Which Silk is Which? The silks I use explained…

Which Silk is Which? The silks I use explained…

How much do I love silk! I am so fortunate that every day I get to go to my studio and pick a silk fabric in its natural state and turn it into an amazing creation. I love that I can share my beautiful fabrics with you, and to help you get better aquatinted with your purchase I am going to describe the fabrics I use. On the occasion I am lucky enough to have in-stock some other types of silk fabric, and if you have something particular in mind I can usually source it.

Just before I get into the fabrics I will give a very simple explanation on the term Momme – abbreviated to mm. Momme (mm) is the unit of measurement for silk fabric, it is the measure of the weight of the fabric. The higher the mm, the denser the fabric.

The main fabric I use is Silk Habutai, which originates from a Japanese term meaning ‘light as a feather’. I use this fabric as it is perfect for veils, fans and simple skirts. It is light weight, takes dye beautifully and is economical and therefore practical for fabric to be used in a prop that will be floating around a stage. Habutai is a basic plain weave fabric, which I source from my suppliers in China in great quantities. Being an even-weave silk, it is available in many weights. The heavier the weight of the silk, the deeper the colours will be as it means there is more fabric present. 5mm Habutai is ultralight for veils, fans and is slightly sheer. It is a fragile fabric and needs to be treated as such. 8mm Habutai is classified as featherweight, used in clothing and flow arts and veils on request.

Chiffon is an open-weave silk, that allows more light and air through. Sadly most items in our world sold as chiffon are not true silk chiffon, but have come to mean a chiffon-type fabric, meaning the weave rather than the composition. My silk Chiffon has little body, conforming to every curve. Chiffon will shrink noticeably in a dryer. Chiffon takes bright colours with brilliant tones, and has interesting subtleties to soft blends.

Crepe de chine has a smooth crepe finish, with incredible drape and lustre. Crepe makes lovely clothing garments. It dyes beautifully.

Charmeuse is what is known in the silk world as real silk satin. Charmeuse has a beautiful shine, and floats like a dream. On request I use Charmeuse in skirts, capes, flow arts or veils. It is much heavier than Habutai but the lustre and float is simply stunning.

Velvet is usually a combination of silk 18% and rayon 82%. It takes dye brilliantly and with interesting natural effects. I often have Devore Velvet wraps and scarves in stock. A must for winter!

My products all originate from silk that is natural in colour to which I cut to size, seam and dye to the desired colour scheme. My fabrics I either import from a trusted source or I pick the pieces myself. Quality of fabric is paramount to me as is the ability for the piece to function to give the user the experience they desire. I am sure that I will be able to create the prop for you out of the best silk fabric I can offer.

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