fabrics icon

Organic silk

All you need to know

How does this guide work?
The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of low environmental impact materials among consumers and entrepreneurs

Do you want to buy the organic silk fabric?
Ecological textile fiber cover

Content index

Introduction to silk

La set it is a natural fiber that boasts a history of over 3000 years and certainly one of the most surprising and beautiful fibers with which to make luxurious and comfortable garments.

White cocoons of silkworms

Born from protein secretions of the silkworms, which solidify to create the fibers that make up the cocoon. From the cocoon it is possible to extract the silk thread with which the fabrics are made.

The main problem is that the intensive breeding of silkworms, in addition to being an environmental problem, they are also an ethical problem.

In fact, the extraction of silk from the cocoon involves the death of the worm. Which is why, although this fabric is exceptional, we do not recommend buying it.

Furthermore, traditional silk involves chemical treatments to create special “wash and wear” finishes, such as dyes, wrinkle reducers, antistatic properties, water repellents, etc.

But today we will talk about the organic silk, which has a different extraction process and which does not involve the death of the bug.

When is fashion sustainable?

How to recognize it?

Where to buy it?

Start your journey!


Logo Vesti la natura Verde

What is organic silk?

La organic silk it is more practice ecologica, non-violent and sustainable which concerns the production of silk. It is created without the use of chemicals or treatments with insecticides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Usually, this type of silk has the certification cotton.

Example of purple silk fabric

It is interesting to know that according to the type of silkworm and also according to the food they eat, the silk thread can take on different colors: yellow, pink, golden, flesh, green, etc.

Silk can also be dyed later.

Respect for the environment dictated by organic silk includes natural and sustainable production techniques, as well as the application of the standards dictated by organic farming and organic farms.

Of course, organic silk is also biodegradable.

The biological origin of silk has concrete effects on the environment, promoting sustainability with the planting of mulberry trees, the food source of silkworms. A mulberry tree will feed about 100 silkworms and an acre of trees means that 10/15 kg of raw organic silk can be produced.

Having to plant trees somehow compensates for the CO2 emissions of production. In addition, when the time comes to cut them, they will be a source of timber for local communities.

Characteristics of organic silk

La organic silk it has the versatility to be blended with any other fiber, but when blended the resulting fabric may lose some of its luster, depending on the% silk used.

Textile looms that work silk extracted from silkworms

However, blended yarns will have better drape and elasticity, sometimes, for example when mixed with cotton, even greater softness is obtained.

Fabric Quality: The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.
  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying
Ecological Characteristics: The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.
  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic   N
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class   C
Textile Certifications:: The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.
Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it

The main disadvantages of silk clothing:

  • High purchase cost
  • Low elasticity of the fabric
  • Wrinkles are formed easily
  • It stains easily
  • It has poor resistance to sunlight
  • It does not have great hygroscopic capabilities
  • Its maintenance requires commitment
Buy organic silk products

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

Illustration of a green dress

Is organic silk vegan?

Organic silk is not vegan as it is a material of natural origin, but silkworms from organic farms can live their life and die of natural causes.

However, they remain confined to a farm, which however follows the standards of organic farms and consequently offers better (and as far as possible "natural") conditions for these small creatures.

Worms about to turn into silkworms

The difference with respect to non-organic silk is in the extraction of silk: the traditional method is the live boiling of the worms with a slow and painful death.

This drying practice is necessary since the adult insect comes out of the cocoon by making a hole and releasing a substance that ruins the thread.

Organic silk, on the other hand, is a more ethical crop: the worms turn into cocoons after a few days from birth, then continue their natural cycle transforming first into chrysalises and then moths, laying eggs and dying naturally a few days later.

Since the fibers of the cocoon have been broken, the fibers are spun rather than rolled up. The result is a softer fabric, but with a slightly different look than silk produced by boiling worms.

There is also another version of organic silk, commonly called wild silk: in this case the breeding of silkworms is not foreseen, but the removal of the silkworms that thrive in their natural habitat.

They still complete their entire life cycle and emerge as moths before mating and dying as nature intended.

Wild silk requires a lot of manual work and it is mainly the natives who collect the cocoons and hand spin the fibers into fabric and then sell them.

Washing of fabrics

How is organic silk washed?

Pure silk garments are extremely delicate, so the first tip is to always follow the garment's label.

Some silk fabrics can be machine washed, but others cannot, depending on the dye and finish used in the garment.

  • To avoid damaging the garments we recommend washing a small test area;
  • Use natural and mild neutral cleansers;
  • Wash the garments by hand, separately from others in cold water;
  • Do not use bleach;
  • Do not use fabric softeners;
  • Do not use the dryer, spread the clothes on a towel to remove moisture;
  • Do not expose to sunlight, let them dry hanging and in the shade;
  • Do not use the iron;
  • Do not wring or twist;
  • Protect them from make-up, perfumes and hair sprays that could stain the fabric.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Are you looking for more information on organic silk? Ask your questions using the form below.
Ask Your Question!
Our answers:

Where can I buy organic silk fabric?

Vesti la natura has created a table with more than 40 sustainable materials, their respective applications in the textile sector, and their suppliers (even for small quantities). To access the table we ask you to donate a small financial contribution to our association. Click here for more information.

Did you like the content? Share!

sustainable fashion icon

Read our free guides

Specially created to make consumers and entrepreneurs more aware

Ecological fabrics and materials
fabrics icon
Ecological fibers

If you use low environmental impact fibers and fabrics it is much easier to talk about sustainable fashion

Alternative materials to leather of animal origin
cruelty free icon
Alternatives to leather

We are talking about cruelty free materials proposed as ecological alternatives to leather of animal origin

Laboratory analysis for textile certification
certifications icon
Textile certifications

The most popular labels in fashion: organic, cruelty free, ethical, resource recycling and much more

Download the Guide to Sustainable, Ethical and Cruelty Free Fashion

Join over 15 users who have already read it from 2016 to today!

  • is in digital format
  • there is a video to see
  • and many comparison infographics
Secured by miniOrange