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Topic: How many types of silks ...
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jun 3, 2007 01:23PM)
How many types of silks are there currently in the magic market today? We have Japanese silks, Chinese silk, and many others. What are the many others? Your input is appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 11, 2007 08:51AM)
Most of the good silk used in magic today comes from China. That is relatively new in magic history in the USA because for many years it was against the law in the USA to import from China. Therefore, until about 25 years ago the good silk in the USA came from Japan. (Now China exports silk to Japan.)

Silk from India is the bargain basement product of silk used in magic. The quality is not competitive but the price is very cheap compared to better silk products. According to a recent Reuters article by Jonathan Allen (7/4/2007) silk production in India is facing a "bleak" future. Handlooms are being used for firewood in the mud huts where they were once used in making silk products. India failed to mechanize as progress was made in the silk industry. Now it is hardly in the same league with China and Japan. Other countries sew silk but are not real factors in the silk for magic industry. Garment silk is not magic silk.

Technology has also resulted in the capacity to produce very good flat, strong and straight 2mm hems. As a silk importer, I live with the fact that good hems frequently cost more than the fabric. They are well worth it.

True diamond cuts are probably the newest magicians' silk on the market. They are a gimmick to visually substitute for a square silk. Unfortunately, the good hems can't be used on the good ones. So the inferior serger hems (like around a wash cloth) are used because the fabric is cut diagonally to the weave.

Good diamond cut silks have matching points on the short sides as well as the long ends. Cheaper attempts at the gimmick resulted in triangular silks or trapezoids with center points too high and too low to look like a square silk.

In other posts the concept of momme is treated. Since it is not the same as "tread count" it is not a very meaningful unit of measure for magicians' silk. It only measures scale weight. Weight tells you nothing about the quality of the weave or opaqueness of the fabric. Eyes still work best for that. See what you are buying and know who you are bying it from. All silk not equal.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander