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Silk Dupioni & Silk Shantung: What’s the difference?

Published: 06/19/14 11:23 PM

Silk Dupioni, also referred to as Silk Douppioni or Silk Dupion, along with its close relative Silk Shantung is the most heavily used silk fabric in the market today. Approximately 65% of all silks produced are Silk Dupioni or Shantung. These textiles are used both in apparel as well as interior applications, including but not limited to outerwear, undergarments, high fashion items and accessories, shoes, draperies, chairs and sofas, pillows and sheets.

Though very similar, there are some minor differences that exist between Silk Dupioni fabric and Silk Shantung fabric. Silk Dupioni fabric's distinctive feature is the excellent glimmering effect it produces when moved around in light due to the two colors. Its two vibrant colors are a result of its unique creation; harvested from double cocoons or from single cocoons that are interlocked together, it generally has two colors in the weave. This property is known as iridescence. Silk Dupioni fabris are completely hand-woven.

On the other hand, Silk Shantung fabric does not display an iridescent effect because it uses one color in the weave. Silk Shantung, which was first manufactured in the Shantung providence of China, is machine-woven unlike its counterpart Silk Dupioni.

Silk Dupioni fabric and Silk Shantung fabric are normally available in vivid dyed colors but are also available in natural pink, or white, and bleached white. When cleaning both fabrics, dry cleaning is preferred over handwashing or machine washing since the fabric might shrink and, particularly in the case of clothes, not fit anymore due to its low stretch ability.

Are there any other important differences we missed in this article? Have another interesting fact? Let us know in the comments below!



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