Ahhh China Silk. How it all began. 5500 years ago, the secrets of silk were discovered in China and once the cocoon unraveled, China began weaving it. The result was the original, plain weave, one over one under, China Silk. Soft and lightweight, easy to work with, pleats like a dream, with a fine hand, this alluringly flowing fabric is usually found in 5mm to 10mm, but can be woven in any weight. The ever fabulous Fairchild (p. 119) provides the following definitions for China Silk: 1. A plain weave, lustrous, lightweight, very soft silk fabric produced in China and Japan
Going alphabetically, batiste de soie is the way to start with silk weaves. The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles lists Batiste de Soie as “a sheer silk fabric, plain or figured, resembling silk mull (p. 48).” Batiste is itself a weaving technique, named after the 13th century linen weaver Jean Baptiste. Batiste pulls directly from his name, with this particular fabric translating as “batiste of silk.” Batiste was originally a very fine, diaphanous fabric, most commonly these days woven in cotton or poly/cotton blends. But it can be found in silk! In All About Silk, author Julie Parker says “it
MM What? Seriously, what is MM? Watch my brief ramblings to get a basic understanding of MM in silk and how it relates to sewing and costuming.