saomao uses Cambodian golden silk, which is produced by the domesticated silkworm that lives exclusively on mulberry leaves. The silkworms are very delicate and live in a silkworm house in a carefully controlled environment. Each silkworm produces a cocoon, which makes a yarn of approximately 800 to 1,000 meters in length, this is then be cleaned, softened dyed.
Saomao pure Silk is created by individual, independent, women weavers using traditional methods on simple hand looms, many women prefer to weave at home so that they can care for their families although the younger unmarried women prefer to work in small workshops.
Every piece of silk cloth is a hand woven, timeless, unique work of textile art. Since it is artwork produced by a human, it forever carries an imprint of the character, thoughts, and emotions of the weaver. Its slight imperfection is the heart of its beauty and the proof of its human creator unlike machine woven silk, which is a monotonously “perfect” industrial fabric.
How can you recognise 100% pure silk and imitation silk made from polyester?
The basic methods for determining true silk are
- Considering the price
- Looking carefully at the weave
- The Luster
- Burning a piece
- Real pure silk weave is completely hand made natural fiber with clearly visible small flaws and joins in the thread along the warp and the weft. Imitation silk made from polyester is a machine-made fabric and has a perfect surface with no flaws or bumps.
- Pure silk is made with one color for the warp and another color for the weft. This produces the sheen and luster and creates the unique two tones and blends, which change depending on the angle of light. Imitation polyester silk shines white regardless of the angle of the light.
- If you burn pure silk (a thread or two is enough) with a flame, it leaves fine ash and smells like burning hair. When you take the flame away it stops burning. If you burn imitation polyester silk with a flame, it drips, burns with a black smoke, and continues to burn after the flame is taken away.
Silk is produced year round in Cambodia with most production just after the rice harvest, women traditionally weave silk on hand looms, and pass the skill on to their daughters, although today Cambodian silk textiles often use complicated patterns in various colours and styles and different provinces have their own typical silks. A single thread is too thin to use on its own so women combine many threads to produce a thicker, usable fiber. They do this by hand-reeling the threads onto a wooden spindle to produce a uniform strand of raw silk. The process takes around 40 hours to produce a half kilogram of Khmer silk.
Cambodia silk threads are still hand-reeled, the difference is that hand-reeled threads produce three grades of silk: two fine grades that are ideal for lightweight fabrics, and a thick grade for heavier material.
The silk fabric is soaked in extremely cold water and bleached before dyeing to remove the natural yellow colouring of Cambodia silk yarn. To do this, skeins of silk thread are immersed in large tubs of hydrogen peroxide and once washed and dried, the silk is woven on a traditional hand operated looms.