The Chinese kept the secret of silk production to themselves for thousands of years. Silk worm breeding stood under the custody of the Empress of China. Espionage or betrayal of the manufacturing process was sentenced with capital punishment.
Beyond the Chinese Wall incredible sums were paid for silk fabrics, the most precious ones being worth their weight in gold. It was only about 1400 years ago that a few eggs of the silk moth Bombyx Mori were smuggled to Byzanz, hidden in hollow pilgrim sticks. Around the Mediterranean Sea mulberry plantations and silk moth cultivation came into being. Today still the most beatiful silk fabrics are produced in the silk weaving centres of those times.
Wild silk comes from different kinds of wild living peacock butterflies, the Tussah moth being the best known. Wild silk cannot be ABGEHASPELT (unraveled) (rolled off), it is irregular and thicker than mulberry silk. The sticky substance is harder to take off which gives the thread a rougher touch. Part of the colour pigments remain in the thread giving wild silk its typical colouring that ranges from silver, sandy and brownish to gold.
Silk fibres are processed according to their length. Long fibres are VERZWIRNT made into smooth and shimmering balls of thread(GARNROLLEN) and are suitable for finest fabrics.
SCHAPPsilk is made from shorter fibres, e.g. from hatched cocoons that are combed and spun. The very short fibres are processed to bourette silk which has little shimmer and a knobbly appearance. It feels and looks a little like cotton and it is hardwearing and warm.
Silk feels good to the skin, protects equally well against heat or coldness and like wool takes up to 30% of humidity without feeling damp. It doesn’t crease, it is elastic and tearproof. No other material feels so sensual, the shiny glow reminding of spun light. Silk protects our nervous system from negative influences. It helps us to stay centered and sets our chickens free.