Caring For Silk
Patra pure silk and silk blends are all natural fabrics with individual features and variations in the weave. This gives each garment its distinctive and unique character, (not to be mistaken for faults in the fabric).
To ensure your exclusive Patra silks retain their superb comfort and fine condition simply hand or machine wash on a delicate cycle at 30C. You'll find care instructions on each label. For example our pure silk duvet, should be dry cleaned, so please check each item individually before you wash.
Which washing powders work best?
At Patra, we recommend non-biological detergents in powder or liquid form that are suitable for silk. Please follow the directions on the pack and avoid detergents with optical whiteners, bleaching agents or enzymes as they cause colours to fade, become patchy and can damage the delicate fabric.
For hand washing, make sure soap powders are completely dissolved in the water and not sprinkled directly on to the garments which should never be left to soak. Do a small patch test on an area of the garment and wash gently at 30C.
Always wash coloured items separately. Gently squeeze out excess moisture (or delicate spin) rather than drip dry. Dry and store silk garments away from direct sunlight, as this can bleach colour.
Most Silks are such easy care that creases fall away. If ironing is required, gently press on the reverse at a low temperature.
Knitted Silk and Silk Mixes
As with all knitted garments, rough underwear should be avoided as it can cause snagging which may lead to holes as part of normal wear and tear.
Knitted Garments can be gently washed at 30c, Excess moisture squeezed out and then dried and stored flat away from direct sunlight.
Silk - Cashmere
Silk Cashmere blends may be dry cleaned or hand or machine washed on a delicate cycle at 30C. Then gently spin, shape and dry flat.
Types Of Silk
How well do you know your silk? At Patra, were often asked by many of you the qualities of the different silks we use and why some are more suitable for certain activites than others.
We've therefore provided a mini guide to help you with your shopping. We hope you find it useful - Please tell us if there is anything else you would like to know!
- The silk we have in mind when we think of "traditional" Silk.
- The front of the fabric is a shimmery satin weave.
- The back of the fabric is a flattened Crêpe.
- Charmeuse has more drape than Crêpe de chine and works well for scarves, blouses and lingerie.
- A light, matt fabric made from fine twisted yarns, spaced out to make the fabric transparent.
- Dimension is added to garments by the creation of billows of fabric.
- Unless it is used for scarves, garments with chiffon normally require lining or backing.
Crêpe de Chine
- A lightweight fabric made by fibres, where part of them are twisted clockwise and others in a counter-clockwise direction. These fibres are then woven in a plain-weave fabric.
- The twisted fibres give crêpe its distinctive "pebbly" look and feel.
- Comes in many different varieties - Crêpe de Chine, Moroccan crêpe and crêpe georgette...
- Produced from two silkworms that spin a cocoon together. This makes a strong double-thread silk, usually resulting in a rough yarn and irregularity in sheerness or weight
- Feels coarse
- Black specks which occasionally appear in the fabric are part of the origional cocoon of the silk worm. Removing them would both weaken the fabric and destroy part of its beauty and character. They are inherant to dupion silk fabric and should not be considered as defects in weaving
- Shot colours, the use of two different coloured threads in weaving, go well with Dupion silk. This gives a different shade to the fabric in light
- Medium weight fabric, woven from spun silk fibres
- Has a soft lustre and a lavish feel, reminiscent of the hight quality suede
- Has a fluid drape
- Known as "Raw Silk"
- Made from the short fibres left after combing and carding, so it does not shine like many other silk fabrics
- Very versatile fabric
- Has a matte surface and rough finish - has a "nubby" feel
- Doesnt show pin holes
- Off-white in colour. It is distinguished from other types of silk for the subtle flecks on it, which are natural particles of the cocoon.
