Woven silk vs. printed silk March 14 2019, 0 Comments

The differences between woven and printed silk are many. Not just weight and drape. Those are the main two differences but there are other aspects that you may want to take into consideration when purchasing a silk tie. First of all woven silks are heavier, that's because they are woven using more and thicker threads. The more colors in a woven pattern, or patterns with intricate designs, require looms with more shafts as well as more epi(ppi). EPI means 'Ends Per Inch'. In weaving, this means the amount of ends (threads) per inch. Large looms can accomplish wider silks with high thread counts, resulting in stunning woven textiles!

Woven silk Fabric Samples showing brown red blue and gray colors

(EX: Woven silks)

Isn't the printed silk woven as well? 

Well....Yes it is woven, let's face it, they can't print fabric yet. However the printed silks are done in different ways. In the old days the silk was block-printed by hand in order to obtain a desired pattern. Other methods include inkjet, template / stencil printing, and digital textile printing to name a few. All of the printing styles are done on an already woven silk. That's right, it is already woven. It's usually raw colored or white and most companies / mills print on Twill, Charmeuse, or Jacquard silks. Typically, the silks used for printing are more delicate and lighter in weight. 

Bright Orange and pink Twill Silk Fabrics with dragonflies and skulls

(EX: Twill Printed Silks)

Woven patterns are more expensive because it takes the mill longer to produce them. There are some printed silks that have some very elaborate printing and dying processes (ie: Hermès brand printed ties) but usually the printed ties are more affordable because the process is quicker. 

Printed Silk ties such as twill silks are great for spring and summer. Many of these can feature bright colors and the variety of prints is practically endless. Woven silk ties are great year-round and they are usually more rigid (what I like to call 'Memory'.) Both types are great and usually it just depends on what else you're wearing that decides whether you go with printed or woven. I am looking forward to getting more printed twill fabrics available here on the site in the near future!