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 from irregular yarn
2. A raw, white silk yarn of superior quality from northern China.
The Original Weave is graceful and elegant, used commonly for slips, lining, lingerie, and blouses. Because of how very lightweight it is, China Silk is frequently semi-sheer; however once you get in to 12mm or higher, the silk becomes more opaque and can be used for dresses.
Another frequent use for this fabulous fabric is veiling for Raqs Sharqui, with 8mm being the preferred weight. And because it is 100% silk, China Silk soaks up and holds a dye in any color or combination that one can dream of. Truly a versatile weave with wide applications, China Silk is reversible, and easy to work with.