Silk is a protein fiber composed of fibroin produced from the larvae of silkworms to form cocoons. Silkworm is also known as mulberry silk moth or Bombyx mori. Most of the silk industry uses these larvae for the production of silk. The farming of silkworms is known as Sericulture, the production of silk. Among the various species, Bombyx mori is one of the most common and widely used silkworms.
Silk is shimmering in appearance due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber. It allows silk cloth to refract the lights to different angles thus, producing different colors.
The type of silk depends upon its molecular level. The larvae of an insect go to complete metamorphosis for its production. There are almost 500 species of wild silkworms all over the world. Wilk silkworms are known to produce rougher silk than domesticated ones.
Below are some of the interesting facts about silk:
1. Do you know which country produces silk the most?
It’s China that produces the maximum number of silk all around the world. One of the interesting facts about silk is China generates almost 15000 metric tons of silk annually, with 78% of the world’s silk. For thousands of years, China was the only country that holds a monopoly over distribution.
Until the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in China, no other counties knew about the making of silk. Silk has profoundly contributed a lot to Chinese fashion. Shanghai is also known as the silk fashion capital. However, it gets produced in other cities as well. In China, silk is also essential to make qipaos. It is famous for evening or party wear attire in China.
2. Silk has its benefits
Silk is usually known as breathable fiber. They are also a natural temperature regulator. Silk usually helps to retain body temperature during the winter season. It helps your body to balance the temperature in need of heat and warmth.
Also, one of the interesting facts about silk is the hypoallergenic fabric that doesn’t attract dust and mites that cause allergies to humans. Silk also absorbs less moisture than cotton. Your skin always stays hydrated with silk compared to cotton.
If you sleep sideways then, you should prefer silk over cotton as it reduces creases to form on your skin. It also can be a beauty tip for dry and flaky skin. Sleeping in a silk pillow will help your hair to retain its smoothness. It will reduce the friction between your hair and the surface.
3. Silk will help you from mosquitoes
Wearing silk can help you to get away from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can easily penetrate other clothes through long proboscis but, they cannot bit through silk clothes or fabrics. Silk has the most durability than other materials.
The silk fiber gets closely woven, due to which it has less room for insects to penetrate through. You can easily get bitten by a mosquito if you are wearing cotton clothes, but if you are wearing silk yoga pants, you will get immune from mosquito bites. Mosquito bite-resistant is also one of the amazing facts about silk.
4. Do you know where do silkworms live?
Silkworms are highly present in Northern China. These days they depend upon human beings as humans use them for silk production. Silkworms feed on mulberry leaves and, they are no more present in wilds. Silkworm farming has helped these worms to get easy meals. Mulberry leaves are valuable nutrients for the production of silk.
5. The most prevalent natural textile in the world
Silk is known to be the finest and harder than Kevlar. The soft armor of the silk has made them beautiful. Its lightweight has always been a popular feature of silk. According to history, it got used to making the first bulletproof vest. Silk is widely involved in medical devices, sutures, bike tires, bedding, parachute, etc. These facts about silk show how it was used for centuries for different purposes.
6. 140 pounds of mulberry tree leaves
To make a single silk dress, you need to collect 140 pounds of mulberry tree leaves in general. A single larva of the silkworm eats about 500 grams of mulberry leaves to change into a pupa. To make a pound of silk needs almost 2500 or more silkworms. A silkworm farmer may require approx. 500-600 kg of leaves to feed on 20,000 silkworms throughout their cycle.
7. Silk production is a labor-intensive process
Mostly as mentioned above, commercial silk requires Bombyx Mori for production. However, creating silk fabric is not an easy job. It includes lots of process and patience. First, larvae feed on the leaves of the mulberry then go to the molting stage. These facts about silk state the employment placement for many individuals.
The molting stage is when the larvae wrap themselves with thin filaments a thousand times. Harvesters must wait until the silk solidifies. Then all the labor must form together with the delicate threads one by one to develop silk. However, it will create employment opportunities for people in rural areas of the world.
8. It is easy to clean
The soft texture of the silk will help you to clean them easily. The smooth surface usually prevents dust and stains. Those can be removed easily by washing. Silk can always be hand washed and ironed. If you hang your cloth and take a hot shower, then the steam will help them to have fewer creases.
You don’t even need iron for that. Soft, luxurious, and good-looking silk will always make you feel better and beautiful as well as cozy. Silk is also known as a natural insulator. Hence, during winter, your body gets quickly heated if you wear silk pajamas.
9. There are four types of silk
As mentioned above, the most prevalent type of silk is the one produced from mulberry silkworms. Apart from that, there are Muga Silk, Eri Silk, and Tasar Silk. Mulberry silk generally contributes 90% of the silk production compared to other silks.
Angora Silk Yarn is known as the softest silk that has sensuous and screams tenderness. It got made up of the world’s smoothest thread. Muga silk, developed from Antheraea assamensis, highly present in Assam. The moth is widely present in Assam, the state of India, and is known as the Assam moth.
These are some interesting facts about silk that were unheard of. Silk is used for many purposes as well as the first bulletproof vest is astounding. Many other features and characteristics of silk seem to be useful for health and daily usage.