We are happy to announce that we will be at the National Wedding Show held at Excel London and taking place on 16th & 17th October 2021. We are really looking forward to it. Come down and meet many great wedding specialist and professionals that can support you to realising your dream wedding.
Photos: By The National Wedding Show
What is Silk:
Silk is a protein fibre produced by the mulberry silkworm’s cocoon. This natural fibre (thread) has a triangular prism-like structure which deflects light at different angles to help produce different colours. Sometimes silk is referred to as Mulberry Silk in reference to the leaves the silkworm feast on (less valuable silk are from silk worms that feast on Osage Orange and lettuce) for about 6 weeks to support its development and growth. Silkworms are caterpillars that descended from the Bombyx Mori moth. Once they reached their full potential growth of about 3 inches, they are then ready to spin their cocoons in a figure of 8 movements by raising their heads. They spin their cocoons around 300,000 times and the process can last anywhere between 3-8 days. A silkworm can produce a single strand of silk of about 100 meters long which is held together by sericin (Sericin is a natural produced gum). It takes around 2500 silkworms to produce one pound of silk.
History of Silk:
It is believed that the Chinese discovered silk around the 27th century BC (Before Christ) when the Chinese Princess Xi Ling Shi was the first to roll a cocoon of silk which had accidentally dropped into her cup of tea (allegedly). Since that incident the Chinese studied the life cycle of silkworm and became the biggest producers of silk whilst controlling the silk market (and keeping the silk making a secret) for 3000 years. There is evidence that silk does date back as far as 3000 BCE (Before the Common Era). The Chinese exportation of silk in the 3 century BC between Asia (where the Romans first discovered silk), Europe and Japan (by sea) is known as the silk roads.
The Chinese only allowed the women to farm silkworms and many women walked on silkworm farms. Silk was (and is still is) considered a luxurious item and was very popular amongst aristocratic and high society. The popularity of silk grew to a point where it had to be regulated for over a millennium for the use to only members of the imperial family. Silk had many uses outside of clothing, such as it was made into a luxurious paper where it was used to pay the governmental officials.
Around 500 AD (Anno Domini), Byzantium hide some silkworm in his walking stick made of bamboo, where the Byzantines were able to cultivate their own (this action marked the start of the silk Industry in the Eastern Roman Empire). The production of silk started to spread in Western Europe. Over time the Koreans and then later on the Indians were able to discover how making silk therefore making the Chinese lose their monopoly on producing silk.
Italian silk was far so expensive and the French started to make their own silk locally as they wanted lighter and less expensive materials. King Francis first of France approved a domination for silk production in the City of Lyon and so Lyon became Europe’s capital city of silk trade. By 1845 the European silk industry declined when the silkworms were hit with their first diseases and this increased the price of silkworm cocoons. Fashion was also changing in the aristocratic and middle-class circle which mean that the demand for silks in garment decreases. With all the mishaps happening in Europe, Japan became the world’s biggest silk producers up until the second world war. Today, China has regained their control and are now the largest producers of silk in the world.
The Making of Silk:
Once the silkworms have spun their cocoon and eventually enclosed themselves inside. To extract the natural silk thread, the cocoons are then placed into a boiling water. This softens the thread and dissolves the sericin. This step ensures that the full length of the thread remains intact and undamaged.
The threads are then unwind from the cocoon in individual long threads which are then wined to make a reel.
Once the threads are washed and degummed, they are then bleached and dried to prepare them for the dyeing process.
In the past silk dyeing techniques took dyes from nature and the local environment such as fruits and plants (like the indigo leaves) where the threads were placed and soaked in a boiling hot water of whatever fruit or plant, they want to extract the colour from. This process to repeated few times over days to get the desire tone and quality. However, in today’s most advanced technology, manufacturers opt to dye the threads with dyes such as acid dyes and reactive dyes. These dyes offer a far greater choice as well as to produce silk in a highly commercially demanding market.
The threads are then unwind on to a bobbin so that they lay completely flat to get ready for the weaving process. The process is call spinning and there are many different types of spinning such as: hand-spinning, mule spinning and ring spinning.
Weaving is where the silk comes together. There are many different types of silk weaving such as plain weave, open weave (most common weave), crepe and satin weave (please note there isn’t such material as satin and many materials/threads can be satin weave. Best to get silk woven into the satin weave).
If designers require special designs or pattern, then the Printing stage. Printing can take place as screen printing (this is traditional printing) or digital printing.
The silk is then treated using different chemical treatment which provides the lustrous sheen silks are known for as well as adding valuable properties such as crease-proofing and fire resistance. This final step is a most and it is known as the Finishing.
Benefits of Silk:
Silk is one of the softest, shiny, comfortable and breathable materials on the planet and it have many benefits to the skin and Hair.
Silk thread is very similar to human hair- It is 97% protein, 3% fat and wax and contains 18 amino acids, this makes it very kind and supportive to human skin.
Silk contains natural cellular albumen- this helps to speed up the metabolism of the skin cells.
Silk support the moisture in the skin and can support in the prevention of moisture loss in the skin or hair. This promotes the skin to rejuvenate, slow down the aging process (of the skin), relieves dry and/or flaky skin by locking in the moisture. It also encourages moisture balance in the hair.
Silk keeps the skin cool in the summer and preserve body heat during winter. It supports the body to regulate its temperature and provides thermal balance.
It can absorb moisture up to 30% its weight, it is very absorbent and dries very quickly by allowing good air circulation simply by the thread increasing in size. This property of silk makes the fabric great for perspiration whilst promoting the skin to breathe.
