Despite ranking as the strongest natural textile in the world, silks softness has made it a hotly desired commodity throughout history, transforming cultures throughout the Old World, and building legendary trade routes.
At Caravan & Co, we pride ourselves in working with high quality silk in our products and want to share our learnings with you so that your silk pieces can last a lifetime.
What Is Silk?
Most of the world's silk is derived from Bombyx Mori Larvae which is a worm that live only on mulberry trees. They produce a protein named fibroin, which is found in their cocoons, that gives silk the structure it needs for it's successful production as well as its shimmering optical appearance due to the fibres prism-like structure.
The cultivation of domesticated silk originated in China. One piece of archaeological evidence dates the use of silk textiles in China back to 6500 BC, and the ancient Chinese certainly used silk as early as 3600 BC.
How Does Silk Fabric Impact the Environment?
Silk production remains one of the cleanest textile industries; mulberry trees do not require fertilisers or pesticides, which means it’s possible to harvest cultivated silk without introducing any toxic chemicals into the environment. One thing to consider in the production, however, is the environmental impact of the cultivation and transportation of the silk. We encourage everyone to look into the production of the fabrics they use, and the companies they support, as information is key in caring for the planet we reside in.
How To Care For Silk?
Hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean? It seems to be the age old question that everyone has a different answer to. If you can, dry cleaning is always the preferred method as these professionals know how to deal with delicate natural fibres. However, we are aware that this isn't always an option. We would then recommend hand washing them in your laundry basin with cold water and a gentle detergent. This process should be finished off by placing the garment on a towel and blotting to remove the excess water, before hanging inside to dry. Do not ring out the garment, or dry it in the sun - the will accelerate fading.
When it comes to storing, silk hangs well in your wardrobe, especially on a felt or cloth hanger. However, if you aren't wearing your pieces for a while, make sure you pack them away as moths love the natural fibres of silk (just like wool).