Organic, fairtrade, vegan and peace silk alternatives for your wedding
An increasing desire to be kinder to the environment and the animals with whom we share this planet has led to an increasing number of requests from brides, florists and wedding stationery designers for an alternative to the traditional silk ribbons (where the silk worms are killed during the process). So I thought I would put together a handy guide to the alternative options available to you, whether you’re looking for silk ribbons for your bridal bouquet, wedding stationery, or general decor, as well as for your tables in the form of table runners and napkins.
All of my dyed silk products are made using plants with minimal use of chemical mordants (I try to use other plants to fix colours wherever possible, and make most of my own metal mordants in small quantities which I dispose of appropriately after use). I forage and grow some of my own plants for dyeing, others I buy in from reputable companies or simply from the supermarket! I use them to dye bamboo silk, peace silk, and traditional silks (including bias cut habotai silk).
Bamboo silk is a great vegan alternative to traditional silks. Made from bamboo fibres the silk I source for this is Oeko-Tex certified to Standard 100. Oeko-Tex 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.
Bamboo silk is a wonderful soft fabric, with a slight sheen akin to silk. It is a heavier weight than most silks, and frays beautifully at the edges for a rustic luxe feel. It looks gorgeous on bouquets and buttonholes, and it’s beautiful drape means it is also perfect for table runners, cake tables and napkins (contact me for made to order options for your wedding or home).
Here you can see my table runner and napkins in a soft green shade (bespoke colours available), beautifully designed and photographed by The Brand Studio.
Here are some examples of my bamboo silk ribbon too! Photography by Bowtie & Belle Photography.
Organic Peace Silk
A lot of people haven’t heard of peace silk (also known as Ahimsa silk which in Sanskrit refers to the principle of non-violence). In traditional silks the silk is harvested from the silkworm whilst it is still alive, the process kills it. With peace silk the silkworm is allowed to become a moth and fly away. I use organic peace silk – the silkworm breeding takes place under natural conditions, no fungicides, insecticides or genetic sprays are used. Once the silkworms have spun their cocoons they are kept in a sheltered place until they hatch as moths (this takes 2-4 weeks). The cocoons left behind are processed without using harmful chemicals.
The silk fabrics produced using this method can be used in the same way as traditional silks (I use crinkle silks and habotai silks). You can order peace silks on a bespoke basis from me, just contact me for more information and pricing.
As a last little note I should also mention that I have virtually eliminated plastic from my business – I package your orders in compostable bags, organic fairtrade cotton bags and cardboard boxes. Any bubble wrap used is recycled from parcels I have received in the past and is not purchased new. My tissue paper is recycled and bleach-free.
I hope this has helped clarify the alternative choices available to you for your wedding – please do take a little look around my online shop or get in touch if you’d like to discuss bespoke options – whether your a bride, florist, wedding planner or stationer.
You can also sign up here for 10% off your first order!