In response to the first issue of Inspired.Kravet News, some readers wrote to our website and asked some great questions. This inspired us to come up with a way to help you with any textile question you may encounter and not know how to answer.
To address your needs, we have added a new column called “Ask Alice.” Alice Guercio, our Vice President of Product Coordination, has volunteered to respond to your important questions. Alice, a Kravet veteran for over 15 years, often travels the world to source and develop new product for Kravet. We consider her to be one of our resident experts on textiles.
Our first question comes from a designer in Virginia who asks:
Q - “How do I explain to a client that the knots in some silks are not a defect?”
A - That is a question that comes up quite often. The type of silk you are referring to is called Silk Dupioni. I think the best way to explain this is to start with a quick overview of how silk is produced. A silkworm forms silk by forcing two fine streams of a thick liquid out of tiny openings in its head. When this hits the air, it hardens into filaments. The worm or caterpillar then winds the silk around itself to form a covering or a cocoon to protect it while waiting to change from a caterpillar to a moth. The filament is then extruded and spun into yarn. However, when two silk worms nest and spin together, they form one interlocking fiber that cannot be separated. The result is a thick and thin yarn, or what is commonly known as dupioni silk. When woven into fabric it will then have slubs or knots running across the fabric creating interest and texture. This is what makes Silk Dupioni so unique. So when your client asks why dupioni silk looks the way it does, you can explain that this is not a defect but nature at its finest. Our next question was submitted by Samantha, an interior designer who has just graduated from design school.
Q - “While shopping your showroom, I noticed Kravet has a lot of silk embroideries in a wide range of prices. Can you help me understand their pricing structure so I can convey it to my clients? Please forgive me if my question is a little elementary.”
A - This is a great question and by no means elementary. You’re correct that Kravet and Lee Jofa offer many price points of silk embroideries. Because of the wide range of our customer base, we feel it is extremely important to have many levels of embroidered silks available to the designer. I can understand why it may be a little confusing and hard to explain why silks are priced differently.
The answer is quite simple. All silks are priced according to their weight. Without getting into too many details, the heavier the silk is, the higher the cost will be. In addition, the type of silk (dupioni, taffeta, satin, etc.) will affect the price. When the embroidery is added, additional factors are then taken into consideration. How much of the face is covered with the design? How many different colors are used to achieve the depth and beauty of the pattern, as well as the details, layering and density in the embroidery? When you put all of these factors together it will affect the pricing in one direction or the other.
The next time you are designing a room with silk embroidery, bring your client’s attention to the layering and detail in the design. Once you do this they will understand and appreciate the uniqueness and special qualities of the embroidery. A little education will go a long way.