From its beginning, silk has always been considered a luxury textile.
The history that we humans share with this little worm is amazing, it dates back thousands of years.
First developed in ancient China, the oldest surviving example of silk fabric dates back to about 3630 BC
It is one of the strongest naturally occurring protein fibres in the world and is produced by the silkworm.
In fact, in 1881, a physician named G.E. Goodfellow examining the body of a man who had been shot twice noticed that one of the bullets had been prevented from penetrating by a silk handkerchief, that had been folded up and placed in his breast pocket. He later went on to write an article titled “Impenetrability of Silk to Bullets for the Southern California Practitioner “documenting the first known instance of bulletproof fabric.
The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm.
The worm produces the silk and uses it to spin a cocoon that encases the pupa and forms a protective sealed layer while it undergoes metamorphosis to transform it into an adult silk moth. When a cocoon is unwound a single strand of silk can be 900 metres long.
So why did I say no to silk?
I believe the predominant method of silk harvesting to be cruel.
Once the worms start pupating in their cocoons, they are placed in boiling water killing the larvae, possibly painfully.
Why do this?
The simple answer is, to allow for unbroken individual long fibres to be extracted.
When the moth emerges from its cocoon it has to break though the layers of tightly wound fibres therefore destroying the individual long fibres lessening the metres that can be harvested per cocoon.
To produce 1 kg of silk, can take anywhere from abut 3000 to 5500 cocoons.
To give you a rough idea, if I was to convert my cotton long sleeve long pant pyjama set to silk, based on the above it would take between 1510 to 2700 cocoons for you to have your pyjama set!
In my opinion this is not sustainable or environmentally friendly.
Which brings me to my choice of fabric, 100% organic cotton sateen.
Why this fabric?
The nature of the weave of the fabric allows it to offer the luxury of a silk satin finish.
It is a much kinder natural alternative.