's lingerie because of silk's softness and brilliant colours.
Silk laces and
tulles: Ideal for bridal gowns and veils
articles such as bows and ribbons
Furnishing and upholstery
For the most
part silk garments should be dry cleaned to prevent damage of a
breakdown of the fibers. Certain silks may be hand washed and line
dried or tumble dried with low heat. Silk garments are also known as
the wash and wear material because it is resistant to wrinkling.
is prone to moth attacks especially when in storage. Silk garments
should be stored appropriately. They may be wrapped in a cotton
fabric or other breathable fabric. Silk should not be stored in
plastic or other sealed containers that can trap moister. This may
lead to mildew and yellowing.
bleach should never be used. This will cause the fabric to yellow and
hoped you enjoyed this article. Please look forward to my next
article where we will discuss a synthetic fiber polyester.