Silky Facts

Silk Production

Silk is produced from jelly substances secreted by silkworms. The secretion hardens as soon upon exposure to air, forming what is known as a filament. The hardened filament is tightly held together by sericin, a silk gum. The silkworm spins layers of the single filament and a cocoon is formed. Each cocoon is composed of a single thread, measuring approximately 914 meters (3,000 feet). A series of hot and cold water immersions soften the silk gum and loosen the filament, leaving it ready to be reeled and spun into a silk thread. In instances where the silk is used as a filling, softened filaments are manually stretched and layered to form the comforter batting.

Silk Identification

In general, spun silk is soft and lightweight. When touched or wrapped around the body, you’ll immediately notice the distinct smoothness of silk.

Raw silk is generally characterized as being soft and lightweight. It has a very fibrous appearance, similar to cotton. Silk fibers tend to cling to one another, forming the comforter batting. Pure silk should be pearly white with a slight sheen.

The "burn" test is the easiest (and best) way to determine if a fiber is truly silk. Place a flame under a piece of either raw or spun silk. Silk fibers burn on contact but extinguish upon removal of the flame. True silk leaves a powdery ash residue.

Silk Grade

Silk has several different grades. Short floss silk may merely be remnants or broken cocoon silk. However, long floss silk is extracted from whole cocoons with one continuous filament-some as long as 3,000 feet! Long floss silk tend to adhere to one another, making it less likely to pull apart. SV Silk comforters are filled only with the finest long floss mulberry silk.

Types of Silk

Two different types of silk exist, and they vary greatly in quality. Silkworms produce Wild Silk using any available food source they can find. This type of silk is generally found to be of lower quality and consistency than Mulberry silk.

Mulberry Silk filaments are finer and have a more consistent filament width than Wild Silk filaments. Bombyx Mori silkworms, which feed on only Mulberry leaves, produce this type of silk.
Posted: March 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Tagged as: Fabrics and Textiles
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