Raw silk is a fabric made using the shorter fibres from the leftover in ordinary silk production. Raw silk fibres contain the protein Sericin which is a glue-like substance. Sericin comprises about 20 - 30% of raw silk and functions as a protective coating layer for the fabric. For this reason, the surface has a soft and nubby feel and retains anti-bacterial-, thermal-, antioxidative- and hydrophilic properties.
Silkworms & Cocoons
Silk is made from the cocoon made by the silkworm. The most common type of silkworm is called Bombyx Mori. The worm eats leaves from the mulberry tree, which hardly requires any fertilizers or pesticides. This means it is possible to harvest cultivated silk without introducing any toxic chemicals into the environment.
Silk cultivation started more than 4700 years ago, and except for some technical advancements, the process is basically still same. Silk is mainly produced in China and India and provides millions of people with work opportunities in the rural parts of these countries. The art of making silk is called Sericulture.
Silk Proteins in High-End Shampoos & Skin Care Products
Silk fibres are composed by amino acids that make up proteins. The two main proteins are the fibrous Fibroin and the sticky Sericin. These proteins have beneficial effects on the hair and the skin. They help to strengthen, improve shine, add elasticity and retain moisture for longer. They also alleviate skin inflammation by increased cell metabolism and blood circulation.
Silk for Medical Use
Silk is the most used natural suture material. It is ideal as it is strong and easy to handle, causes minimal tissue inflammation and does not promote infection.
Silk for Parachutes
In 1785 J.P Blanchard created the first parachute without a rigid frame using silk fabric. Due to its properties of being lightweight, thin, strong, fire resistant and easy to pack and fold, it was the only material used for parachutes up until the second world war. Silk fabric is still used for some parachutes today.
Silk & Allergies
Silk is well known for its hypoallergenic properties making it compatible with all skin types. Silk is free from any potentially irritating chemicals. Instead, its natural substances ward off environmental allergens such as dust mites, mould, and fungus that can cause skin conditions.
Stronger Than Metal
Silk fibre is the longest and one of the strongest natural fibres. It is said that a silk rope is stronger than an equally thick metal wire. Since raw silk is made of the shorter fibres, it is not as strong as ordinary silk. However, it is still stronger than most other natural fabrics.