Sericulture or silk production has a long and colourful history that predates even the cultivation of rice in China. Its origin is shrouded in legend and involves an empress drinking tea under a tree, a cocoon landing in her teacup, and the accidental unwinding of a shimmering thread of more than half a mile. Empress Leizu knew an exquisite thing when she saw it and the worms were put to work.
Silk is a natural fiber, both insulating and breathable, with a unique light-reflecting prism structure. It is this luminosity and ethereal translucency that elevated silk to a realm accessible only to aristocracy.
Here are a few more benefits of silk - and we love it so much:
- low density makes for light and comfortable clothing
- high resistance to deformation
- good insulation properties: warm in winter, cool in summer
- strongest natural fiber available
- shimmers and shines
- good affinity to dye
- one of the most comfortable fiber fabrics in the world
Mantua Silkwear is a South African clothing and luxury accessory range made exclusively from silk. Our unique scarves, distinct in-house prints and individually painted garments are second skins to slip on, breathe along and walk the way with.
Caring for silk
Mantua’s timeless pieces are created to be worn for years, ideally to be passed on to the next generation. Despite its delicacy, with proper care, silk is one of the most durable natural fabrics.
Cleaning & Drying
Professional Dry Cleaning is recommended for silk scarves and garments.
Alternatively: Delicate hand wash in cold water only, using a gentle detergent. Do not wring. Gently press to remove excess water and lay flat to dry or hang on a padded hanger to drip dry. Avoid laundry pegs as they damage delicate fabrics. Do not leave to dry in harsh, direct sunlight. Press on the wrong side with a warm (not hot) iron. Do not steam. Badly stained garments should be Dry Cleaned as rubbing with domestic stain removers will damage the fibers and cause water stains. Delicate designs and/or hand painted or dyed pieces should always be Dry Cleaned.
Ensure your Mantua Silkwear is stored on hangers that will not stretch, pinch or tear the fabric. Avoid drawers or cupboards with rough surfaces that could cause damage. Silk is sensitive to light and should be stored in a dry, dark cupboard. Ensure cupboard is free of clothes moths, as insects are drawn to natural fibers.
- spray silk with perfume or deodorant
- bleach silk
- expose silk to direct sunlight for longer periods of time
- spray silk with water while ironing
- treat individual stains with water
- iron the frontside
- wring dry
Live in silk and allow the fabric to become alive on you!