Silk keeps the moisture in the hair and doesn’t tangle up the hair as the hair simply glides over the smooth materials. Experts in the beauty field believe that it helps to keep the hair soft (it does this through the ability to balance the moisture in the hair).
Silk doesn’t create static electricity, so easily, so it keeps the hair strands in place, doesn’t cause frizz or breakage, doesn’t cling to the body and is very easy to iron.
Silk is very durable and will maintain its appearance and quality time.
Silk is very versatile and can be used for anything such as clothing, accessories, rugs, parachutes, beddings, just to name a few.
Silk is hypoallergenic, so it is a natural fungal repellant and doesn’t attract dust mites. Medical experts believe that it rarely causes allergic reactions.
Studies have shown that silk doesn’t cause the face to get wrinkled (on one side) at night when lying on silk pillows and beddings.
Balasa, O; Accessed on 05 November 2020; Great Benefits of Silk Fabric; https://www.ageberry.com/great-benefits-of-pure-silk-fabric/#:~:text=Great%20Benefits%20of%20Silk%20Fabric.%201%201.%20Silk,degree%20effects%20of%20aging%20and%20…%20More%20items
The Ethical Silk Company; Accessed on 05 November 2020; Benefits of Silk; https://www.theethicalsilkco.com/about-silk
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Unfortunately due to the threat and rise of Covid-19 cases, the UK Black Business Show 2020 is postponed to 2021. We hope to see you there next year.
These are some of the gift wrappings we offer, and many of our gift-wrapping styles are inspired by the Japanese gift-wrapping styles. Videos of how these were wrapped as well as other different shape boxes (such as Adah/Alika packaging; Bina/Feechi packaging; Hasina/Zuri packaging) will follow in future blogs.
If you want us to gift wrap any of your accessories, presents and favours, please click here to get in touch.
We are please to announce that we are now open from 01 August 2020 and to celebrate our opening (back in business for the very first in almost 3 months), our 2 years start up anniversary (August 2020) and 1 year trading anniversary (July 2020) we are offering 25% off everything including new products (excluding postage and packaging). This deal is for ONE DAY ONLY (from 01 August 2020 at 00:00 BST to August 2020 at 23:59 BST). Shop NOW and enjoy shopping
We are still close and not taking any orders as Rhoda is still recovering. We plan to reopen for business on Saturday 1st August 2020. Works are ongoing behind the scene.
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Here is our very first ever video of our French Hair Accessories for natural hair. We hope to be doing more videos in the future. Enjoy
Gift Ideas from Flourishing Crown
Treat your mum to a different and special gifts from Flourishing Crown and show her just how much she means to you.
Happy UK Mother’s Day to all the hard working mothers who have sacrificed so much for their children xXx
Pictures by Flourishing Crown
What an amazing first year it has been for Flourishing Crown (FC). We launched our website in late December 2018 and 2019 have taken us to great events where we got the chance to meet our customers as well as network with other fantastic companies and tremendous entrepreneurs. Below is a list of all the events we attended with brief information about what the events are about. We would highly recommend these events to our customers, readers and anyone else wishing to attend these types of events and support small and medium-sized businesses in London and the UK.
Downham Summer Festival: This was the very first ever event FC took part in as a trader. This is a family event where it caters for children (with fun activities for them to take part in, such as bouncy castle, wall climbing, etc.) as well as adults. It promotes healthy lifestyles and had professionals on board from various companies that can answer any health concerns.
Ghana Party in the Park Festival: This was an electrifying event and it also caters to the family. It was an outdoor event with loud music, fashion show, lots of kids’ activities including an area where kids can play football, etc. This was also the very first event FC made their first exhibition sale and had great customer review about the accessories and our packages.
The Wedding Lounge (Golden Aisle)- Wedding Fair: If you are planning your wedding, then this event is a must. Various companies that cater to the wedding industry attend this event, where free samples are given out to prospective brides and their entourage. You get to view the latest bridal trends at the fashion show as well as getting gifts and wedding favours ideas.
CurlyTreats Festival: This is a must event for any beauty conscious person. This event caters to all your beauty needs and more for all ages and gender. It houses both small, medium and big size companies attending from all corners of the world and has thousands of visitors every year. We at FC not only meet and interact with our wonderful customers, but we also got first-class reviews and valued feedback which we are in the process of executing.
Uganda Diaspora: What an honoured to part take in this event and to learn more about the Uganda culture. This event is full of culture, determination and great pride. It was an exhilarating experience watching the various performances and getting inspiration from the Uganda Diaspora entrepreneurs and performers.
Ashburton Festival/Addiscombe Winter Carnival: This wonderful charitable event was organised by Croydon council where the exhibition fees went to a local charity. It was a family event where the children got their face painted and some food to feed the reindeer. It also supported and allowed local small businesses to showcase and promote their products and services.
Black Brit Christmas Fayre: This event packed a punch. This event supports local small and medium-size businesses with entrepreneurs ranging in various ages and sizes, including a very inspiring 12 years old entrepreneur, who started her African inspired pillows that she sews and make herself. There is hourly raffles, prizes and performances for all visitors to take part in and enjoy.
Thank you to all the organisers for making these events a great and wonderful platform to trade, exhibit and meet our customers. Every one of your put-on tremendous events that were ever interactive and engaging. Also, FC would like to thank you, our customers, for taking the time to attend these events and meeting us at our stalls. We appreciate it and have taken all the great feedback, recommendation and comments on board and we will continue to give you the products and services you want. A Big THANK YOU to Everyone