- Looks similar to cotton, but still feels soft against the skin
- Drapes better than cotton and wrinkle resistant
- Easy to care for
- Great for travelling
- Should be handwashed. Will look better after every wash than with dry-cleaning
- Also known as China Silk, Haboutai, Pongee
- The "Classic" Silk Fabric
- Was first used in line kimonos
- Plain-weave fabric
- Its weight can range from 5mm to the more heavy 12mm. Most scarves are made of 8mm Habotai
- Soft and lightweight. Habotai silk is a sheer fabric and has a graceful drape and smooth surface
- Great for scarves
- Also Known as "Shantung"
- A type of wild silk, that is produced by silkworms and feed on oak and juniper leaves
- As the worm is not grown in a controlled environment, the moth hatches from the cocoon and interrupts the filament length, resulting in short and coarse fibres, instead of long and lustrous ones
- Usually comes from India or China. The India silk generally has more lustre to it
- Feels coarse and is delicate and stiff
- Difficult to dye and most often available in its natural colour, a creamy tan
- Both lightweight and airy, as well as dressy, giving cool comfort to the wearer
- Does not wrinkle easily
- Good for travelling
- A blend of the two luxury fabrics - pure silk and the fine wool that comes from the undercoat of the cashmere goat
- The natural crimp it contains aids the fibre to interlock during processing. This enables it to be spun into a very fine and lightweight fabric
- The number of crimp correlates with the fineness of the spun yarn and the softness of the finished product
- The fabric retains the small air spaces trapped between fibres which makes it warm without being heavy
- Luxuriously soft and lightweight with good insulation quality
- Extremely warm
- Does not scratch like other wool
- Difficult to weave together in order to keep the seperate fibres from unraveling
- As warm as silk, but of a heavier weight
- Thicker than silk on its own
- Has a Superior Substance and Body to Plain Cotton
- Less Slippery than silk due to its heavier weight
- Used to create finer fashions and premium apparel
- Much like our other Silk Mixes, the feel and drape of pure cotton linen is improved when blended with pure silk
- Pure wool on its own does not necessarily feel wonderful against your skin, byt blending it with silk will create such a fabric
- Patra uses Merino wool in its garments, the finest sheep wool fabric in the world, famed for its superior shine and softness
- Merino wool has natural elacticity
- The addition of Merino wool means that this mix has the maximum absorbant quality and has great breathability. It absorbs moisture and transfers it to the air, creating a dry layer next to the skin, as well as absorbing odours from the body.
- Resistant to dirt and wrinkling
- Has the ability to hold dye
- Provides warmth without adding weight
- Non-scratchy wool
- Has a higher level of UV light protection
1. Pure silk is so light that it keeps explorers dry and cool even in steamy Amazon jungles - yet it graces the most glittering fashion shows.
2. Pure silk has strength and beauty. It is so strong that it is used in bulletproof vests! Sixteen layers of pure silk can stop a bullet.
3. Silk's natural qualities make it ideal for those with sensitive skin. The Allergy Survival Guide recommends Patra silk.
4. Patra pure silk is so light and warm it is used on expeditions to the top of Alaska's tallest mountain where temperatures can plunge to a bone-chilling -40??C.
5. Pure silk can even help prevent the common cold. Our silk is naturally so absorbent that it 'wicks' moisture away from your body - keeping you warm and dry no matter how energetic you are. Luxury never felt so practical.
6. Silk is a good mixer. Silk blends well with other fine fibres such as Cashmere. For our exclusive, strong and beautiful silk and cotton blend, our weavers take each single strand of silk and blend with the finest cotton to give you the best of both worlds.
7. Silk stops you getting facial wrinkles! Silk pillowcases are renowned for their deep soothing effect. Not surprisingly, leading make-up manufacturers have for centuries added finely ground silk to their face powders.
8. Pure silk is versatile. Delicate Chiffon, rich crepe-de-Chine and glorious Satin are all woven from silk. Over 25 years ago, Patra added to the list and were one of the first to introduce luxurious Silk Jersey underwear in Britain.
9. 4,000 years of history are woven into every strand of silk. The empress Si of China first perfected the weaving techniques that make silk so desirable.
10. Pure silk is nature's finest insulator. It keeps you warm when it's cold - and cool when it's hot. So now you can move from a warm house out into the cold night air without needing an extra sweater.
11. Silk has always been so highly valued that it was forbidden to export Silk from Ancient China. The penalty for getting caught was beheading.
12. Pure silk is exceptionally durable. Recently, archaeologists discovered 1,000 year old silk virtually as fresh as the day it was woven.
13. Silk fibres are so supple they can stretch up to 20% of their length without breaking and still spring back to hold their shape. Now you know why our silk garments keep their shape even after years of active use.
14. 400 years ago King James advised early settlers in Virginia to dig up their crops of 'that abominable weed, tobacco' and plant the far more valuable crop of mulberry trees. If they had listened to the King, the USA would now be leaders in silk production.
15. Pure silk is exceptionally strong. What other luxury fabric is relied on for parachutes when lives really depend on it?