FABRIC TALK: SILK
Silk is produced from the chrysalis of silkworms and is a natural fiber.
Silk is mostly made in China, South-Asia and Europe.
As the silk quality is highly related a worm’s diet, selected mulberry trees are grown to feed the worms. The trees require fertilizer and pesticide applications, although far less than cotton plants. The fibers are extracted by steaming, to kill the silk moth chrysalis, and then washed in hot water to degum the silk. Most of the time detergents need to be used. The waste water is usually discharged to the ground water, acting as a low level pollutant.
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Commercially produced silk is not very environmental and animal friendly. Better alternatives are wild silk or organic silk, although costs are very high and quality of cultivated silk is still better. With wild silk the moth damages the silk cocoon when breaking out and with organic silk there are no fertilizers or pesticides used which affects the quality of the silk to a certain extent.