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What is "Silk" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 23-Feb-2023 (1 year, 1 month, 23 days ago)
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Silk
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.
Silk
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.

Silk
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.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Perspiration Resistant is a term used in the textile industry to describe fabrics or finishes that have the ability to resist the damaging effects of perspiration. It refers to the capability of a...
Referring to the arrangement or character of the yarns on the surface of the fabric. Often used to describe fabrics with surface interest the result of using novelty yarns or novelty weaves such as...
A tightly woven fabric made by using only long staple, combed wool or wool-blend yarns. The fabric has a hard, smooth surface. Gabardine is an example of a worsted fabric. A common end use is men's...
Textiles often feature decorative elements that add both functionality and aesthetic appeal. One such embellishment is the frog closure, a distinctive fastening method that has a rich history and...
The procedure, other than by scouring only, of improving the whiteness of a textile by decolourising it from the grey state, with or without the removal of the nature colouring matter or extraneous...

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