Silk fabric, one of the most desired and luxurious dressmaking materials, is known as the Queen of Fabrics. If you want to keep up with the latest fashion trends and stay ahead of the game when it comes to style, it’s essential that you incorporate silk fabric into your wardrobe. Here are five reasons why silk fabric should be your first choice when choosing between fabrics that look great and feel even better.
The story behind silk
Where does silk come from? In order to understand why silk fabric is so cherished, you must first understand what it takes to make silk. Though most people think that silk fabric comes from worms (it’s a common misconception), they’re actually not entirely correct. To make high-quality silk fabric, mulberry trees must be farmed, and their leaves are boiled to produce a concoction called ‘gossypol’. This substance makes both male and female silkworms incapable of producing sperm or eggs, so that when they mate, there’s no chance of producing another worm. The adults hatch as larvae (immature worms) in spring and can spin cocoons once they reach maturity; though it usually takes 3-5 days for them to mature enough to do so.
Benefits of silk fabric
silk fabrics are known to be cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather making them suitable for every season. It keeps its shape without having to be pressed or ironed, it drapes beautifully, it doesn’t crease easily, silk fabric wrinkles easily so it needs dry cleaning rather than washing by hand. It can absorb a large amount of fluid (up to 33%) without showing any change in size and because of these properties silk was ideal for use as a bandage during both world wars.
How to choose the right silk for your project
There are two types of silk fabric available to purchase: raw silk and tussah silk. Both are made from fibres produced by silkworms, but with tussah you have a bit more control over quality because these worms have not been reared in captivity. With raw silk, there’s no way to know where it comes from or what kind of life it had, so if animal welfare is an issue for you, it’s important to consider tussah.
Tips for sewing with silk
Sewing with silk isn’t much different than working with regular fabrics. You can hand-sew, use a sewing machine or serger; you can cut by hand or machine, and press seams in any direction. But there are some things to consider. With its finicky reputation, many sewers shy away from silk for fear that it will be more trouble than it’s worth. But if you take precautions and keep a few common issues in mind, sewing with silk should be relatively simple. Here are some things to remember when preparing to sew with silks
How to care for your silk garment
After wearing, or if you know you’re going to have to take it off before long, roll it instead of folding it. A rolled scarf will stay in place for months before it needs to be shaken out and reshaped. If your silk item gets stained, don’t panic! There are some nifty tricks you can use: The vinegar trick: Pour white vinegar on a damp cloth and gently rub over the stain; then, wash as usual.