I feel as though my Monday Lesson 101’s are a little few and far between so to get back into the swing of it, tonight is a big one on my favourite raw material, silk!
I don’t know if I was sick or just don’t remember the week at school that I think every kid is meant to have, where you go in search of a mulberry tree, steal the leaves and shove them in a box with some worms and that is supposed to teach you about evolution and the making of silk? It doesn’t resinate with me so I thought we should start right from the beginning just in case you missed that week in primary school too!
|Silkworm Eating Trays|
|Silkworms seperated ready to make their cocoon.|
|Cocoons are boiled to soften the thread and remove the gum like mucus as well as kill the remaining worm/moth.|
|The softened cocoons are then pulled into a twine.|
|The twine is then cleaned and bleached ready for dying.|
|Spinning wheels are used to pull the silk twine thinner into a shinny thread ready for weaving.|
|Silk being woven onto the loom.|
|Weaving process. All silk making images courtesy of designboom.com|
It’s a long process with supposedly very simple beginnings. Supposedly discovered in 3000 BC by the Chinese empress Hsi Ling Shi who when one day enjoying her tea under a Mulberry tree had a cocoon fall into her cup, noticed that the cocoon unwound with the heat, and upon pulling the cocoon out of the cup noticed it formed a thread, the rest is history!
Thought to be a delicate fibre due to its origins, silk is surprisingly strong and can be used in upholstery, accessories and drapery. Used as a plain fabric or as a base cloth for delicate embroidery or printing or as a thread to make silk velvet [the most sensational, luminous, fragile velvet], silk provides an interesting textural addition to interiors due to its slubs [a natural characteristic caused by the joining of the threads]. An important note to remember through is that direct sunlight will deteriorate silk thread so always consider lining silk drapes and using in areas that are not flooded by natural light.
|Stunning striped silk upholstery on what looks to be feather/fibre fill cushion, good choice!|
|Nina Campbell Farfalla Embroidered Silk|
|The most stunning navy raw silk drapes, I love the volume!|
|Again all that volume, silk drapes almost have a crunch to them.|
|Lorca Painted Silk Radjada|
|Super cute silk upholstered occasional chair, see the slubs and the natural colour variation.|
|Designers Guild NEW Jacaranda painted Silk in colour Willow|
|Absolutely stunning bedroom, the wallaper and that bamboo steel bedframe! Love the complement in the coral pink silk bedspread and cushions.|
|Designers Guild NEW Mararhi painted silk in colour Ocean.|
|There is that crunch again!|
And just to add to your appreciation of silk the last little tid bit, each cocoon can produce anywhere from 300-900 meters of thread, each cocoon!