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The History of Silk

We at Cravat Club are incredibly passionate about fabric, and silk in particular. All of our cravat, pocket square and ascot tie designs are made from 100% silk, with no synthetics used whatsoever. We simply love the fabric’s light weight, breathability and smooth finish. 

Silk’s history is long and storied, having been highly valued for thousands of years, and silk’s origins are fascinating - 

The Silk Road

While silk is a phenomenon, it is not a new one; the harvesting and weaving of silk goes back millennia, and the fabric’s reputation for luxury brought it across continents to rulers of antiquity.

The making of silk has been practiced for at least 5000 years in China, and almost as long in surrounding regions in India, Nepal, Japan and Korea. The reputation of the high quality of Chinese silk goes before the fabric itself, with demand stretching back through history. Western demand for silk in the middle ages even produced a trade route, The Silk Road, influencing all kinds of trade and even culture ever since. Marco Polo, one of the first Westerners to travel the route in its entirety, observed - 

“no day in the year passes that there do not enter the city 1,000 cartloads of silk alone, from which are made quantities of cloth…”

Silk Road History of Silk Cravat Club

The Silk Road was a network of contiguous trade routes, stretching all the way from East Asia to Western Europe. Camel trains travelled through the steppes of Central Asia, bringing fine silks West, and returned carrying Western goods in exchange. Pasta? A direct result of noodles being brought from Asia along the silk road. The same goes for breads present in Chinese cuisine. It’s no exaggeration to say that the silk trade changed the course of human history, and created a cultural exchange which has echoes to this day.

The making of silk is almost as incredible as the fabric itself, with a subtle and time-consuming process, based on one remarkable creature - 

The Silkworm

The Silk Moth, or bombyx mori is responsible for this miracle fibre. Apart from its use in Chinese traditional medicine for everything from pancreatitis to the male libido, it is the insect's larvae that produce the essential fibres for making silk. These moths have been domesticated from their wild cousins in China, where the bulk of high quality silks still come from.

Silk Moth Bombyx Mori Making of Silk History Of Cravat Club

Almost all commercial silk harvesting is done on White Mulberry bushes, the preferred food of bombyx mori larvae, or silk worms. The caterpillars gorge on these leaves and then spin a cocoon of raw silk, from which commercial silk is harvested. The silkworm’s cocoons are soaked in boiling water to separate the fibres, and then spun into a long, continuous thread. It is from this process that all commercial silk is made.

Ancient Luxury

The harvesting and weaving of silk is something special, requiring serious attention to detail and a lot of expertise. Silk’s luxurious sheen and incredible durability are down to the natural properties of this rare and beautiful fibre and how it is processed. At Cravat Club we are huge fans of its unique properties; so much so that we only use the finest silk to make our cravats, ties and pocket squares. No man made fibres,no synthetics - only 100% silk.

Delicate yet Strong

While not quite as powerful as spider silk’s “stronger than steel” claims, the tensile strength of silk is extremely high, especially when its exceptionally fine fibres are taken into account. Finer than a human hair, these beautiful threads are extremely durable and elastic, making them perfect for making fine cloth. 

Silk Weaving Loom Cravat Club

At Cravat Club, our designs are based on two fabrics - an ultra soft and lighter-weight printed silk, and a more luxurious and heavier-weight Grade A1 Mulberry woven silk. Depending on your chosen style, these fabrics will keep you comfortable and stylish, with your skin able to breathe and your personal style able to shine. Each one has their use, with each able to accommodate different patterns and designs, according to your taste.

Comfortable and Versatile

We want our silk cravats and pocket squares to be suitable for any occasion. While a cravat is of course perfect for dressing up for an occasion, it is also perfect for giving a touch of louche decadence to even an ordinary outfit. You can look the part in a traditional setting, or break the mould by wearing the accessory in new and exciting ways. Our latest SS21 Collection is a perfect place to start for ideas, or perhaps you’d look to see how some of our customers have styled them in the past? 

Versatile, breathable, and effortlessly stylish, our silk accessories will accentuate your personal style, and bring a beautiful finishing touch to every occasion.

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