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What is "Spun Silk" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 16-Apr-2024 ( ago)
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Spun Silk's Evolution: From Ancient China to Modern Fabric


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Spun Silk: Discovering the Fabric of Royalty

Spun Silk embodies the luxurious allure of silk with a more versatile and forgiving texture. This textile is the product of shorter silk fibersthose not used in the creation of smoother filament silk. The art of spinning these fibers into yarn has allowed for a fabric that retains silk's natural luster while offering a sturdier, more durable hand. As a cornerstone of the textile industry, spun silk continues to be celebrated for its elegance and practicality.

The genesis of spun silk can be traced to ancient China, where silk was once a currency of its own. Historically, spun silk emerged as a solution to reduce waste, utilizing the shorter fibers left after the reeling process. These remnants, once considered unusable, were transformed into a textile that has maintained its relevance from ancient times to modern-day fashion.

Types of Spun Silk:

  • Noil Silk: Produced from the short fibers left after combing, noil silk is prized for its nubby texture and matte finish.
  • Bourette Silk: Known for its irregular surface and robust feel, bourette silk offers a more textured appearance.
  • Organzine Silk: Often used in the warp of silk fabrics, organzine is made by twisting several spun silk threads for added strength.
  • Tram Silk: Typically used in the weft, tram silk features a softer twist, allowing for a gentle drape.
  • Throwster Silk: Made from waste fibers during the silk throwing process, it has a distinctive texture and is often used in blends.

Tips for Handling Spun Silk:

  • Hand wash gently with mild detergent in lukewarm water, avoiding excessive agitation.
  • Iron on a low setting with a pressing cloth to prevent scorching.
  • Store spun silk in a cool, dark place to prevent fading and degradation.
  • Avoid bleach and other harsh chemicals that could damage the delicate silk fibers.
  • When sewing, opt for sharp needles and fine silk thread to maintain the integrity of the fabric.

Profiles of Major International Spun Silk Manufacturers:

  • Spun Silk World Co., Ltd.: A globally recognized provider of top-tier spun silk yarn, Spun Silk World offers a vast array of custom silk-based spun yarns tailored to specific requirements.
  • RM SILKS: As a leader in home textiles and a major manufacturer of 100% Mulberry Silk Yarn in India, RM SILKS is revolutionizing the spun yarn market with their enhanced spinning processes.
  • Zhejiang Cathaya International Co., Ltd.: Based in China, Zhejiang Cathaya International Co., Ltd. is a significant player in the silk fabric market, offering a variety of silk and silk-blend fabrics including those made from spun silk.
  • Kunshan Yalun International Trading: Engaged in the trade of spun silk yarn, Kunshan Yalun International Trading is noted for its role in the global spun silk market.
  • Wujiang First Textile: Wujiang First Textile is a part of the spun silk fabric supply chain, contributing to the manufacturing and distribution of this versatile material.

Applications of Spun Silk:

  • Apparel: Due to its exceptional drape and soft texture, spun silk is commonly used in the production of clothing, such as dresses, blouses, and scarves.
  • Home Textiles: The comfort and elegance of spun silk make it a popular choice for home decor items, including upholstery, curtains, and bedding.
  • Accessories: Spun silk's versatility extends to fashion accessories like ties, handbags, and hats, where it adds a touch of sophistication.
  • Arts and Crafts: Artists and crafters appreciate spun silk for its textural qualities and use it in various decorative applications, from silk flowers to mixed media art.
  • Industrial Uses: The strength of spun silk also finds applications in industrial products such as parachutes and bicycle tires, where durability is key.

Spun silk's journey from the ancient Chinese cocoon to modern-day textiles illustrates not only the evolution of fabric production but also the ingenuity of human craftsmanship. This fabric's unique combination of beauty and resilience makes it a staple in various industries, transcending cultural and temporal boundaries. As technology progresses, the applications for spun silk expand, yet the timeless appeal of this ancient material remains unaltered. Understanding spun silk is more than appreciating a textile; it's recognizing a piece of history woven into the threads of the present.


Spun silk
Silk yarns that are made from damaged silk cocoons and mill waste. The result tends to have a heavier hand and is less lustrous than reeled silk.
Spun Silk
Yarn made from leftover silk, usually up to a foot in length.
Spun Silk
Silk made from broken cocoons and short fibers; feels more like cotton.
Spun Silk
The process of production of silk yarn from short filaments.

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