There is something wonderfully decadent about silk. It is so beautiful to touch and always a delight to see framing a window or a cushion. It is a timeless, natural fabric which works well in soft furnishings for both contemporary and country home interiors.
Natalie Canning, a curtain and blind expert, generously shares her views on Dupion silk and the silk worm with us;
“Dupion silk is one of the most popular silk materials as it is easy to sew, drapes beautifully and is wrinkle resistant. It is created by two different silk worms spinning their cocoons closely together and their fibres tangling.
The thread created is rougher than other silk materials and the finished fabric contains bumps and irregularities called slubs which are part of its unique charm.
The humble silkworm is blissfully unaware of its importance to the natural fabric industry. It is said that a Chinese Empress discovered a silk worm’s white cocoon after it fell into her tea cup. The Empress was a keen weaver and after noticing a strand coming away from the fuzzy object she began to study it more closely. She unwound the cocoon into one long filament and the rest is history. The amazing silkworm caterpillar feeds on mulberry trees until it is ready to pupate and then uses huge silk producing glands to spin a cocoon. The clever caterpillar adds a protective gummy protein to the thread which makes the silk cocoon rigid.
The Chinese Empress had accidentally discovered a way to remove this hard coating and release the fine silk thread….immersion in hot water! Or in her case a cup of tea! The Chinese kept the source of this beautiful, natural silk thread secret for well over one thousand years. There were many speculations and theories but the penalty for sharing the secret was death!”