What Is The Difference Between Cheap Silk and Expensive Silk?
Why is there such a big difference in silk prices store to store?
Silk is an expensive fabric. With multiple factors affecting its price such as manufacturing difficulty, handling issues, and controls on output from suppliers.
You can find a $49 100% silk shirt at Uniqlo and head to Equipment to see that their 100% silk shirt is priced at $200!
To see why there is such a huge price difference we looked at the differences between cheap silk and expensive silk. Read here about the silk we use for our pieces.
Here are the factors that affect the quality of silk.
1. Raw material
Just like cashmere, there are many different types of silk, the price can vary from $8 to $80 /yard. The price differences depend on silk farms and how they manage their silk supplies. Organic silk tends to be more expensive as the price to manage sustainably may be higher.
The lustre of the expensive silk is the result from combining threads of different single colors in each of the weft and wrap. These make the surface shine and appear to change color as the angle of light on it changes. Put your silk shirt up to the light and see how it reflects differently to other silk products.
A more expensive silk goes through a special treatment before it is ready to be used. Sand-washing is one of the natural garment washing processes – it makes the fabric more wrinkle-resistant and provides a better hand feel. You can immediately tell the difference once silk has gone through sand washing by the increase in shine and color!
4. Dyeing process
More expensive dyes fade less and last longer, this tacks on to the price of the silk. You want a silk shirt that uses organic dyes that won’t wash out after each cycle.
5. The Weight
The silk momme (a unit of measurement for silk fabrics weight) reflects the price and quality. Higher momme weights equal higher quality silk.
This website helps you determine your silks momme weight: Fabrics Net
Sometimes, brands will use fabrics that are blended with polyester. By doing so, they can lower the prices as they use less silk. However, polyester is a harsh fabric and reduces the soft natural feel of silk, not to mention it’s a material that’s harmful to the environment! Make sure you’re shopping for 100% silk to get the true quality and feel you deserve.
At SiiZU, we sourced our silk from premium suppliers who work with top global labels, such as D&G, Max Mara, Alexander Wang, and MARINA RINALDI.
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