A Thread on Silk - How to tell if it's Filament or Spun Silk?

Friday 15 February 2013, 4:46PM
By New Zealand Nature Company

If silk were a person, it would be an all-round achiever. It has qualities that are admirable to anyone seeking perfection, whether in sewing projects or sleek fashion. Silk is strong and fine, flexible and durable, long lasting and lint-free. At first glance, there appears to be no difference in quality between the two types of silk thread, spun and filament. Below I have compared the two so that you can discover the difference for yourself and then know exactly what it is that you are buying.

Filament silk, also known as ‘reeled’, is the highest quality silk thread and is extremely white and shiny. You will find it comes from only perfectly shaped cocoons that are then used in a reeling process. If you are using silk thread, you can tell if it is filament by pulling a small strand. If the rest of thread pulls back, it is filament. Silk filament thread is made from long connected silk fibers, which are reeled from cocoons to produce a beautiful, flawless thread. Pure silk fabrics are made from either silk filament or spun silk – or a mixture of both. When it comes to a single thread, it will be either silk filament or spun silk.

Not all silk filament can be used for reeled silk. The weak filament that remains after the reeling process (as well as any damaged, discoloured, or imperfectly shaped cocoons) then becomes raw material for ivory coloured spun silk. The shorter strands of silk are often used for spinning silk. These are combined with other fabrics such as cotton and linen. Spun silk is a bunch of small filaments put together to create one long strand. The shorter fibers as well as the spinning process give the thread a slightly twisted, rope-like look. Spun silk thread doesn’t have the same qualities as silk filament thread. Compared to filament or reeled, spun silk is a lot weaker and can tend to become fuzzy over time. However, it is noticeably less expensive.

Known for its luxurious softness and beauty, silk isn’t just a pretty face – or a dress that flatters the figure. Silk also provides countless benefits from performance in sports as well as supporting health and wellbeing. Benefits that other manufactured fabrics are often unable to grant. To name just a handful, silk is wrinkle and tear resistant, dries quickly, is hypoallergenic and is 100% natural. It is easy to see why silk is such a popular material when it comes to sporting and post-surgery clothing.

Discover 100% silk clothing for yourself and you’ll be able to enjoy a luxury that will last a lifetime. Make sure you shop around, silk thread and clothing can be found online for a fraction of in-store prices and won’t result in a maxed out credit card or an empty purse.

New Zealand Nature men's & women's silk clothing is made from ‘filament’ silk. Check out Used our range of silk tops, T Shirts, sleepwear and underwear, this versatile, stretchy knit fabric is soft, smooth and luxurious against your skin. Visit NZ Nature's website now to have a look at the latest collection of silk clothing.