Monday, February 11, 2008

The Elegance of Dupioni Silk

The very word silk conjures up an image of luxury and elegance....

Did you know that there are many different kinds of silks? Tussah silk comes from silk worms that feed on oak leaves. The warp and weft yarns in tussah silk fabric are different, emphasizing the woven look, and is used extensively in home d├ęcor.

Silk Shantung is from the Shantung region of China. From the sheer silk chiffon used in loose flowing garments such as scarves and night gowns, to the much heavier silk peau de soie of evening and bridal gowns, whether used in our homes or in our garments, silk gives us a certain sense of style and sophistication. One of my favorite silks is the heavier weight matka silk. It’s taken from the short ends of silk from Mulberry silk worms and is usually spun by hand. Matka is typically all one color but the thick slubs and irregularities reflect light differently giving it a unique character.

My very favorite silk is dupioni. The silk threads for dupioni are reeled from two or more tangled cocoons. The silk worms that produce dupioni silk are cultivated rather than wild, in order to give them close living quarters increasing the chances for tangled cocoons. Dupioni silk fabric is tightly woven with fine warp yarns. Heavier yarns with slubs that are revealed at irregular intervals are used for filling. The different yarns shimmer and sometimes seem to change color in different light. It is wonderfully versatile in garments – a white dupioni silk blouse under a black blazer works in the board room, while black dupioni is perfect for that little black dress. In the home, dupioni silk fabric is beautiful in full length drapes, and accent pillows.

In much the same way a silk garment easily goes from the office to dinner, the look and feel of silk on the floor can go from an active family room to an elegant master suite. Christine wrote about our recent trip to Surfaces where we saw some wonderful new floor covering products.

In particular I was drawn to a new product from Fabrica, a manufacturer of fine rugs and carpets, called Silk Weave. Product designers Libby Cook and Osby Borchardt have created a sumptuous product that emulates the look of dupioni silk, but with the durable characteristics of nylon 6,6.

The tight construction is reminescent of dupioni silk fabric, and the high luster yarns used at random intervals remind us of slubs and create just enough shimmer to give it depth as natural light moves through the room throughout the day. The colored neutral shown here is perfect for a master suite that includes creams and brown accents….perhaps a chocolate brown dupioni silk accent pillow for the chaise lounge.

Silk Weave will surely bring a sense of style and sophistication to any room.

NOTE: Fabrica is a Wear-Dated customer and Silk Weave is made with Wear-Dated carpet fiber.

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Anonymous said...

what is the diference between shantung silk and shanghai silk ?

Marianne Cone said...

Thank you for your comment - in my research I didn't run across shanghai silk per se. I did find an interesting link about silk productin in Shanghai you might be interested in - having visited your blog though I see that you are real expert and have actually visited the silk factories...I envy you! If you haven't seen it the link is
I look forward to seeing more of your blog - thanks again. Marianne

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