I am passionate about the quality of my products: I enjoy mixing art and innovative ideas, and using the finest materials and craftsmanship. My dream is for Bianca Elgar to be known as the British brand that produces wearable art heirlooms.
Years ago, when I was studying textile design, I was inspired by the colourful kimonos on display in The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where I live. As beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, they are still in perfect condition. They are many years old and testament to the amazing strength and beauty of silk.
Here are five things that made me decide to work with nature’s strongest fabric when creating my collections:
1. Silk has a natural lustre and feels luxurious against the skin.
2. It is lightweight and resilient - silk is the strongest natural fibre known to man. In fact, one filament of silk is stronger than a comparable filament of steel and several layers of silk can protect you from a bullet!
3. Its natural protein structure makes silk the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics. House dust mites don’t like it, which is why it is recommended to people suffering from allergies to dust mites.
4. Silk is highly absorbent and dries quickly. It can absorb up to a third of its weight in moisture without feeling damp so will absorb perspiration while letting your skin breathe. Its low density (compared to cotton, wool or nylon) makes it highly moisture absorbent.
5. Silk is pretty robust and its smooth surface resists soil and odours well, despite its delicate appearance.
Caring for your silk
- I can only recommend dry-cleaning – if possible by green and organic dry cleaners.
- If it’s necessary to iron your silk, press the garment inside out while damp using the ‘Silk’ setting on your iron.
- Try and avoid getting wet patches or sploshes as this may cause rings.
- Pack your silk garments as you would any other clothing and just hang the garment as soon as possible after unpacking. Minor wrinkles should disappear overnight
- Better yet, hang your garment in the bathroom during a shower. The humidity will remove the wrinkles for you. Relax and enjoy your silk art!
The quality of my products and creating ‘wearable art’ is so important to me. By using silk for my Bianca Elgar collections , I hope these pieces of art will become heirlooms, just like the beautiful kimonos in the Ashmolean museum . Which, If you’re ever in Oxford, I highly recommend visiting.
Thank-you to Storebukkebruse on Flickr for our cover image!