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Fabric Friday: The origin and characteristics of silk

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Workshops - specialty vintage topics' started by denisebrain, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. Vintage Runway

    Vintage Runway VFG Board Member

    Thank you Maggie for such an interesting topic and discussion! I learned a lot!
    denisebrain likes this.
  2. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    Thank you Suzanne!

    Mary Jane, I know just what you mean—those silky poly blouses, often from the 1980s on. There is a difference in the hand as I'm sure you have experienced. To me, as smooth as silk feels, it has a subtle "tooth" to it compared to polyester, which in this fine filament form is completely smooth to the touch. And of course they burn quite differently.
  3. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

  4. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    So, yesterday I went on a walking tour with the Swiss Textile Collection, tracing a bit of Zurich's history in silk production. It seems Zurich has Zwingli and the reformation to thank for this (as well as the old cliché reputation of all work and no fun)! As the reformation brought protestant refugees from Italy and France with their knowledge of silk production as well as trading with silk, and with rivers and a lake to conveniently transport wares on, it flourished. Many of the famous "old families" of the city got rich through silk - or at least dabbled in it. The silk merchants were the rich people for a long time - banking really only became a big thing in the 20th century. What I didn't know that Grieder, today an up-market designer-brand store, started as a silk and fabrics shop, and there's a beautiful old painting showing the basics of silk production up on the wall still. But today, Louis Vuitton is at home in this part of the store, and there's no getting in there without passing a security guy :rolleyes: - so we just peered inside through one of the shop windows.
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