Luxurious Mud Silk
Since ancient times, silk has been deemed a rare material and a luxurious item. Mud Silk, also know as Gambiered Guangdong silk, can be dated back to the Ming Dynasty.
This traditional two-color silk is characterized by a shiny black face side, and a matte reddish-brown back. Simple yet undeniably appealing, mud silk clothes are timeless and elegant making them a popular fabric for all generations.
In 2011, the artistic craftsmanship of producing Mud Silk became part of China's Intangible Cultural Heritage. Due to its long heritage and exquisite appearance, mud silk is finally in the spotlight, and has been reinvented breathing a breath of fresh air into the fashion industry.
Our Looks with Mud Silk
Crafted from the art of bi-colored mud silk, RURI redefines this traditional fabric with a modern and delicate design. The silk fabric is entirely organic and completely chemical free, which is a true representation of what exists in nature.
Our mud silk collection is a perfect essential that fits for every occasion and also capable to pair with any outfit. See how we match the styles for an edgy and a stunning look.
About Mud Silk
When you wear mud silk, every movement of the body against the silk produces a rather bright and unique sound. Using the juice of dioscorea cirrhosa, mud silk is characterized by a glossy black coating on the front, and irregular brown stains on the back. The unique yet classic coloring of the fabric combined with the ultra-soft, elastic and lightweight qualities of the silk habotai make it a perfect fabric for summer fashion. To further enhance the appeal of mud silk, the fabric possesses the added qualities of being flame retardant, waterproof and antibacterial which are a byproduct of the natural coating.
The flame retardancy of mud silk is improved by the tannin coating.
Mud silk achieves its waterproof quality as a result of tannin-iron complexes and tannins blocking the space between the silk fibers. It has been proved by the FTIR that the mud-coated side of the silk is hydrophobic.
Antibacterial and Antioxidant
Apart from dyeing, the tannin content of the yam juice is also used in Chinese Medicine as it is both antibacterial and an antioxidant. With regards to mud silk, this feature means that the mud-coated fabric is free from bacteria and inhibits oxidation.
Mud silk is a traditional fabric with a completely organic and natural manufacturing process. It is only manufactured in the Shunde District (Shuntak), of the city of FoShan, in the Guangdong province located in the Pearl River Delta of China. The process of manufacturing mud silk is identified as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage.
How to make:
- Yam is pressed into juice and filtered. The juice should be as fresh as possible to avoid loss of tannins. Silk habotai is soaked in the juice to produce the brown coating. The concentration and volume of the yam juice used needs to be precise in order to achieve the correct color.
- The fabric is then hung until the silk has dried out.
- The silk is then spread on the ground under direct sunlight to ensure all the moisture has evaporated.
- More yam juice is then sprinkled onto the silk and again completely dried in the sun.
- The whole process (step 2 to 4) is repeated 5-6 times.
- The entire piece of silk is then completely soaked again in the yam juice and once more spread on the ground in the sunlight. This step (step 5-6) is then repeated 5-6 times.
- Finally, Iron-rich mud from the Pearl River Delta is then smeared onto the silk surface.
- The mud is then washed off and the fabric is once more dried out in the sun.
- This process is repeated around 10 times, which turns the silk black due to the chemical reaction between the iron in the mud and the tannins from the yam juice in the silk.
The process of producing this traditional two color silk fabric.
Photo: Soaking Silk Habotai in yam juice
Photo: Drying mud silk in the sun
Photo: Applying iron-rich mud on the silk fabric
Unfortunately the mud silk in today's market uses a plain weave instead of a leno and gauze jacquard pattern, which minimizes the true beauty of the traditional mud silk.
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