Did you know this?
The famous "Silk Route" in Asia was developed to facilitate business of Silk - Aspirational fabric of the Artists and Wealthy?
Who discovered Silk and when?
Silk Worms were discovered in Neolithic Age.
Leizu, the wife of Huangdi, invented the method of raising silkworms and extracting silk. This was during Yin dynasty period in China, more than 4 centuries ago. Rumour has it, that this technique was revealed to the world when a beautiful Chinese princess concealed silkworms in her elaborate hairdo when leaving China to marry a central Asian prince.
Recent excavations have suggested that silk was first produced in India by Indus Valley Civilization in 2450 B.C. In recent history, Mahatma Gandhi promoted Ahinsa silk - one that allows silk worm to escape from cocoon before it is processed.
How is Silk made?
Pure Silk can only be created Naturally.
"Bombyx Mori" is silkworm 🐛 of the mulberry tree that produces silk thread. Did you know that in 3-4 weeks, it eats enough mulberry leaves to grow 10,000 times of its size at birth? When developed into pupa, it starts weaving a cocoon from its saliva. This cocoon has about 300,000 loops and is upto 900 meters in length. This cocoon is then plucked, and processed to make a Silk fabric.
Different silk worms produce different types of silk.
What's so special about Silk?
Silk is God's own Fabric, that protects skin and promotes hair-growth.
While spinning cocoon, the silkworm combines a natural substance that protects it from mites, mold, and fungus. Special care is taken in extraction of silk from these cocoons to preserve these characteristics, as these make Silk a natural defence against allergens. Structure of silk is made of proteins. Because of essential amino acids present in it, the touch of silk fabric delays wrinkles on skin, and is good for hair.
Silk is also a naturally adapting fabric. It stays cool in summer, and warm in winter.
Why buy Kanchipuram or Kanjivaram Silk?
Kanchipuram Silk Sarees are soft, hand-woven, with patterns of traditional motifs and modern geometry. The border is often covered in temple designs or patterns inspired by paintings of Raja Ravi Verma - an eminent Indian Painter from late 19th century.
Initially made only in Kancheepuram, now these Sarees are made at handlooms in multiple Indian states. Mulberry Silk is cultivated in multiple South Indian states, like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Gold and Silver zari and colours are contributed by western Indian states, like Gujarat. Handloom weavers of Karnataka have catapulted Kanchipuram Silk from traditional-only designs into next-gen wearable Art form.
Is Silk relevant today?
Both in Traditions and Fashion, Silk is THE canvas for Wearable Art.
History of silk is an amalgamation of personal stories and royal aspirations. Silk being a luxury, its weavers were historically concentrated around rich people and royal palaces. Silk has once again risen from nostalgia and found a place in wardrobes of fashion’s scene-stealers. Silk attire is sharp and luxe. Be it high fashion or street wear, business formals or office casuals, both men and women are spoilt for choice of authentic and original silk clothes.
Modern sarees, men’s suits and jackets made from silk are as much
a projection of bold elegance at work, as they are a symbol of subtle power in public offices, and celebrities’ unrelenting passion for fashion.
When everyday requires grit and determination, the choice of attire can be important for many reasons. Carefully selected silk can help you stand out from the crowd, while allowing you an easy-to-maintain wardrobe.
What is Silk's connection with Art?
Silk provides a rich canvas for Art, on Wearables, Usable craft, and on Decorative paintings.
Pattachitra Wall Paintings look magnificent on Silk Canvas. Tussar Silk saree painted with Saura Tribal Art are often flaunted in Fashion circles.