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What silk was used for, except for clothes and interior items

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What silk was used for, except for clothes and interior items
What silk was used for, except for clothes and interior items

Silk is the most mysterious and attractive fabric in the world. Everything is amazing in this material: history, production method and application possibilities.

Little weavers

Silk threads are created in a very unusual way. They are produced by silkworms - the only insect fully domesticated by man. Caterpillars feed on the leaves of only one tree - mulberry, then spin cocoons, from which, after specific processing, threads almost a kilometer long are unwound. By weaving them in 8-12 additions, everyone's favorite silk is obtained.

What is silk used for other than clothing?
What is silk used for other than clothing?

The use of fabric is very diverse. During its long history, the fabric has served not only to update the fashionable wardrobe. You will be very surprised to know what silk was used for other than clothing.

History of magic threads

Silk has been known since ancient times. It was made in ancient China. The first archaeological find dates back to 5000-3000 BC. e. Its history is shrouded in secrets and legends. For a long time, the value of a cut of beautiful matter was several times higher than the price of gold. The main historical events of several eras unfolded around silk, and the famous "Silk Road" becamean artery supporting the development and life of several states.

Scope of application

For several millennia, the price of silk was so high that many monarchs could not afford to wear it. In the Middle Ages, it served as an international currency, it was offered as a tribute and diplomatic gifts.

The use of silk quickly went beyond the history of costume. The threads have a number of unique properties that explain why and for what silk was used, except for clothes:

  • silk application
    silk application

    silk, though thin, but strong, like a wire, and very elastic, so it was actively used by surgeons and fishermen, replacing modern fishing line;

  • silk has unique thermoscopic properties - it gives coolness in the heat and warms in the cold, so silk wool has long been used to make warm robes for Chinese officials and court beauties;
  • thin and durable silk was the basis for Far Eastern writing, replacing paper.

And they also made screens, partitions, fans and hats from it. It's amazing what silk was used for other than clothing!

Isn't it synthetic?

Modern silk fabrics are in great demand among the consumer. In terms of production, they are in second place in the world (after cotton). However, the share of natural silk is only 2% of the total, everything else is artificial (viscose or acetate).

Natural silk is expensive and it would beit is extremely unpleasant to buy artificial material instead. We list the main ways to check the fabric for naturalness:

  1. Test by fire - if not the easiest, but the most reliable way. When set on fire, natural fabric smells like wool, while artificial fabric smells like synthetics or burnt paper.
  2. The easiest and most affordable way to check in any situation is based on tactile sensations. When touched, it quickly acquires body temperature, for this property it was given the nickname "second skin".
  3. Natural silk practically does not wrinkle. For a quick check, crease the fabric in your fist and release after a few seconds. If the matter is artificial, it will have a clear cobweb of creases, and on a natural one it will be barely noticeable.
acetate silk
acetate silk

However, do not think of rayon as a low-quality product. Modern textile production has reached a level where man-made substitutes can easily compete with their natural counterparts. Viscose or acetate material can be used for the same thing that silk was used for. In addition to clothing, this is, first of all, home textiles: bed linen, curtains, bedspreads, tablecloths. The consumption of fabric for sewing these items is high, and here the main advantage of artificial silk will come to the rescue - low cost.

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