03 May Supplier Squad ~ Kate Cullen ~ Wedding Silks & Linens
Incorporating silks and linens into your wedding is the perfect way to increase the luxe feel of your day. I love working with silks and various linens for button holes, bouquets, table set ups such as runners and napkins and for general styling but it’s clear many of us are wanting to be kinder to the environment so finding alternatives to the traditional silk ribbons is so important.
Kate Cullen has got many wonderful alternatives so couples can be eco-conscious while having silks and linens perfectly matched to their wedding colour palette.
Kate, tells us more about these options below…
Organic, Fairtrade and vegan silk ribbon and table linen choices for your wedding
By Kate Cullen
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 couples, 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 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 ecologically conscious companies or simply from the supermarket! I use them to dye bamboo silk, peace silk, and traditional silks (including bias cut habotai silk). If something is labelled as ‘hand dyed’ rather than ‘botanically or plant dyed’ then it may have been dyed using chemical (non-organic) dyes like procion or acid dyes instead.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you so much to Kate for taking the time to be a part of my Supplier Squad Series. If you’d like more inspiration on how to incorporate silks and linens into your wedding day, take a look at my styled shoots at Castello Monaci and Porto Cesareo in Italy.