Silk is a luxury fabric in the fashion world, widely considered to be one of the finest fibers globally. Loved for its super-soft touch, rich shine, and non-absorbent effects, it’s been used by royalty for centuries and has many modern-day uses. Because it won’t absorb moisture, it’s the perfect material to help maintain your hair and skin’s natural moisture.
Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics in the world, but it is still often chosen for a variety of clothes and accessories in new collections. That being said, not all silk is made alike; the value and durability can be affected by the silk’s raw material, luster, finish, dyeing process, and weight.
But what makes high-quality silk so expensive?
Because of its limited availability and costly production, this makes it far more expensive than other fabrics. It takes more than 5,000 silkworms to produce just one kilogram of silk and the process is resource-heavy, labor-intensive, and expensive. Much effort is put into preserving the thread length and quality, allowing the raw silk to move to the next stages—spinning, weaving, bleaching, dyeing, and treatment.
Silk fabric production, as a whole, is a slow process, requiring various manufacturing sub-processes from farming thousands of cocoons and spinning fibers to various dyes and treatments. Only 168,300 tons of raw silk are produced globally each year. China is the largest producer of silk with 126,000 tons produced in 2014, followed by India (23,700 tons), and Vietnam (6,800 tons).
Not all silk is made alike, however—there are cheaply made, lower quality silks flooding the market. And while these options may seem cost effective, they lack the amazing durability and health benefits high-quality silk offers. Lower quality silks are more likely to tear and fall apart, and can be rougher on your skin and hair.
In conclusion, while the price of good silk may seem on the higher end, keep in mind the lengthy process needed to produce this amazing product. While it may be tempting to reach for a cheaper, less quality silk or silk alternative, remember that high-quality silk will last a lifetime thanks to its superior durability!