Properties of Silk
Image by Ghaith Nassar
The information in this blog post is taken from the off.arts.ac.uk website.
Silk is widely perceived to be the most beautiful and elegant of all the natural fibres. It is such a seductive, luxurious and desirable fibre that at certain points in history its price has exceeded that of gold.
Silk is highly prized for its unique lustrous and reflective appearance, which is a function of the unique rounded edge triangular shape of the fibre. This ‘prism’- like structure refracts incoming light at several different angles and therefore allows the cloth produced from it to be ‘shimmering’ in appearance. Due to this triple reflection of light silk can be described as a ‘bright’ fibre.
Silk fabric is generally thought of as having a soft and smooth texture with a luminous or reflective surface, but depending on processing and the weave structure it can express sculptural forms, ethereal delicacy or liquid drape.
Silk is extraordinarily strong in relation to both fibre dimension and the perception of its delicate nature, and weight for weight it is actually stronger than steel. However it can lose up to 20% of its strength when saturated. It can also become weakened by exposure to too much sunlight.
For more information on silk and other sustainable fibres please see the link below.