It is true that silk is known to be expensive, but when you think twice, if the product in question is treated well, it can last you at least a good ten years.
So, is silk really expensive compared to its quality and durability?
Let's talk about "grade",
The grade makes it possible to measure the quality of the silk using different criteria which are:
- The choice of the best cocoons
- The length of the wires
- The thickness of the wires
The grades are divided into 3 letters, A, B and C. A being the best quality, C is the lowest. Each grade has subgrades which are specified in numbers, for example for grade A, there are grades A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A and this is the same for the letter B and the letter C.
Grade 6A designates the best possible and existing silk, it is therefore this which will have the most expensive price.
But then what will differentiate the best from the worst grades?
The higher the grade, the softer, stronger and more durable the fabric will be, so the more you pay for it, the more worthwhile your purchase will be because it will last you more and more years, if it is well treated of course. .
Now let's return to the criteria stated previously.
You may be wondering, "How do these criteria change the quality of silk?"
So we will explain them to you one by one.
1. The choice of cocoons:
The better the cocoon, the better the threads will be. It is obvious that a cocoon in better condition requires a longer thread in order to obtain better silk, and as you now know, it is necessary to have the longest threads for this.
You should also know that the total length of a wire can vary between 2500 and 3500 meters. However, only the most central thread can be made in one go and this is between 1000 and 1500 meters , hence the importance of taking the best cocoons.
2. The length of the wires:
As explained previously, it is important to have long threads in order to obtain superior quality silk. Having long, smooth threads makes weaving easier and therefore more beautiful and resistant, this also allows you to avoid small threads that wear on the fabric, evidence of inferior quality , and that it lasts you several years without fear of anything. .
3. The thickness of the wires:
In addition to the length, the thickness of the wires will optimize the durability of the products. Because the threads may be long and well woven, the thickness of a thread is the primary criterion in order to obtain maximum resistance. Moreover, it is known that silk, more particularly spider silk, is 5 times stronger than steel and 3 times stronger than Kevlar at equal thickness.
After the notes, there are the moms. Mommes are an ancestral unit of measurement which makes it possible to measure the weight of silk, and therefore the thickness of the threads, per square meter. Mommes will help people looking for a silk product, to know if it will be thick and partly of quality (because the quality mainly depends on the grade).
Although the quality of silk depends on the grade criteria, the momme helps us to get an idea of the quality of the product at the time. The quantity of the number of mommes varies between 6 and 30 mommes.
1. Between 6 and 15 moms
For this quantity of mothers we will rather find scarves, more or less light and transparent, also pajamas or even lingerie.
Please note that if one day you find bed linen or household linen at this quantity of mommes, run away because it is far too light for this type of product and they risk tearing very quickly, which would be a shame considering the price of the fabric.
2. Between 16 and 30 mommes
Although there are all these momme numbers, the most common will be the 19 momme and the 25 momme , you can sometimes find 22 momme too. These momme are used in bed linen and household linen and as you would expect the higher the momme number the stronger the fabric as this means it is heavier therefore the threads are thicker and more strong. Obviously, if the fabric is more resistant and therefore more durable, the price increases. However, you don't have to worry because the 19 momme is already very resistant, although it is less than the 25 momme one, if you are careful with the product, there is no reason to that it doesn't last long.
A 25 momme pillowcase will certainly be more resistant than a 19 momme one, but it will however be less shiny.
Price is also a marketing issue. Many criteria indicate the higher or lower price of silk products:
- Compliance with regulations
Like all globalized products, they are manufactured in different countries and therefore the price of labor varies. Although “made in China” is synonymous with low quality, for silk it will be the opposite, at least for the raw material. Silk is a material born in China and grown there, so it is natural and synonymous with quality to obtain silk from this country. Some companies in China respect labor ethics and rights but unfortunately not all. This is why several companies, such as in France, will order their raw material in China and export it to France in order to transform the material into a quality product. At the same time, since labor in France is more expensive, so are the products.
2. The signature:
It is obvious that the price changes depending on the brand. If you choose a product from a renowned brand, the product will necessarily be expensive, or even very expensive. However, it is rare that the product is not exceptional when it comes to a renowned brand, as it is produced with remarkable craftsmanship , handcrafted with strong colors, as well as with superior and unique materials.
3. Compliance with regulations:
Compliance with regulations has a large share of responsibility in the final price. These are both environmental and social regulations.
It is logical that a country less developed than France offers less expensive labor. But why is it less expensive? Quite simply because the regulations are not respected because it is these standards which increase prices.
For example, for environmental regulations:
If there is a maximum quantity to be respected in terms of production of the material but it is not, this will reduce the notion of scarcity and therefore lower the price. However, doing so represents intensive breeding and therefore a lack of respect for animal life (because silk comes from an animal) and certain values.
For social regulations :
We recall that certain countries, the vast majority of which are underdeveloped, absolutely do not respect labor rights and force people to work dozens of hours without stopping or even people who are not of the required age to work and even less in bad conditions. This labor is certainly inexpensive, but does not take human life into consideration.
Silk has a high reflective quality due to the caterpillar's slime which reflects light in a particular way, so it shines particularly well. Be careful, wild silk shines less because it is not shiny.
Since it is a material exclusively produced by a caterpillar, there can often be irregularities because the silk is never perfectly smooth, unlike machines which only always reproduce the same gesture.
Static electricity, yes silk creates much less static electricity than synthetic.
The strength of silk is extremely strong, so if it is real and quality, you must have a lot of trouble tearing the fabric.
Finally, the fire test, a natural silk thread does not burn, it burns in the flame and instantly turns into ash, giving off the smell of burnt hair. Conversely, a synthetic silk thread burns, melts, gives off black smoke and a strong odor.
It is for all these very important reasons that silk has an expensive price but especially the products made with this superb material.