Silk’s roots result in an enchanting background. As the story goes, a Chinese empress was sipping tea under a mulberry tree when a silkworm’s cocoon fell into her cup and started to unravel to a gorgeous shimmering thread. Since then the Chinese have used silk cloth for clothes, arts and decor.
The cloth has become a staple in the house for lampshades, rugs, draperies, upholstery, wallpaper, art, pillows and much more. The intensive production process makes this a treasured and expensive textile, though it has come down in price over the years. Nowadays most silk averages $25 to $45 per yard.
See if any of those terrific examples of silk in today’s houses would get the job done for you.
Wall coverings. Silk wall coverings add elegance to any room — and often fall to the eco friendly category too. Wolf Gordon’s silk is antimicrobial, antibacterial and rapidly renewable, also it’s a low carbon footprint and contains recycled content.
Terri Symington, ASID
Window remedies. The appearance of silk window treatments can’t be replicated by imitation silks. To attain the luxurious effect exhibited here, the draperies will need to be lined with flannel. There are several reasons for lining: The draperies look better and hang fuller, with a magnificent, rich and abundant appearance; the lining protects the silk from sunlight, which makes it last longer; and lining also provides a fantastic insulating material layer.
Watch more about drapery linings
LDa Architecture & Interiors
Lighting. A silk color gives this ceiling lighting a beautiful glow. Pure silk sunglasses are obviously much more expensive than synthetic ones, but they add a layer of richness.
Terri Symington, ASID
Rugs. When silk is woven to a wool carpet, its unique sheen contrasts beautifully with the wool and gives the carpet a gentle hands. Silk’s prism-like fibers represent light in several different angles.
ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints
Upholstery. Historically, French bergére chairs were upholstered in silk. Silk may be delicate, so you may want a backing applied when using it for your upholstery. Silk also stains easily, so don’t use it in eating spaces or heavily used areas.
Tara Seawright Interior Design
Silk velvet. Silk thread woven into darkness was so expensive, only royalty could afford it. It’s still expensive now, averaging $200 per yard. Silk velvet has a beautiful soft drape and a polished coating. The fabric is so soft the rest dries readily, leaving a mark or impression — a feature that defines the velvet as being made of silk. Because of this, not iron velvet, since it will crush the fibers and leave an imprint which often can’t be removed.
Blue Sari Tapestry – $860
Art. Silk’s jewel-like appearance works well for art and tapestries. Avoid hanging silk art where sunlight will strike it, since it is going to fade. For framing silk, then use museum glass to conserve the silk best.
Timothy De Clue Collection & Design
Pillows. Cotton includes a lavish, sensual sense that makes it a fantastic fabric for cushions in the living area or bedroom. It may be washed in cold water and air dried, but it is going to fade, so dry cleaning is suggested. Some fabric protectant sprays can prevent soil and stain penetration, but be sure to test the spray on an inconspicuous area first.
Tell us: how can you use silk in your home decoration?