Silk is an all-natural protein-fibre cultivated from the cocoons of silkworms. Highly valued and synonymous with luxury, the precious material is an evocation of beauty and wealth. Silk’s remarkable properties make it irresistibly soft, breathable, lightweight in the summer but insulating in the cold, and exceptionally strong; one filament of silk is stronger than a comparable filament of steel. For Shaku, there is no fabric more luxurious or more admired by people across the world.
When it came time for selecting our manufacturers, it was beyond question that Shakera’s cherished designs would be realised at the hands of the exceptional artisans of Como, Italy. Despite the fibres origins in Ancient China, Italy's Como region has been lionized by luxury fashion houses around the world for its quality silk production for decades, so much so that it has been entitled ‘the silk city’. So why exactly is Italian silk so sought after?
Featuring our Dainty Delight 100% Woven Silk Scarf in Black / White
One of the oldest fibres in history
According to legend, 5,000 years ago an empress was sipping tea under the shade of a mulberry tree when a silkworm's cocoon landed into her steaming cup, causing the cocoon to loosen into a long strand of silk. The empress was astounded by the fibres properties and designed a custom tool to create fabric from the silk strands. Before long, silk became focal to the Chinese economy and trading, its production a highly protected secret with the death penalty for anyone who divulged it. Eventually, the secret was smuggled into neighbouring regions of Japan and India and brought to Spain in the eighth century.
It wasn’t until the fifteenth century that the development of silk artistry began in the Como region. Silk production was accelerated at the hands of the Duke of Milan who ordered local peasants to plant mulberry trees throughout the region. This era became the golden age for Italian manufacturing as it became oriented towards the production of exclusive and luxury products, building a reputation for high-end creations and excellent production recognised across the world.
Silk does for the body what diamonds do for the hand.Oscar de la Renta
In Italian culture, elegance and style is part of existence. A heritage so closely linked with silk production means Como manufacturers have perfected their workmanship with silk fibres, handling the stages of production exclusively from raw material to finished product, including weaving, dying, printing, finishing and hemming. Compared to other silk manufacturers, Italian silk weave creates a beautiful sheen, capturing the light and adding an elegant element to their silk fabrics. Each step is taken with tremendous care with rigorous quality control checks are undertaken by an expert eye to ensure a lasting piece of wearable art that is no less than perfect.
Another reason that the Como region has been so successful in silk production is due to the abundance of water from the surrounding Lake Como, vital for many phases of the process and creating an ideal sericulture for silk manufacturing. The regions strict laws govern the textile industry to ensure environmental quality including filtering and re-using water, use of non-toxic dyes, renewable energy, waste reduction and management. These steps ensure that the paradisal district remains immaculate
Expertise and beauty are ingrained in Italian people and their talents. It is for these reasons that Shaku selects its manufacturers, allowing Shakera’s silk scarf designs to be brought to life in a manner that meets and goes beyond her expectations and hopes.