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The Secret of Sericulture

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The Secret of Sericulture

Producing silk is a lengthy process and demands constant close attention. To produce high quality silk, there are two conditions which need to be fulfilled-preventing the moth from hatching out and perfecting the diet on which the silkworms should feed. Chinese developed secret ways for both.

The eggs must be kept at 65 degrees F, increasing gradually to 77 degrees at which point they hatch. After the eggs hatch, the baby worms feed day and night every half hour on fresh, hand-picked and chopped mulberry leaves until they are very fat. Also a fixed temperature has to be maintained throughout. Thousands of feeding worms are kept on trays that are stacked one on top of another. The newly hatched silkworm multiplies its weight 10,000 times within a month, changing color and shedding its whitish-gray skin several times.

The silkworms feed until they have stored up enough energy to enter the cocoon stage. While they are growing they have to be protected from loud noises, drafts, strong smells such as those of fish and meat and even the odour of sweat. When it is time to build their cocoons, the worms produce a jelly-like substance in their silk glands, which hardens when it comes into contact with air. Silkworms spend three of four days spinning a cocoon around them until they look like puffy, white balls.

After eight or nine days in a warm, dry place the cocoons are ready to be unwound. First they are steamed or baked to kill the pupas. The cocoons are then dipped into hot water to loosen the tightly woven filaments. These filaments are unwounded onto a spool. Each cocoon is made up of filament between 600 and 900 meters long! Between five and eight of these super-fine filaments are twisted together to make one thread.

Finally the silk threads are woven into cloth or used for embroidery work. Clothes made from silk are not only beautiful and lightweight, they are also warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather.

SILK QUILTS
Silk Quilt is a fine soft comforter produced by silk floss. It is the least allergenic of all natural fibres. There are now three types of silk floss used in silk quilts on the market:

Cotton-like short silk floss (low grade silk) is actually downgraded silk floss, made from waste filaments and damaged cocoons, and is considered and inferior product. It feels more like cotton than natural silk.

Cube-type Silk(wild silk) is produced by silk moths grown in the Northern part of China. These wild moths feed on various types of leaves, producing dark colored silk. The silk must be treated with toxic chemicals to alter the dark color. The chemicals may harmful to our health. The silk is not as soft and luxurious as 100% mulberry silk.

Long, 100% Mulberry Silk is very luxurious, soft, and supple, it is recognized by its pure, snow white color and natural luster and sheen. Sartex takes pride in using our own produced 100% mulberry silk for our quilts and pillows. Mulberry silk contains natural protein fiber and sericin, which is a gummy protein that holds the filaments. Silk filaments are very fine and long, with a high degree of elongations. These elongations help make mulberry silk the first choice for superior quality silk duvets. Sartex silk quilts use only long stretched, Grade A, 100% Mulberry Silk floss fill.

How ARE SILK QUILTS MADE?
Sartex silk quilts are filled with 100% Mulberry Silk. The oval-shaped cocoons are stretched out into a large web, thus producing one layer of the silk duvet. It takes many cocoons and several layers of the silk fabric to produce enough batting to make a high quality quilt.
Silk is a gift of nature, making Sartex silk quilts the healthy choice for luxury and comfort. Silk adjusts to your body temperature, adding a perfect layer of warmth by wicking moisture away from your skin into the air. Silk contains sericin, and anti-acrid property that prevents the growth of mites and fungus. Natural albumen fibre is a component of silk; it contributes to skin health by speeding metabolism of skin cell. Coupled with the silk amino acid, and permeability properties, silk contributes to the relief of joint pain, asthma, arteriosclerosis, neurodermatitis, and insomnia. With the trend towards healthy living people are choosing the natural properties of silk as a healthier alternative to traditional duvets.

HOW TO CHOOSE A QUALITY SILK QUILT:
There are different levels of quality standards depending on the silk manufacturer. Here are some helpful tips when choosing a superior quality quilt.

(1) Visual Appearance. The best silk is recognized by its pure, snow white color. The silk threads have very few fragmented or waste filaments. The silk is long and well aligned. A lower grade silk is pale white in color, attributed to bleaching and chemicals in production. It lacks the natural sheen and luster of Mulberry Silk, and tends to look dull.

(2) Touch. Quality silk feels very soft, smooth, and has an excellent elongation (elastic recovery). An inferior silk feels course and uneven, due to fragments of damaged cocoons and waste filaments.

(3)Smell. Silk with foul, oily smell is inferior in quality

(4) Flexibility and Elastic Recovery. The higher grade silks have more flexibility and superior elastic recovery.

Sartex silk Quilts are made from 100% log Mulberry Silk, making them the most natural and healthy of the silks. With unique properties and purity, it is the first choice when purchasing a luxurious duvet. When shopping for a duvet, look for a side zipper to experience the silk fleece first hand. It will have excellent elastic recovery, feel smooth and silky to the touch and sold only from a reputable retailer.

To maintain the Sartex's quality, we have sent our silk quilt/floss to Swiss Textile Testing Institutte, Europe every year for harmful substances testing Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and the certified goods meet the human-ecological requirements, therefore our company has issued a conformity declaration according to En ISO 17050-1, is obliged to use the Oeko-Tex mark in marketing.