Natural silk is a continuous filament textile fibre obtained from the cocoon of the silk worm, through a series of operations. It is a protein based fibre, obtained from the secretions of an insect. A cocoon consists of a single thread which varies in length from 300 to 900 metres.
The time it takes to create this is about three or four days and it consists of 20 to 30 layers. To protect the integrity of the cocoon and enable it to be used to make silk, it is necessary to block the metamorphosis of the worm into a moth. To do this the cocoons are harvested and then dried in special drying machines. To obtain the yarn, the cocoon has to be unravelled, involving a number of operations. The raw fibre seen through a microscope appears as a slightly flattened cylinder. It is not homogenous and the diameter can be greater or smaller because the gum is not evenly distributed. The floss has a diameter which varies from 10 to 22 microns. One of the properties of silk is the way it reflects light, which is inimitable. Indeed, it can absorb dyes easily, offering a great wealth of hues. The yarn is very elastic and the textile made from it proves to be extremely resistant and at the same time very soft.


How can you tell that a product really is made of silk?

Burn a thread. If it is silk, the thread will burn slowly and give out the smell of keratin, typical of animal fibres.

The yarn

A thread of silk is obtained from the joining of several “filaments” of different diameters. The skill of the spinner is that of obtaining a yarn of uniform thickness, adding another filament at the right moment.