Lotus silk fiber scarf is one of the most expensive fashions in the industry. A 25-centimeter scarf can cost up to $200. Is this too much, or is the fiber overrated? Let us converge to see what it takes to make silk from harvesting to production.
Preparation process until the final product
Harvesting is the first process after the plant has attained its maturity stage. Then, the drying of the stems takes place immediately. Within the next 24 hours, they should be working on extracting the silk from the stems. Any delay will cause the silk inside to dry up. The silk dried in a simple machine. However, the dried silk is very delicate and should be handled with care.
After the silk has dried to a certain point, the real process of making scarfs, luxury garments, and other things take place. But in Vietnam, Thin Thuan only deals with scarves. In one month, she creates almost 20 scarves with her team. The last stage seems to be much easier than the extraction process.
Where is Lotus Silk found?
It is only produced in three main countries: Vietnam, Miami, and Cambodia on a small scale. Those countries have few individuals skilled in those fields. The whole process of extraction is done by hand, which discourages, but the pay is worth it. The silk is 10 times more expensive than normal fabric products, a report by Business Insider.
Extracting enough Lotus silk for a single scarf takes almost two months per person. The silk comes from silkworms which are found in the stems of those Lotus plants. They are grown in a watery environment, where the worms can survive best. The caterpillar gets their way inside the stems; they grow hence releasing thin silk inside the plant.
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Few craftsmen for preparing Lotus Silk products
Phan Thi Thuan has been a silk maker in Vietnam for over 5 years. She took to Business Insider on how she started manufacturing the luxury garments from Lotus Silk. The process is tedious and cumbersome, but the final product is what gives her motivation. She says the idea of making scarfs from Lotus silk came from influential friends. They saw the potential after she made one nice fabric garment, silk.
In her country, Vietnam, the Lotus plant is the main flower loved by millions of individuals. This makes the raw material available at any moment. There is commercial extraction of flowers and seeds by companies. The stems remain as by-products. The flowers are grown in various parts of the country.
She has a team of 23 employees who go to harvest the stems from the land. A skillful worker can extract silk from 200 to 250 stems in a single day. Each stem has a garment, but the quantity varies depending on its quality. 9000 stems can make a scarf measuring 36centimeter by 1.75 meters. This can take approximately 1.5 – 2 months when done by a single human being, report by dunkyfashion.
However, after all the tedious work, the final garments are always soft, breathable, and slightly elastic. Many people desire to buy those products, but they are too expensive. Most sales take place during holidays when tourists flow into the country. Besides, international textile brands are busy looking for new silk fibers. This gives hope to the makers of Lotus silk.
Enlightening the Young Generation
According to a Business insider report, Thuan has taught many people in his country about Lotus silk. She sees a lot of creativity and passion in young and adult ladies who can expand the industry. Over a year, she can teach almost 100 children who will take over as the future generation. In the 2019 – 2020 summer, she spends much of her time teaching college students.
The service she offers is free of charge. The lady has an impact on the nation. She hopes that the country or any private sector can merge with her to build a large industry. There are enough raw materials that need maximum utilization. Opportunities will knock on the door, and the willing person shall always grab them.