Silk Plain

Originating in Ancient China, silk has consistently been considered the most luxurious textile fibre for both its lustrous texture and its ability to produce vivid colours. It was often heavily restricted by sumptuary laws, especially in the middle ages, to maintain its position of the fibre of the privileged. The renaissance saw Italy becoming the predominant producer of fine silks, with motifs of pomegranates, thistles and pine-cones being most popular. By the 18th century the focus had shifted to France, where at their centre at Lyon they produced printed and embroidered floral silks that were the height of fashion.