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About Silk

History of Silk

According to Chinese legends, silk was discovered in 3,000 BC by Lady Hsi-Ling-Shi, wife of Emperor Huang Ti, when a silkworm kookoon accidentally dropped into her hot tea. Fine threads from the kookoon unraveled in the hot water and silk was discovered.

When silk was first discovered, it was used exclusively by the emperor, his close relations, and the very highest of his dignitaries. Even Julius Caesar restricted the wearing of silk to himself and his favored officials. Noble and rich Roman and Greek families sought after this splendid textile. The great demand for silk from Europe created The Silk Road, built entirely to support its commerce. For centuries, silk had been as valuable as gold often use as currency in international trade.

For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese tightly guarded the secrets of silk. Anyone revealing the secrets or smuggled the silk worm eggs or kookoons outside of China was punished by death.

Today, silk continues to be a character of luxury and grandeur. kumi kookoon brings you the finest silk manufactured and unsurpassed quality. Our introductory product line brings silk-filled comforters and bedding from the Far East to the comforts of your bedroom.

How Silk is Made

Silk farms raise cocoons through a process called sericulture. Silk producers then process the cocoon through four stages:

Sorting

Each cocoon is sorted according to color, size, shape, and texture. The quality of silk depends on the combination of these attributes. Cocoon coloring can vary from white to yellow to gray.

Sericin Softening

Sericin or “silk gum” is the gooey substance that holds the silk filament together. The cocoons are submersed in hot and cold water to soften the sericin and silk filaments are unwound to produce a continuous thread.

Filament Reeling

Silk filaments are unwound in the reeling process and combined together to make a thread of raw silk. Three to ten strands of silk filament are combined for a single thread as individual filaments are too fine for commercial use.

Bailing

Silk is reeled into skeins and then shipped to silk mills all over the world.

Silk Facts

Silk is made from the Bombyx Mori moth, which is blind and flightless.

Newly hatched silkworm multiplies its weight by 10,000 within a month and sheds about 4 times.

30,000 silkworms will eat a ton of mulberry leaves to produce approximately 12 pounds of raw silk.

5,500 silkworms are required to produce 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of raw silk.

200 pounds of mulberry leaves are needed to produce 1 pound of raw silk.

It takes a silkworm 3 – 4 days to spin a cocoon around itself.

Each silk filament is 600-900 meters (1,970 – 2,950 ft) long.

2,500 – 3,000 kookoons are used in making just one yard of woven silk fabric.

It takes about 110 cocoons to make a tie, about 630 cocoons to make a blouse, and about 12,000 cocoons to make a silk-filled comforter.

Silk, as a fiber, has amazing tensile strength which allows it to withstand great pulling pressure.

Pure silk can be identified by a performing a “burn test”. Burning silk produces an unpleasant smell and the fiber turns into a powdery ash. Silk behaves similarly to wool, in that when the source of flame is removed, the silk ceases to burn.

Pure silk fibers dissolve in bleach. Therefore, the whiter the fibers, the more refined and pure the silk is.