Starting with the sudarium (a line1n kerchief used
by the Romans to wipe their necks and faces) the scarves is an ancient
item in the history of European dress. Older yet, representations of fringed
rectangles can be seen gracing Chinese sculptures which date back to 1000
years before Christ. Under the ancient Romans, the scarves developed into
a variable and diverse men's fashion accessory, whether knotted to a belt
or worn around the neck. The style was quickly adopted by the ladies.
Over the centuries, these generous squares of silk have become the most
versatile and varied of women's accessories.
In recent months the scarves has experienced a revival,
once again the item most coveted by women around the world. As a head-covering,
the scarves's appeal is characterized by an aura of elegance (scarves
have ever been fundamental to film-divas' allure) and by its variability
(tied under the chin, behind the neck or worn as a turban). Scarves have
been worn tied at the wrist, and glamorize even something as functional
as a handbag when tied around the strap).
Silk scarves and thread are made from the
cocoon of the silk worm. The average cocoon contains 300-400 meters of
silk. For 2.2 lbs of raw silk to be produced it takes 5500 worms. One
group of eggs produces about 20,000 worms, which will consume about two
thousand pounds of Mulberry leaves during their lifetime. Silk has been
unearthed in the Quianshanyang village of Huzhou in Zhejiang, China and
has been estimated to have been produced and used over 4,500 years ago.
Legend has it that it was around 2,600BC when Yuen Fei, a concubine to
the then ruling Emperor discovered this unique thread. It was said she
dropped a worm cocoon into her tea and it came unraveled. Because of this
discovery she has been worshipped as the goddess of Silk.
The Different Types of
There are several kinds of thread and
fabric and each has its own unique characteristics. The difference being...the
types of leaves the worm consumes.
The Bombyx mori moth
which feeds on Mulberry leaves produces the best cocoons from which
the finest quality is made.
Worms that feed on
Oak tree leaves produced cocoons from which the result is called Tusan.
When two silk worms
spin a cocoon together they make a strong double thread silk. From this
thread of the cocoon... called Dupioni is produced.
Shantung silk is
a hearty wild silk fabric with a rough surface. This comes from the
region of Shanting in China.
Another type of crisp
fabric is called Organdy and it comes from the town named Urgerch which
located in present day Uzbekistan in Central Asia. From this town came
the earliest purchase of this miraculous material as it was located
on the old silk trading route to China.