Wild silk is a very fine natural animal fiber derived from the cocoon of the silkworm pupae and is a very labour intensive and thus costly process to harvest. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibres, and is thus very supportive. Similar to linen, silk wicks moisture while its low conductivity keeps warm air circulating close to the skin and acting as an insulator in cool weather. Therefore, it is an ideal fibre to wear year round! Unlike linen, silk loses up to 20% of its strength when wet and can be pulled out of shape very easily in this state. When wet, silk should be gently pulled into shape and line-dried out of direct sunlight. Silk has very poor elasticity. It lacks stretch and bounce and therefore can become diggy. A higher weight wrap can offset this digginess but due to the expense of silk as a fibre, the wraps and slings are generally weaved with a lower weight and therefore tend to be thinner wraps. These wraps are still very supportive but do tend to more appropriate for smaller babies or for multiple layer carries with heavier babies. Silk also keeps warm air circulating close to the skin in cool weather due to its low conductivity. Silk has an unparalleled lustre and shimmer. The fibre woven into a fabric is soft right from the start with absolutely no breaking in required. It has a lovely flow and drape and is quite easy to wrap with. However, it can be a bit slippery so proper tightening and the tying off in a secure knot is needed.
What to expect
The silk used for wild silk wraps and slings gives them not only the typical silky shine but also a particularly soft surface. The fabric feels very fine and smooth. The silk used for tussah silk wraps and slings is made from the cocoon of the Oak Silk Moth. The wild silk worms live naturally and their silk is gathered after the moth emerges. Tussah silk is somewhat irregular which gives it quite a special charm which is characteristic in its nubs and slubs.
Silk requires special care. Only wash in lukewarm water and never tumble dry. Hand washing or machine washing on delicate without any spin is recommended. Damp silk fabrics are sensitive to light and should not be dried directly in the sun. silk wraps can still be ironed but it is recommended to only iron on the silk setting. Exposure to heat will diminish the silk’s lustre and shimmer.