silk lamps

FAQ

 

About Silk Materials
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Silk has a smooth, soft texture that is not slippery, unlike many synthetic fibers.

Silk is one of the strongest natural fibres but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. It has a good moisture regain of 11%. Its elasticity is moderate to poor: if elongated even a small amount, it remains stretched. It can be weakened if exposed to too much sunlight. It may also be attacked by insects, especially if left dirty.

Silk is a poor conductor of electricity and thus susceptible to static cling.

Unwashed silk chiffon may shrink up to 8% due to a relaxation of the fibre macrostructure. So silk should either be pre-washed prior to garment construction, or dry cleaned. Dry cleaning may still shrink the chiffon up to 4%. Occasionally, this shrinkage can be reversed by a gentle steaming with a press cloth. There is almost no gradual shrinkage nor shrinkage due to molecular-level deformation.

Natural and synthetic silk is known to manifest piezoelectric properties in proteins, probably due to its molecular structure.

Silkworm silk was used as the standard for the denier, a measurement of linear density in fibers. Silkworm silk therefor has a linear density of approximately 1 den, or 1.1 dtex.

Silk is made up of the amino acids Gly-Ser-Gly-Ala and forms Beta pleated sheets. H-bonds form between chains, and side chains form above and below the plane of the H-bond network.

The high proportion (50%) of glycine, which is a small amino acid, allows tight packing and the fibers are strong and resistant to stretching. The tensile strength is due to the many interseeded hydrogen bonds. Since the protein forms a Beta sheet, when stretched the force is applied to these strong bonds and they do not break.

Silk is resistant to most mineral acids, except for sulfuric acid, which dissolves it. It is yellowed by perspiration.

Silk's absorbency makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather and while active. Its low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather. It is often used for clothing such as shirts, ties, blouses, formal dresses, high fashion clothes, lingerie, pyjamas, robes, dress suits, sun dresses and kimonos.

Silk's attractive luster and drape makes it suitable for many furnishing applications. It is used for upholstery, wall coverings, window treatments (if blended with another fiber), rugs, bedding and wall hangings.

While on the decline now, due to artificial fibers, silk has had many industrial and commercial uses; parachutes, bicycle tires, comforter filling and artillery gunpowder bags.

From the blackpowder era, until roughly World War I, early bulletproof vests were made from silk.

A special manufacturing process removes the outer irritant sericin coating of the silk, which makes it suitable as non-absorbable surgical sutures. This process has also recently led to the introduction of specialist silk underclothing for children and adults with eczema where it can significantly reduce itch.

Silk cloth is also used as a material on which to write and paint.

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