The Beddha Silk Road

Resurrected in the last few years, the Silk Road was the ancient network of trade routes that once ran between China and the West during the days of the Roman Empire. For centuries a central cultural interaction, through this network silk first made it to Europe, becoming the first item exported from China.

A lucrative trade developed thanks to the desirable fibre that its price has, at times, exceeded that of gold. A fibre that maintains all its sumptuous and sensuous personality to these days.

Silk is categorized as a natural protein fibre, and is naturally produced in an exceptionally fine continuous filament by the Bombyx mori moth larva (the larva or caterpillar whose name comes from the Latin and means silkworm of the mulberry tree), which has been achieved as a result of centuries of selective breeding.

The sericulture practice of breeding silkworms for the production of raw silk, consists of a long process. From moths laying eggs to mulberry leaves feeding, to silk worms spinning protective cocoons by secreting silk filament and sericin which hardens upon air contact, to cocoons completion within a few days to sorting, maceration, reeling, thrown threads, de-gumming and finally spinning (to be ready for weaving or knitting).

Because of the way it is produced in China, Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk available for purchase in the world. More refined than other types, mulberry silk has a pure white color, and is made up of individual long fibres. Products made from 100% mulberry silk are among the most durable, odorless and hypoallergenic (thanks to the fibre natural protein sericin), and produce the most luxurious silk goods. A beautiful and healthy choice for bedding and personal care. Therefore The Beddha choice to select this superior type of silk for the brand fashion collection.

As part of ’how to read our labels’ series, and in addition to what we have already talked about in previous articles, kimonos and pillowcases, we want to focus our attention on the Oeko-Tex certification and what it means for us as producers and for you as consumers.

Oeko-Tex in short stands for International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology and issues the product-related labels Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex (formerly Oeko-Tex Standard 100).

These labels and certificates confirm the human-ecological safety of textile products from all stages of production (raw materials and fibres, yarns, fabrics, ready-to-use end products) along the textile value chain. Therefore a way to protect consumers from potentially harmful chemicals.

The Beddha fashion line from our catalogue, are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified non-toxic dyes to make it obvious to you as our consumer, that the labeled products have undergone laboratory testing for a wide range of harmful substances, and that the content of those substances remains below the limit values established by the Oeko-Tex Association (where standard stays for a globally standardized quality assurance system to compensate regionally different evaluations in order to make things easier to be implemented). Test criteria and limit values are globally binding and are updated and expanded each year. The Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex is the product label for textiles tested for harmful substances with the largest prevalence worldwide.

To be certified, a brand has to conform and meet all components required criteria. To have a textile product certified by Oeko-Tex, manufacturers must supply samples of all components (including accessories like zips, sewing threads, labels or prints), for analysis to a laboratory at one of the Oeko-Tex member institutes. After successful testing of the materials for compliance with the Association standards, a Oeko-Tex certificate is issued as a declaration of conformity. Prior or after the issuing of the certificate, a company audit is conducted at the certified item’s production facility. After that, audits take place around every three years. But to verify continued compliance, unannounced annual checks can be carried out by the Association for at least 25% of all issued Standard 100.

photo: The Beddha Kimonos on Glamour.it

Both Silk and Bamboo Kimonos are subject to this process and quality check control to be certified. And being bamboo an alternative plant fibre, human ecological requirements to be complied with, are even stricter. It means the fabrics have been tested to be safe for human safe. Oeko-Tex 100 does not mean that no chemicals were used in the processing of the material, but that no chemicals were detected in the final product.

This long presentation is a way to illustrate what it means using the highest quality of fibres and get them certified. It’s a sign of quality assurance for the consumer and of prestige for the brand. It’s a conscious effort made by brands who want to reduce harmful substances within the fashion industry. Therefore the natural choice for The Beddha.

Love to all the women who make efforts to produce goods in a better way

✒ BY MARGHERITA ANTINORI

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