Raw Silk and Enzyme Washed/Brushed Cotton

I love raw, natural-fiber textiles. Who doesn't!? I fell in love with raw silk when a fabric jobber came to Portland about 3-4 years ago and brought with him samples of raw silk with a color palette that was kind of exciting. I held onto the sample swatches for the right project to come along. The drape of raw silk is lovely compared to how thick it is (not extremely thick!)- it's not very sheer but has a fluid drape and an interesting, nubby texture. Raw silk (aka silk noil) has lovely properties that make it a wonderful fiber to wear. It's soft, dry, not itchy, has antimicrobial properties, and has a cooling effect when it's hot, and a warming effect when it's cool. Along came my Yoked Onesie pattern for me to try out the raw silk. It was perfection. The cotton of silk, raw silk has a matte appearance, and with it's lovely draping quality, became what I wanted to make these Yoked Onesies out of. I source raw silk from a textile distribution place in San Jose, California. While it feels like cotton, it is silk which, as a protein makes it stronger and denser. The only thing to be careful of with raw silk is laundering. It does require sensitive washing precautions. I prefer to spot clean and dry clean when necessary. But washing delicately in cold water and hanging to dry works well. Steam ironing after laundering is also another way to restore it back to its original self.

Then along came brushed cotton from India. Again, dyes brilliantly and is super soft to wear. Originally we had sourced cotton swatches that seemed a bit stiff. The women's cooperative in India suggested an enzyme wash over the cotton texture that we liked. Brilliant! So soft and drapey! The women's cooperative offered to dye them to whatever color we wanted. We chose three colors to start- a blue, a brown, and a crimson red. The final product came out so beautifully! To boot, the cotton onesies launder super easily. Throw it in the wash on cold and into the dryer on medium heat. This particular fabric is pre-shrunk, so no worries on shrinkage issues.

I have love for both silk noil and brushed cotton; both yield stunning results in the Yoked Onesies design.