From premium scarves, soft eye masks, silky robes and pillowcases, silk is a strong contender in the world of luxurious materials.
Once upon a time silk was more valuable than gold and valued as the most precious commodity there is in china over 30 centuries ago! So how is something which used to be so valuable now found in most luxury boutique fashion retainers and high end bedding merchants? How is this product made? Is it natural, man-made?
The first, and most crucial piece of this puzzle comes from our little cute friend called the silk worm. The silk worm is like a very small caterpillar which is native to china and other regions around the far east. The silk worm secretes the natural fibre to form its cocoon of the larvae of the silk worm. Legend has it that the empress of china i-ling-chi (aka Leizu), the wife of the “Yellow Emperor” Huang-ti during 2700BC was sat under a tree and a silk worm cacoon fell into her cup of tea. When she picked up the silk cocoon the fibres unravelled and revealed the exquisite soft material between her fingertips. This is of course the Chinese version of events, it could be equally likely that the maid of the empress had discovered this first and the empress took all the credit for the discovery.
The best-known silk on the market for top luxury and feel is mulberry silk. This is the same type of silk used to make the best quality pillowcases such as SleepINBeauty silk pillowcases. Mulberry leaves are fed to silkworms for a period of around 6 weeks of non-stop eating the silk worm begins spinning its own grave. At this point, the worm has grown to around 3 inches long and now weighs almost 10,000 its body weight from when it hatched.
Since then, silk production has spread to other areas of Asia such as, Turkey, Thailand, India and Bangladesh. However, until this day China remains the biggest manufacturer and exporter in the world constituting around 55%.