Do you sell genuine, natural silk?
Yes. Silk is our specialty. All fabrics marked as "silk" in our shop are always made of natural silk. You can rely on the fact that is always natural mulberry silk unless we say otherwise. If it is a different type of natural silk (e.g., wild silk), we will say so. We describe the many types of natural silk in full detail in our post on types of silk.
Can silk be washed?
Washing is generally not recommended for silk – it belongs at the dry cleaners. However, as our big silk wash test has shown, some types of silk fabrics can stand up to a gentle wash program or hand washing without harm if you follow the procedure described. That said, wash silk at your own risk. We definitely recommend testing in advance on a small sample of the fabric – because silk is a natural material it's not 100% predictable. Never use an ordinary laundry detergent – use a special detergent for wool and silk or, if there's no other option, a gentle, silicone-free shampoo.
Is silk colorfast?
The fabrics in our core inventory, seasonal collections and limited editions are from repeated production cycles that we have quality-tested – given proper care their colors should not bleed. Fabrics that are on offer while supplies last are one-off products that have not been individually tested, so we recommend testing on a sample. Silk may lose some color when washed in water that's too hot or with unsuitable detergent. Always follow the recommended water temperature and use detergents designed for washing silk or wool. Washing silk, though it is often no problem, is always at your own risk. Read more in our post on How to wash silk.
What thread should be used to sew silk?
If you are not going to dye the finished garment, we recommend a high-quality polyester thread for sewing silk. If you want to dye the finished garment, be sure to choose a silk thread (polyester does not take dye). The choice of sewing needle and thread depends on the type and weight of the fabric – for sewing particularly fine fabrics (chiffons, georgettees, light satins, light crepes) a thinner polyester or silk thread and a corresponding thin needle are suitable. Do not use cotton thread to sew silk.
How can I tell if it is natural silk?
Probably the best way to tell is the burn test. Silk burns reluctantly, leaving a black crumb that you can easily crush between your fingers and smells like burnt hair. Be sure to test threads pulled from both the weft and the warp. In addition to the burn test, there are a plenty of other tricks – check out our post on how to tell real silk.