• light, soft, and breathable
• evens out warmth: warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather
• the smooth, flat fibre is suitable for even the most sensitive skin
• absorbs moisture without feeling wet
• neutralises smells
• consists of the same elements as human skin, and cares for sensitive and irritated skin
• provides good insulation, insulates five times more warmth than cotton
• suitable for people who suffer with allergies and arthritis
Like wool, silk is a protein fibre and it consists of the same elements as human hair and skin. That’s why silk and silk wool garments should be cared for as though they were your own hair. Silk should not be washed using detergents which contain enzymes, since the enzymes will corrode the silk and cause small holes to form. Silk loves to be aired, but avoid leaving silk garments unwashed for too long.
There are dozens of species of butterfly and moth whose larvae produce silk. By far the most important is the domestic silkmoth (Bombyx mori), whose larvae feed only on the leaves of the mulberry tree (Morus alba). Ruskovilla’s silk is produced by the domestic silkmoth. It is spun from the surface and inner part of the cocoon, and is known as schappe silk. The silk thread is spun by a Swiss family-owned company founded in 1892, which has been awarded an Öko-Tex Standard 100 certificate for textile safety. The silk is knitted in Finland and is not finished using any treatments.
How silk thread is made
Domestic silkmoth eggs hatch into small larvae which feed only on the leaves of the mulberry tree. The larvae are fully grown and ready to spin their cocoons about one month after hatching. To protect themselves, the larvae spin a cocoon by secreting a fine, double stranded thread secreted from their spinning glands. The larva’s head rotates a figure-of-eight pattern as it spins a single continuous filament until the larva is completely covered. The larva follows the direction of the sun throughout the entire spinning process. After the cocoon is spun, the larva takes around two weeks to develop into a moth. The completely developed moth then secrets enzymes which dissolve the cocoon’s walls, freeing the moth. The domestic silkmoth lives only to breed. It does not eat and it cannot fly. The male dies soon after mating and the female dies within 1-4 days after laying around 500 eggs.
Most cocoons are collected before the larvae have time to develop into moths. The cocoon will be ruined if the moth has time to dissolve it. The cocoons are treated with hot air or steam, which kills the larvae. The cocoons are then placed into hot water tanks, and the outermost layer of the cocoon is brushed away to find the end of the strong silk filament to begin winding. The innermost layer of the cocoon is collected in the same way as the outermost layer for silk waste spinning (schappe silk).
The birth, development and death of the domestic silkmoth is subject to continuous metamorphosis. In fact, the domestic silkmoth was a symbol of immortality in ancient China, and for that reason the larvae were conscientiously cared for in accordance with the cosmic rhythm of the night sky.