Last Updated on 29/12/2020 by Info idea
The word silk instantly conjures images of soft, shiny fabric that is a sign of elegance. It is rich apparel that provides comfort for the wearer. Its natural origins make it one of the oldest materials known to humankind.
One might have noticed silk sarees with a price on the higher side and wonder about how they came to be, what makes them a premium possession to have. How are they manufactured, and what is the process that goes behind delivering that end-product might all be questions that one wonders about when they hold it.
Silk is a natural fiber, taken from the cocoons that silkworms produce. This process is known as sericulture. Although the discovery of silk originated from China, the fabric’s association with India has stood the test of time. Called “Pattu” in southern India, it is a much sought-after fabric for clothing.
One can harvest the silk yarn from different species of moths, of which the mulberry silkworms produce some of the finest silk. The shimmering effect is due to the prism-like structure of the fiber. It allows the fabric to refract light, producing different colors.
There are different types of silk, depending on their origin and other features. They are :
Based on the yarn used, pure silk comes first in the order of priority. Pure silk saree prices are comparatively higher than the rest due to its high quality. Silk is usually woven, after treating the material with chemicals removing all protein layers. Raw silk, made from untreated yarn, contains sericin.
In this raw, untreated form, the yarn is quite coarse and uneven. Nevertheless, it adds beauty to the fabric with its unmatched sheen and smooth texture. Weavers primarily use raw silk in making high-end apparel like lehengas and artisan silk sarees with prices on the higher side.
Soft silk sarees online seen today consist of fine silk fibers. They contain less zari to attain a more delicate texture. Many prefer them for their light-weight and comfortable feel on the skin.
They are the perfect choice for daily wear and are available in endless designs; one does not have to risk wearing a similar design. They are both regal and simply classy at the same time. Be it weddings or for a business event, they are apt for any occasion.
Types of Silk Based on Source and Production:
This silk is from the purest, natural source: mulberry silkworms. Weavers obtain the yarn from the cocoon of Bombyx mori, which is the larvae of the silkworms. During sericulture, they process the fabric and render it soft and smooth to the touch. This type of silk is one of the most expensive kinds due to the rarity of the source.
Mulberry silk is the foundation of the world-renowned Kancheepuram and Banarasi silk saris. The characteristic sheen in them makes them suitable for occasions like weddings ceremonies and other auspicious ceremonies. It is a symbol of purity and sacredness, which is why Indian saree lovers cherish them.
Although the commercially reared Mulberry silk has the largest audience, other species produce silk as well. Terminalia tomentosa and other insects found in the forest are used to obtain wild silk.
As the name suggests, the silk obtained from the natural surroundings is termed wild silk after its source in the wild. Muga silk, Tussar silk, and Eri silk are some of the popular variants of wild silk available in the market.
There is a silk option for vegans who mean no harm to any living organism and would like to dissociate themselves from the killing of larvae, which sericulture involves. Ahimsa silk is an eco-friendly measure of producing silk that does not include the harming of any organism.
The fabric obtained through such measures are less shinier compared to its counterparts. Nevertheless, many prefer it—especially environmental advocates—for tunics, designer suits, and even fusion wear.
Types according to the region:
It is often considered the most revered of all silk. There is an element of religious sacredness attached to it. Since many believe it to have been first worn by sages and Gods, which is why the tradition continues even today; temples drape the deities in exquisite Kancheepuram silk. It is unrivaled in its hold over the south-Indian market.
It is a softer type of silk compared to its traditional counterpart. It is a breathable fabric that lends a high level of comfort to the wearer. Weavers use this material to make plain silk sarees, with prices that range anywhere between three to even forty thousand depending on the quality.
Silk is a timeless fabric that weaves elegance, tradition, and individuality all into one piece of garment.