Considered the most precious fabric on the planet, silk needs no introduction, its beauty and extraordinary qualities have made it synonymous with splendour and royalty for centuries. In its name wars were fought, empires were conquered and fortunes were accumulated, it has a tumultuous and fascinating history, closely intertwined with the events of man since the dawn of modern civilization. The natural features of silk give this very elegant fabric an incredibly soft but elastic "hand". A material of choice for the most precious garments, Malo enhances its qualities by mixing it wisely with other natural fibres to obtain blends with exceptional characteristics.
The origins of silk are lost in legend, thousands of years ago, in the most extreme east between the borders of the ancient Chinese empire. Tradition has it that one day the wife of the then Yellow Emperor Huangdi, who lived around 3000 BC, walking in the imperial gardens, noticed shimmering threads among the mulberry leaves. There are several versions of how silk began to be spun by small bugs but the most fascinating one tells of a small cocoon accidentally dropped in a hot cup of tea. Xi Ling-Shi, this was the name of the emperor's wife, watched it unveil itself in a very long silk thread. For millennia, the art of sericulture remained the exclusive prerogative of China, the most closely guarded secret in history. In the name of silk, complex trade routes opened up from China to Africa in order to reach Europe. But China was not destined to maintain its monopoly, sericulture reached Korea around 200 BC and later the West, through roundabout routes, theft and subterfuge. When it was first discovered, silk was reserved exclusively for the use of the sovereign, granted only to the emperor, his close relatives, and the highest of his dignitaries. It was around 550 AD that two Nestorian monks appeared at the court of the Byzantine emperor Justinian with silkworm eggs hidden in hollow bamboo sticks. Byzantium thus entered the silk trade, imperial workshops were created, and again the mysterious art of the cultivation of silkworms became a state secret. Chinese silks always maintained the absolute primacy in terms of beauty and quality, its legendary shine conquered the world and by 1200 it was produced, in addition to China, also in India, the Middle East and Europe.
The production of silk is a very long and laborious process that requires constant and almost obsessive attention. Silkworm feeding, air temperature, light and humidity are all decisive factors in obtaining an excellent product in every aspect. Raw silk is a protein filament fibre, hundreds of meters long, extruded from the silkworm in the moment when it weaves the cocoon around itself. Thanks to the triangular section of the filaments, the light is reflected from different angles, thus producing an extraordinary brightness that varies according to its texture. Cool in summer and warm in winter, fluid on the body, pure silk is well suited to different types of garments, comfortable and luxurious more than any other fabric in the world it keeps its beauty unchanged over time by virtue of its resistant fibres.
Washing and care
Pure silk is a natural fabric, for this reason, if washed with care, it will maintain all its precious characteristics over time. Gentle hand washing will ensure that fabrics do not come into contact with chemicals that could damage them. It is advisable to immerse the garment in cold water, use only specific mild detergents without forgetting that silk is made of a protein very similar to that of human hair and for this reason it needs special attention. It is not necessary to leave it in the water for a long time, silk quickly releases the impurities.
Do not squeeze, to remove the excess water, place the wet garment on a white cotton towel, then roll the ends so that the towel absorbs the excess. Finally hang the garment on a padded hanger. The drying process, away from direct heat sources and sunlight, should not take more than an hour.