What is the difference between handmade silk and machine-made silk?

Handmade silk cloth is made entirely by hand. It has a unique appearance that is virtually impossible to duplicate by machine. The "slubs" (tiny irregularities in the thread) and individual weaving techniques give each piece of handmade silk its own characteristic personality and beauty. Each piece is limited to a maximum length of about 10 meters.

Machine-made silk cloth is more likely to appear "perfect", but is essentially featureless, lacking the characteristic slubbing and individual weaving technique that give handmade fabric its distinctiveness. Machine-made cloth is often rolled out in lengths of thousands of meters.

The production techniques also affect the lives of the people making the silk. Handmade silk is usually made in private houses or, occasionally, cooperatives operating in a small workshop. The atmosphere is domestic and communal with a strong sense of pride in the significant artistic talent required to produce the fabric.

Machine-made silk is made in a factory, sometimes small, sometimes large, but always extremely noisy, hot and potentially dangerous. The machines operate so loudly that conversation is virtually impossible and hearing protection is not common. The effect on people tends to be like that in any factory that produces mass-production items.

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