Wednesday 13 November 2013

The House Of Wandering Silk

Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Like one of those gorgeous, colourful martial arts movies like The House Of Flying Daggers. Alas, there's no epic battle scenes or doomed romances to be had here.

That's not to say that The House Of Wandering Silk isn't of interest, though. Let's start off by talking about the material itself. Silk is a renewable material, made from the cocoons of insect larvae like the mulberry silkworm, which are boiled to extract and produce the fine thread we know of and treasure. The shimmering fabric has been used in Asia for thousands of years, and it's proven to last and last.

The House Of Wandering Silk is a social and ethical enterprise based in New Delhi. Founded as a way of bringing together artisans and producers to strike a fairer deal for silk workers in India, the House has also found that there are some methods, hitherto unknown to the west, of producing the fabric that produce astonishing results.

Waste silk is produced after the initial boil of the cocoon, when the desirable long thread has been extracted. The fibre that's left is shorter but thicker. The fabric that results from using waste silk is, bizarrely for something that's so clearly labelled as junk, extraordinarily luxurious. Hand spun and woven (unusual in silk production, as the thread is already there as part of the production process) the end is result is thick, highly textured and luscious.

Used to create traditional costumes cheaply, the House Of Wandering Silk are working with a husband-and-wife team who understand waste silk and know how to create stoles, wraps and scarves that are vibrantly coloured (the jewel-like shades they dye with works brilliantly with the natural warm beige of the silk) and utterly desirable. Not bad for a by-product that, until recently was thrown away as waste.

The House Of Wandering Silk is constantly innovating, and bringing products like bags and men's ties to market. Don't forget, Christmas will be with us soon. Why not keep an eye on the House Of Wandering Silk for a special gift for your loved one?

Find out more about the mysteries contained in The House Of Wandering Silk at their website.

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