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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Saturday, 30 July 2011
While I think silk is a wonderfully potent fiber, wont to entice even the most unlikely of children into creative, active play... it is also very strong.

Pound for pound, silk is tougher than steel.
I read, once, that a pencil thick bundle of spider's silk could stop a jumbo jet in flight.
While silkworm silk is not as strong as spider silk, it is still considerably stronger than any other natural fiber, and some studies suggest that the difference in spider's silk and silkworm silk strength has to do with how it is spun, and not the base material~ both being as strong as they are due to cross-linking of fibers.

With its amazing strength, silk is not only used in luxury fabrics, but in parachutes, surgical sutures and so much more because, unlike many other options, silk can bend and fold without breaking.

Pretty awesome, huh?

And this is the stuff that makes such wonderful, natural, open ended toys, too!
Not only is it beautiful in its dyed form (and, oh! the possibilities!) inviting touch and motion, it is so very durable.  Playsilks are an investment in a child's development, and because of their innate strength they will last throughout childhood and beyond...

For processed and dyed silk the greatest natural enemy is probably the sun~ like other natural fibers, prolonged sun exposure will break down the fibers (ie. if hung as curtains for a long period). And then there is bleach. Eek! Never apply bleach, which simply devours silk. 

Even so... silk can really take a licking... these are pictures of a Fairy Garland that was lost some time last summer.  It spent a whole year in our Ontario weather (from high heat to deep freeze) and a toss or two from the lawn mower and it has maintained its integrity and nearly all of its colour (it was a pale green, pink and ivory ~ Heart of the Rose). {{I don't suggest this as a way to treat your silk, however!}}

When it is wet, silk is most vulnerable and lacks tensile strength.
For this reason wet silk should be handled gently and never wrung or twisted and stretched.
It is for this reason as well that I do not recommend the washing machine (all that wet agitation!).
A drop of dish soap and a gentle hand washing in warm water, a soft squeeze and hang to dry are all that is needed to keep your silk looking lovely and lasting long.
Have you hugged your silk today?! ♥♥


Lindsay Artsy-Fartsy Mama said...

Wow, that's so cool! Thanks for sharing all that info. :)
FYI, I passed along an award to you on my blog:

Unknown said...

Sweet! Thanks! I will try and carry it on (company this weekend) :) Have a great one!

Wedding Theme said...

It;s Awesome natural gift!!!

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