Sunday, January 12, 2014

What's the difference between "raw silk" and "shantung silk"?

Silk, for centuries, has been a fabric of choice; but for generations, was so expensive that generally only nobility could afford to have their garments made from it.  Silk, as you're probably aware of, comes from the cocoons of the caterpillars known as the mulberry silkworm.  What fascinates me, is who was the first person to  take one of those tiny cocoons, and figure out how to unravel it into a thread and then find enough of them to weave into a silk fabric........but that question would be better answered in another blog post.

Back to silk......raw silk is highly prized and it's cost reflects that.  The fabric is a result of a labor intensive process that produces a fabric that exhibits many interesting qualities, from light refraction, to beautiful draping, to a slightly nubby yet silky texture.  Since silk fibers are generally not chemically processed, specific caterpillars are bred to produce a white fiber that can either be left as is, or dyed to a specific color.   Raw silk is the least treated of all the silk fabrics available, and enhances any garment because of it's unique qualities.  If you want specifics about silk and the processes, please go to "Silk-Wikipedia" for a full explanation.

Shantung silk can be 100% silk, but generally you'll find the silk fiber combined with Douppioni type fibers such as nylon or rayon to reduce the cost of the fabric.  The douppioni fibers are a bit stiffer, typically with slubs, and dye well.  It is a bit heavier than raw silk, characteristic with the slight slub, but still drapes and wears beautifully.  You will sometimes find the term "wild spun silk" used to describe shantung silk.  Because it has the same visual characteristics as wild silk, combined with durability, it has become a very desirable fabric for both genders.  You'll find shantung silk used in everything from men's ties and jackets, to women's dresses and gowns, and even on occasion as drapery material.  It has a crisp appearance and wears well no matter how it's used. Adorable Baby Clothing, you'll find both fabrics available.  The wild silk is a new addition, and can be seen in the construction of a new addition to the girl's dresses.

The shantung silk is used in a variety of choices 
at Adorable Baby Clothing.  Some examples:
Vest and pants sets for boys
Flower girl dresses 
                                                                  Eton Suits
Adorable Baby Clothing is pleased to offer not only fine fabrics, but beautifully constructed garments that we're sure will make your little one "picture perfect".  Please visit us at to see for yourself!  

As always, we offer Free Priority Mail Shipping on any purchase of just $50.00 or more within the USA.

 Posted first on Blog