Have you ever wondered why silk fabric is so expensive? Well, as it may be, silk is an extraordinary material. It is derived solely from the delicate, fine threads spun by silkworms. Since it takes 12 pounds of fully-spun silkworm cocoons to produce 1 pound of pure silk material, you can imagine why the fabric is so high-end and high-priced. But that’s not all. Silk retains a wide range of luxurious qualities that make it a highly sought-out material by sewing professionals and hobbyists all around the world. But not everyone has the budget to constantly work with pure silk, which is why there are so many innovative alternatives that are more cost-effective and budget-friendly.
Continue reading to learn more about silk, and some cheaper alternatives that will work well for your next sewing project.
The Origins of Silk
The organic matter used to produce silk comes from silkworms, which are the caterpillars of the Bombux Mori moth. The production of silk began in ancient China (the Silk Road), and for the past several millennia it has continued to be a rare and naturally-occurring commodity used for all sorts of applications, from clothing and apparel, to home décor, tapestries, purses, shoes, curtains, and so much more. Silk is a strong and sturdy material, yet extremely lightweight.
It is highly suited for dying applications, and retains color for a long time. Best of all, it is smooth and dreamy to the touch, and will flow properly when sewed that way. Now, there are still some disadvantages to the material. Silk is high maintenance and requires very gentle cleaning according to very specific criteria. Furthermore, it is expensive. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives to silk that work well and fit the budget.
Blended Silk Fabrics are a Cheaper Alternative to Pure Silk
The best alternatives to expensive silk include blended silk fabrics, such as linen-silk, cotton-silk, silk velvet, organza, shantung (also known as slub silk), and even satin in some cases. These fabrics deliver much of the same, sought-after qualities as silk, but come with a much friendlier price tag.
► Linen-Silk – Incredibly similar to silk, but a lot cheaper.
► Cotton-Silk – A cheaper alternative with very similar properties to silk.
► Silk Velvet – Very lustrous, and a lot warmer and softer than other velvet blends, such as cotton or synthetic elements.
► Organza – A sheer fabric that is very fine, yet crisp. Common applications include interior home décor, such as curtains and table linens, as well as formalwear.
► Shantung (Slub Silk) – This fabric originated from China’s Shangdong Province, and has a rough, tweedy texture to it, making it well-suited for applications such as
► Satin – Glossy on one side, and matte on the other, satin is made with pure silk, and will be the costliest of all the alternatives. For cheaper satins, look for ones made with cotton or synthetic fibers.
Indianapolis Clothing and Formal Wear Alterations You Can Trust
Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.