Smooth, soft, luminous and light — when it comes to touch and feel, vegan silk (also known as ‘Peace’ 'Eri' or 'Ahimsa' silk) shares the same qualities as conventional silk. But it’s the method of fiber extraction that sets the two apart and what makes vegan silk the more ethical and environmentally-friendly choice. Ahead, we delve into why vegan silk makes the cut.Silk’s Troubling Past
According to famed philosopher Confucius, silk was first discovered in 2640 BC by a Chinese princess when a silkworm cocoon dropped into her teacup while she was relaxing under a mulberry tree. She noticed how the delicate fibres unraveled in the hot liquid. This production was then kept a secret for the next 3000 years - along with the painful extraction involved.
No longer a mystery, sericulture involves the unethical extraction of silk from mulberry silkworms that naturally produce the rich fibre only to wrap and weave themselves into a cocoon before they emerge as a winged moth. A single silkworm is known to produce about 915 metres of silk yarn in just 3 days. Since a metamorphosed moth would have to break out of the cocoon to emerge, the process would rupture the continuous filament (an undesirable outcome for silk producers), the worms are mercilessly killed while they are in the cocoon itself by means of boiling, steam or hot air. To put it into perspective, 6,600 silkworms are slaughtered for the production of 1 kilogram worth of silk.The Vegan-friendly Alternative
Peace or vegan silk is procured in a manner similar to that of its conventional predecessor, with the key exception of not killing the worms. Peaceful sericulture encourages the silkworm’s natural process of metamorphosis by obtaining the cracked cocoon after the moth has broken free and emerged. The silk producers make do and mend those broken filaments into short fibres that are softened and spun, creating a silk material that has slight slubs on their texture which is an unnoticeable compromise that saves a ton of insect lives. The result is a delightfully siky, ethical fabric that feels light, soft, and insulating enough to be worn in the summers or winters and looks extremely luxurious, minus the barbarity! It even possesses temperature regulating properties and is known to be hypoallergenic fabric. Need we say more?
Shop our vegan, peace silk garments below:
Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-08-26