Silky soft materials: to love and care for
In addition to a suitable color palette and perfect cuts, materials play a leading role in putting together the ideal wardrobe. Soft, shiny fabrics are often favorites - and preferably not the polyester satin version. But why exactly? And which alternative materials should you look for? We have made an overview for you of desirable materials that are common in our range. From beauty to comfort, these fabric properties are worth every penny.
The sound of the word alone makes you long for it: cashmere, also called cashmere. It is one of the most luxurious natural fibers on the market and represents less than one percent of all wool production worldwide. That's because the material comes from a very specific goat, one that prefers to graze in the Asian mountains. In the past this was indeed in Kashmir, India, but nowadays the special breed is mainly bred outside the Himalayan region: in the Chinese province of Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan. The wool is fine, light and silky soft – everything the goat needs to survive harsh winters. We humans can enjoy this in the form of elegant sweaters, flexible scarves and well-insulating gloves.
Of course, such a great deal comes with a price tag. All the more reason to take good care of your purchase. Always wash cashmere inside out, with a short wool wash program below 30 °C and no more than 400 revolutions. If you want to be on the safe side, do the job by hand. Afterwards, style it on a towel - it will last for years to come.
When we call things silky soft, an image of a shiny piece of fabric often comes to mind. Silk is not only the softest fabric available, it is also long lasting. The first legends date back to almost three millenniums BC, in distant China. Manufacturers worldwide now know exactly how the beautiful, flexible fabric is put together: they are made from the shiny cocoons of silkworms. They spin these houses primarily to protect themselves during their transformation from larva to butterfly. In order to be able to use the entire yarn for beautiful dresses and blouses, the process is interrupted with the cooking pan. That is certainly sad, but the result is breathtaking. Nowhere in the world do we find fibers that are naturally as long as the creations of the silkworm.
If you have silk hanging in your closet, we recommend that you put it down instead - to prevent it from stretching. Stains on silk are tricky, so be alert when wearing your pieces. Wash silk by hand or steam it on a hanger. Store your items in a cool, dry place and out of the sun as much as possible. A breathable garment bag is for the real pros.
When we talk about 'fake silk', a vague word for a beautiful product, we are talking about an entire family of fabrics. Rayon is the mother name, including viscose, the sustainable variant lyocell and the extra strong modal. Tencel is an example of a brand name for the same stuff and we could go on and on. All these fabrics resemble silk in look and feel, but the famous caterpillar has little to do with it. Instead, cellulose is used, the vegetable component that you find, for example, in bamboo or the eucalyptus tree. This natural material is then transformed in a chemical process into the soft yarn that makes your favorite shirts. Because of this combination of nature and humans, we call rayon a semi-synthetic fiber.
And because it is an intermediate form of pure nature and plastic, you can throw the shiny material in the washing machine without any worries. Preferably choose those sustainable daughters, such as Tencel or Ecovero. This often takes into account the health of the natural environment in which the raw materials grow. This way you are gentle with yourself and the world around you. We call it win-win.
To get straight to the point: polyester is the most commonly used fabric in the fashion industry and polyester satin is a favorite due to its shine and washability. Due to increasing concerns about sustainability, the fiber is often dismissed as pure evil, but that is a bit more nuanced. The fact is that every time you wash polyester, small plastic particles are released that eventually pollute our ecosystems. The other problem is the raw material: currently polyester is often made from fossil fuels and these will eventually run out. That is why scientists are now experimenting with polyesters made from sustainable raw materials.
Why bother? Because polyester also has a lot of good things to offer. It is not without reason that it was called a 'miracle fiber' in the 70s. Polyester fibers retain their color and shape well, don't wrinkle as much and they dry quickly - to name a few. So that nuance is good to keep in mind. Phasing out is desirable, but there is also something to be said for the shine of satin in bright colors.
Are you looking for something new, but don't know where to look? Our team is happy to work with you to capture your personal style. Come visit the store or send us an email.