Fabulous Fabrics: Denise Bird, Silk (U.K.)

silk fabric While this years wedding season is just winding down, it’s not too early to be thinking of next year’s, especially if you are going to make your own dress or one for a friend. Many wedding dresses are made from luxury materials such as silk.

Denise Bird Woven Textiles
offers hand loom woven wild and peace silk fabrics. If you recall, peace silk is a silk sourced from the cocoon of silk worms that emerge from their cocoons naturally. It is animal friendly and cruelty free silk.

Denise Bird uses a specific breed of silk worm only found in the state of Assam in India. The cocoons are collected from the forest floor by local communities who wind the fiber by hand and then weave it into cloth.

While Denise Bird silk isn’t pure white or even a clean ivory, it is a color that is highly regarded and called the “golden silk.” In fact the more that it is washed the more golden in color it becomes. Other silks made by these communities are made with a combination of collected cocoons, spun and woven to create a mixed silk that create several neutral shades, often on one bolt of fabric.

These are not your traditional wedding silks, but if you’re making your dress, you’re not a traditional bride. But you can feel good about using an ecological and socially responsible fabric. The weavers and spinners of this fabric are supported by their craft and help to save their indigenous knowledge of the fiber making process.

For a list of stockists and outlets that carry these silks, you can find them through Denise Bird’s list and at Fine Fayre.

[Image from Denise Bird website]

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

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