The beautiful colours of silk are due to the prism like structure of the silk fibers, which refracts light at different angles giving it an iridescent appearance.
This luxurious fabric dates back centuries, with the most well known silk made from the cocoon of the Mulberry silkworm.
Whilst the desire for this fine fabric has grown so has manufacturing, and with more demand for this beautiful product it has meant manufacturers have looked for ways to gain as much fiber to meet these demands as well as make the most profit. This unfortunately has had a detrimental effect on animal welfare and the environment.
So how is conventional silk made?
The entire silkworms cocoon is unraveled to produce a continuous silky tread. This might seem fairly straightforward. However, conventional silk production methods normally boil the cocoon whilst the silkworm is still alive inside or the silkworm can even be pierced with a needle to kill it and stop it from hatching and breaking the fibers! Grim right? This is done to stop the silkworm from hatching from the cocoon naturally and damaging it, so that the entire cocoon can then be unraveled and thus producing a continuous thread.
This is another way!
Peace silk or ‘Ahimsa Silk’ meaning ‘do no harm’, also known as non violent silk or cruelty free silk is a method of extracting the silk from the cocoon but only after the silkworm has emerged from the cocoon as a silk moth. This process means that whilst we benefit from gaining the silk, the silkworm is left unaffected and the silk moth is left to hatch from the cocoon as nature intended. It can take two to three weeks for the miracle of metamorphosis to occur and when the silk moth hatches from the cocoon it breaks the fibre, these are then knotted back together using special techniques. This process takes a lot longer than conventional methods making peace silk more expensive than conventional silk, but a worthwhile and beautiful process.
Conventional silk production is still the most widely used method, but as consumers start supporting those that use Peace Silk or ‘Ahimsa Silk’, the industry will have to change.
At Roseannah all our silk products are made using Peace Silk from World Fairtrade organisations, bringing ethical changes to workers through fair wages as well as supporting animal welfare. We work primarily with exploited farmers and widows in Vietnam, providing new employment opportunities, training and fair wages. Empowering workers to become independent and create a better life for both themselves and their families. All our scarves are lovingly created using traditional hand weaving techniques providing new skills for workers. Our scarves are made using AZO free dyes to protect the environment from harmful chemicals and demonstrating that something beautiful can be created without harming our precious planet, people or wildlife.
If you want to find out more about Peace Silk and the products we sell using it, then check out our collection of scarves at www.roseannah.com full of quality, but free of cruelty!
Fairtrade and Ethical Fashion
With over 15 successful years in retail and leisure management, and running businesses with an excess of £6m turnover and 70 staff, Rachel Salway founder of multi award winning Roseannah fairtrade fashion brand went on a series of trips to India and Africa that changed her life. After witnessing first-hand the extreme poverty in these countries and a passion to see it eradicated, Rachel knew that doing nothing was not an option. On returning to the UK, Rachel took the plunge and quit her career, to launch her very own fairtrade and ethical fashion and accessories brand. She started to work with different organisations providing life changing skills and training, with the ultimate aim of breaking cycles of poverty and bringing economic independence and hope to marginalised communities, vulnerable people groups and lives affected by tragedy around the world.
Tel: 0330 088 9534