You like silk, but are afraid of the handling (slippery during sewing) and the care (hand wash)? Then Raw Silk Noil is a great alternative. The fabric is very soft and has a good drape, but can be sewn and machine washed easily.
What exactly is Raw Silk Noil?
A little excursion to the topic ‘silk production’:
- Silk is an animal protein produced by the silkworm’s caterpillar.
- When the pupation is imminent, the larva produces a silk thread up to 4 km long and wraps itself into a cocoon.
- If nature would be allowed to run its course, the butterfly would break through the cocoon after the metamorphosis and tear the silk thread in many places.
- That’s why cocoons are traditionally scalded in the early stages to kill the insect inside (no, not for the faint of heart, but this is an ancient cultural technique and in Asia it was practically part of the process to eat the protein-containing caterpillar afterwards – today it’s probably not practiced that way anymore, but we’re not quite sure about that).
- When the animal is dead, the silk thread is unwound on a machine; usually several threads are bundled together to get a stable one.
- The yarn thus obtained is then chemically treated to remove the glue that the insects release with the thread.
- The yarns are also combed and sorted. Exactly there is the starting point of our Raw Silk Noil.
- During this sorting and organizing process a lot of silk waste is produced. Short pieces, twisted thread sections and so on. These ‘inferior’ sections can either be disposed of, or they can be processed into yarn.
Raw Silk Noil is made from 100% silk, but not from the immaculate continuous filaments, but from by-products of the manufacturing process. The textured surface is aesthetically pleasing and also makes the fabric less delicate. There are several processing stages of this so-called raw silk. In Europe, the bourette silk is particularly well known. This is also raw silk, but – unlike Raw Silk Noil – it has not been freed from insect glue. While bourette silk has a characteristic smell, our product is scentless.
The fabric can be washed in the washing machine. You can find more information in the care instructions. Please note that Raw Silk Noil should never be dried in direct sunlight. The pigments used to dye the silk are UV-sensitive. This effect is negligible when worn, but if the fabric comes out of the machine wet and the sun really hits the damp surface, the particularly exposed area will fade in the worst case.