17 Facts About Silk


Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles.

FactSnippet No. 526,247

Silk is produced by several insects; but, generally, only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing.

FactSnippet No. 526,248

Silk is mainly produced by the larvae of insects undergoing complete metamorphosis, but some insects, such as webspinners and raspy crickets, produce silk throughout their lives.

FactSnippet No. 526,249

Silk was in great demand, and became a staple of pre-industrial international trade.

FactSnippet No. 526,250

Silk was used as a surface for writing, especially during the Warring States period.

FactSnippet No. 526,251

Silk is described in a chapter of the Fan Shengzhi shu from the Western Han.

FactSnippet No. 526,252

Silk fabric is soaked in extremely cold water and bleached before dyeing to remove the natural yellow coloring of Thai silk yarn.

FactSnippet No. 526,253

Silk was produced in and exported from the province of Granada, Spain, especially the Alpujarras region, until the Moriscos, whose industry it was, were expelled from Granada in 1571.

FactSnippet No. 526,254

Silk has a smooth, soft texture that is not slippery, unlike many synthetic fibers.

FactSnippet No. 526,255

Silk is a poor conductor of electricity and thus susceptible to static cling.

FactSnippet No. 526,256

Silk has a high emissivity for infrared light, making it feel cool to the touch.

FactSnippet No. 526,257

Silk resists most mineral acids, except for sulfuric acid, which dissolves it.

FactSnippet No. 526,258

Silk's absorbency makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather and while active.

FactSnippet No. 526,259

Silk is excellent for insect-proof clothing, protecting the wearer from mosquitoes and horseflies.

FactSnippet No. 526,260

Silk had many industrial and commercial uses, such as in parachutes, bicycle tires, comforter filling, and artillery gunpowder bags.

FactSnippet No. 526,261

Silk began to serve as a biomedical material for sutures in surgeries as early as the second century CE.

FactSnippet No. 526,262

Silk fibroin contains hydrophobic beta sheet blocks, interrupted by small hydrophilic groups.

FactSnippet No. 526,263