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What is "Silk" - Definition & Explanation

Fiber made by silk worms
Made from the silkworm silk takes dye superbly and produces iridescent colors but natural light can discolor easily. The texture of silk can vary depending on the quality.
The only natural fiber that comes in a filament form; from 300 to 1,600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon produced by the silkworm. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.
A natural protein fiber produced from the cocoon of wild or cultivated silkworms.
(Illusion) - A gauze weave or made on bobbinet machine or knotted. It is a very fine, all-silk tulle which originated in France. It has a cobweb appearance and used in wedding gown veils and trimmings.
(Lame) - Silk or any textile fiber in which metallic threads are used in the warp or the filling. Lame is also a trade mark for metallic yarns. French for 'trimmed with leaves of gold or silver'. Often has pattern all over the surface. The shine and glitter of this fabric makes it suitable for dressy wear.
Silk is a natural protein fiber that can be woven into textiles. It is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm larva, in the process known as sericulture, which kills the larvae. The shimmering appearance for which it is prized comes from the fibres triangular prism-like structure, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles.
A fiber produced by the silkworm Bombyx mori, also known as the mulberry silkworm, with which the worm weaves its cocoon. One of the finest textiles, silk is soft, has a brilliant sheen, and is very strong and absorbent. A luxurious fabric, silk is lush to the touch and drapes beautifully on the body. It is sensitive to sunlight as well as perspiration and must be carefully laundered. While silk is essentially organic, standards are being developed for organic certification of silk.
(Degummed Silk) - By boiling the silk in hot water, the gum (sericin) is removed from the yarn/fabric. By doing this, the luster of the silk is enhanced. It is very lightweight.
A natural filament fiber produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Most silk is collected from cultivated worms; Tussah silk, or wild silk, is a thicker, shorter fiber produced by worms in their natural habitat. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China.
(Honan) - The best grade of wild silk and is similar to 'pongee' but finer. It is made from wild silkworms raised in the Honan area of China and is the only wild type that gives even dyeing results. Do not fit too tightly.
Silk, the fabric that makes its own statement. Say "silk" to someone and what do they visualize? No other fabric generates quite the same reaction. For centuries silk has had a reputation as a luxurious and sensuous fabric, one associated with wealth and success. Silk is one of the oldest textile fibers known to man. It has been used by the Chinese since the 27th century BC. Silk is mentioned by Aristotle and became a valuable commodity both in Greece and Rome. During the Roman Empire, silk was sold for its weight in gold.

Today, silk is yet another word for elegance, and silk garments are prized for their versatility, wearability and comfort. Silk, or soie in French, is the strongest natural fiber. A steel filament of the same diameter as silk will break before a filament of silk. Silk absorbs moisture, which makes it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Because of its high absorbency, it is easily dyed in many deep colors. Silk retains its shape, drapes well, caresses the figure, and shimmers with a luster all its own.

Contemporary silk garments range from evening wear to sports wear. A silk suit can go to the office and, with a change of accessories and a blouse, transform into an elegant dinner ensemble. Silk garments can be worn for all seasons.

Silk -- elegant, versatile and washable. In the past, owning a silk garment meant not only the initial price of the garment but also the cost of dry cleaning. All silk is washable. Silk is a natural protein fiber, like human hair, taken from the cocoon of the silkworm. The natural glue, sericin, secreted by silkworms and not totally removed during manufacturing of the silk, is a natural sizing which is brought out when washing in warm water. Most silk fabrics can be hand washed. Technically, silk does not shrink like other fibers. If the fabric is not tightly woven, washing a silk with tighten up the weave.... thus, lighter weights of silk (say a crepe de chine of 14 mm) can be improved by washing as it will tighten up the weave.

A tightly woven silk will not "shrink" or will "shrink" a lot less. Silk garments, however, can shrink if the fabric has not been washed prior to garment construction. When washing silk, do not wring but roll in a towel. Silk dries quickly but should not be put in an automatic dryer unless the fabric is dried in an automatic dryer prior to garment construction. A good shampoo works well on silk. It will remove oil and revitalize your silk. Do not use an alkaline shampoo or one which contains ingredients such as wax, petroleum, or their derivatives, as these products will leave a residue on your silk and may cause "oil" spots. If static or clinging is a problem with your silks, a good hair conditioner (see above cautions) may be used in the rinse water.

The fine, soft thread produced by various species of caterpillars in forming the cocoons within which the worm is inclosed during the pupa state, especially that produced by the larvae of Bombyx mori. Hence, thread spun, or cloth woven, from the above-named material.
The only natural fiber that comes in a filament form: from 300 to 1,600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon, cultivated or wild. When the silkworm begins its spinning, two filaments are emitted from the "silk ducts" which are covered by SILK GUM or SERICIN from the sacks before they come from the mouth. As the liquid is emitted by the silkworm, it solifies on contact with the air. A single filiments called BRINS. The twofiliments by this time are cemented togather by the silk gum or sericin. A solidified filament is called FIBROIN or SLIK. The two filiments joined togather are know as the CACOON TREATMENT or BAVE.
It is obtained from cocoons of certain species of caterpillars. It is soft and has a brilliant sheen. It is one of the finest textiles. It is also very strong and absorbent.

A fabric made from the fine threads produced by certain insect larvae
fibers from silkworm cocoons provide threads for knitting
Silk is a "natural" protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture).

Some other terms

Some more terms:

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