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Silk - Fashion History Through Textiles Unit Study 2

Updated on September 14, 2014

Module 2 - Silk

In Module 2 of the Fashion History Through Textiles unit study students can find out about silk. Learn about Ancient China, silk worms and what clothing is made from silk! A combination of information and activities adds fun and interest to this topic which is a brief summary of Silk. The unit study combines the basics of english, math, geography, history, art and more for a great all-round lesson!

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Introduction to silk

Silk is a natural material made from long, silky fibers produced by the silk worm. Silk production is a time-consuming and expensive effort and therefore is usually only used to make fine things.

Did You Know?

Silk fibers are shaped like triangles and act like prisms by refracting the light.

History of silk

It is believed that silk was first discovered in 6000 BCE when the wife of a Chinese emperor went for a walk among damaged mulberry trees. She noticed glistening threads attached to worms eating the plant leaves. Today, China is the largest producer of silk with India coming in second.

Download the entire unit study to discover what other secrets the Chinese kept about silk!

Did You Know?

Ghengis Khan’s army designed thick woven silk undershirts that could protect them from arrows.

Processing Silk

Silk thread is made from the long, sticky fibers that the Bombyx Moth silkworm uses to build their cocoons. It is the unravelled cocoons that produce the silk thread. Raw silk is what the fibers are called once they have been unravelled from the cocoon and onto a reel. The processing of the silk continues with throwing, dyeing and weaving into cloth. The dyeing and weaving is done in silk mills.

Download the entire unit study to see the details of each process.

Did You Know?

It takes 3000 cocoons to create enough silk to make one kimono.

Properties of silk

Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers, but it loses up to 20% of its strength when it is wet and can be weakened when exposed to too much sunlight. It is soft, light and comfortable and has the ability to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Download the entire unit study to discover Chiffon, satin, chameuse, shot silk, twill, brocade, organza and doupioni.

Did You Know?

Artificial silk is made from the chemical in oil. Nylon Rayon and Polyester are examples of artificial silk.

Uses of silk

Many types of clothing are made from silk fabric including shirts, dresses, pants, socks, scarves, ties and undergarments. The silk necktie has been worn since the 19th century although at first it resembled a scarf hanging down from the neck.

Download the entire unit study to discover what beaver felt item silk replaced!

Did You Know?

During the early Victorian time (approximately 1830) top hats were extremely tall, some even reaching 20 cm (7.9 in.)

Try it yourself!

Download the full unit study to supplement your lessons or as a lesson itself.

For the complete unit study message us through hedremp at yahoo dot ca

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