Production

Having the exact fabric can be crucial at times. Clitheroe Silks keeps reliable contacts to produce the fabric you need.

Your own design can be produced, or optionally, our extensive collection is available for your inspiration.

We offer many fabrics in our range and can match your colours in a variety of compositions.

Busy schedules we all have one, but we will travel to you with our latest range, to make an appointment either call 0207 493 9552 or email.

How is Silk Made

One of the softest fabrics on the planet, shiny, breathable and comfortable, silk has been a highly prized cloth since it wascocoon-196533_640 first harvested thousands of years ago. And despite advances in production methods and new possibilities for cultivation, still today the only reasonable way to glean the thread in mass quantities is by killing the thing that made it.

Silkworms are caterpillars of (usually) the Bombyx mori moth. During its 3 to 8 day pupating period, the silkworm secretes fibroin, a sticky liquid protein, from its two sericteries (special salivary glands). Pushed through a spinneret (opening on the mouth), the twin pair of continuous threads harden when they come into contact with the air. Next, the silkworm secretes sericin, a bonding agent, from two other glands to hold the two filaments together. While constructing its cocoon, the silkworm will twist in a figure-8 motion about 300,000 times and produce around 1 kilometer of filament.

Since hatching from the cocoon destroys the thread, to harvest the silk, the cocoon is placed in either boiling water, or blasted with steam or hot air, all processes that kill the pupae. Less lethal methods were tried in the past, such as pulling the silk as the worms spun it, but the worms resisted and bit off the filaments (the longest thread harvested in this way was just 6 meters).

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