In recent times, demand for items made from natural fibres has persistently grown, and that includes items made of natural silk. Natural silk threads are very fine and very strong, they have great elasticity, they absorb colour well, they have an attractive gentle sheen, and they are hygienic and easy to wear. Furthermore, one of the unique qualities of natural silk is its ability to allow the sun’s ultraviolet rays to pass through it. This has a very beneficial effect on the human body.
Silk is one of the oldest, noblest and most expensive raw materials used to make textiles. It is highly prized for its sheen, strength, quality, beauty, hygienic qualities, and ease of use. In terms of its physical and mechanical performance, silk thread is superior to other natural fibres.
Silk thread is obtained by unravelling cocoons. Silk unravelled from a cocoon is both the finest and the longest basic thread that exists: it can be 1200-1500 m long with a diameter of 20-25 microns . In terms of resistance to tearing and elasticity, it is unrivalled among textile fibres.
Since ancient times, the production of silk cocoons and silk thread and the processing of both of these to make beautiful silk fabrics that shine in all the colours of the rainbow have been considered one of mankind’s great achievements and has been deservedly recognised throughout the world.
In the middle of first decade of the 21st century, Uzbek ikats began making their way into the world of international fashion. In 2005, one of the most famous US designers, Oscar de la Renta, was the first to present an Central Asia ikats in his collection. Fabrics for this collection were produced by a hereditary craftsman from Marghilan (Uzbekistan) named Rasul Mirzaakhmedov. Later, in 2007, a series of experiments with Uzbek ikats was successfully made by Nicolas Ghesquiere (House of Balenciaga). Frida Giannini, creative director of Gucci and Dries Van Noten, was inspired by the traditional textiles of Uzbek culture. Since that time, ikat has become one of the hits in international fashion.
We would like to present you a new book
"Textiles as national Heritage: Identities, Politics and Material Culture". Eds. Gabriele Mentges, Lola Shamukhitdinova. 2017. Münster: Waxmann.
The edited volume discusses the role of textile heritage in relation to the dynamics of national building, cultural identity, politics, economy and the globalisation of markets.
The new IKATdna Database is now online.