How is silk used?
Silk – a luxurious, soft to the touch yet incredibly strong fabric. Dating back thousands of years, silk is a natural protein fibre and still remains regarded as one of the most lustrous materials ever produced.
Historically, silk was one of the most important commodities traded in the ancient world after many years of the Chinese hiding the secrets of silk from the rest of the world. This miraculous fabric was highly valued and desired by many, as only the very wealthy could afford this kind of luxury.
Following the discovery of silk it was only ever reserved for use by the Emperor and the Royal Family, setting the standards as a luxury that many could only dream to lay their hands on.
Fast forward to the present day and while silk is still regarded as one of the most luxurious fabrics ever created, mass production and lower costs mean that it is accessible to not only those with status and wealth, but to the wider population.
Lucky for us, this means that we get to experience the same fine quality material in every day life, that was once so coveted.
There are thousands of different uses for silk, the incredibly strong fibres and beautiful threads are put to use nowadays to produce lavish clothing and sought after home furnishings.
Here are some of the most common uses for silk…
Silk is an obvious choice for women’s clothing with its stunning qualities which ooze sophistication, glamour and elegance.
Bridal wear, evening gowns and formal dresses made from satin silk tend to be the preferred choice for important events. This is due to the nature of silk offering beautiful drapes, soft layering and opulent shines. These are the types of dresses you’re likely to see worn on the red carpet, as silk gowns have the power to make a woman feel beautiful, glamorous and empowered all at once.
Not reserved solely for display as a stand-out piece at special occasions though, silk is often used in subtle yet sexy pieces such as lingerie and flowing nightgowns. Soft and lightweight silks such as Charmeuse and Habotai are typically used to create these comfortable, delicate pieces.
Ladies silk clothing also expands into the realms of shirts, blouses, camisoles and coats, as the many different types of silk lend themselves perfectly to all styles of women’s garments. Cheap imitation silk materials made with polyester are commonly found in the fashion industry, but it’s imporant to note that these don’t carry the same long-lasting, high quality characteristics as real, raw silk.
Silk varieties are also used in items of men’s clothing, such as dress shirts and suits. These evening type outfits are often also completed with silk ties and silk pocket squares for suit jackets to add the finishing touches.
The strong bond of silk threads offer not only a lustrous finish, but clothing items which are built to last. This is particularly important for neck ties which can be prone to wear and tear over time, causing them to unravel, shrink or become misshapen. Far more durable silk ties withhold their shape and the lightweight fabric allows for a neater, tighter knot without the need for re-adjustment after a few hours wear.
In high-end menswear, silk is often used as lining inside a jacket or pair of trousers, and can often be seen used on the front of decorative waistcoats. The practical yet stylish qualities of silk makes it a popular choice for mens evening wear by offering a comfortable, breathable alternative to cheaper synthetic versions.
Silk has become a popular fabric used throughout the home, creating lavish furnishings, décor and accessories. The qualities of silk, compared to other commonly used materials, generally result in a more elegant, luxurious finish no matter the product.
When done in the right way, showcasing silk throughout the home is a sure fire way to impress guests, oozing elegance and luxury the moment they step foot through the door.
So, which common pieces of household décor can be transformed by switching out to a silk alternative?
Curtains don’t have to be dull and dreary – while they’re practical for privacy and rest easy nights, they’re also a great opportunity for adding an element of luxury to any room. Hanging ceiling to floor silk curtains to any window is powerful enough to instantly transform the area into a parlour fit for royalty. Top tip: Chiffon silk creates the most beautiful drape for curtains.
Bed sheets & duvets
Sleeping in silk bed sheets may sound a little extra, but there’s good reason for it. As one of the most important things you do each and every night, it pays to invest in your sleep. Soft and incredibly smooth to the touch, silk bedding is comfortable and cosy making it the perfect accompanient to a good night’s deep sleep.
Perfect for adding a splash of silk without going overboard, silk pillows are a cost-effective solution to having a taste of that luxurious lifestyle. Good for both your bank account and health; sleeping on silk pillowcases can actually help your skin stay smooth and healthy – reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and also helps to prevent split ends and the dreaded morning bed head.
While silk may not be the most serviceable material in terms of every day seating arrangements, it works perfectly when reserved for lesser used/more valuable ‘display’ pieces of furniture. Although, when doing this be sure that extra care is taken to ensure there is a strong, durable base with plenty of support to keep the silk in tact.
Throw covers are the simplest way to take your bedroom décor to the next level. They add layering and depth to any bedspread to create a cosier, homely look and feel. Beds being the focal part of any bedroom, adding a silk throw can achieve a far classier, more sophisticated look than you ever thought possible.
There is no such thing as too much silk. Silk on the bed, silk on the windows and even silk on the walls. Silk wallpaper is a popular choice in any stylish home whether modern or more contemporary. Adding a silk wall covering to your rooms instantly oozes glitz and glam.
What else can you do with silk?
If you’re looking for some silk design inspirations for your next project, we’re here to help. Our dedicated team of experts have years of experience in the silk industry, and are always on hand to share their expertise and give advice where needed.
Biddle Sawyer Silks specialises in the production and distribution of fine quality silks in London and throughout the UK, with a focus on customer service and British made products. With a history dating back as far as 1926, we have worked with a range of clientele from major UK fashion design houses to up and coming designers.
Get in touch with us to find out more about Biddle Sawyer Silks and what we can do for you.