How to Use Habotai Silk

Meaning "soft as down" in Japanese, Habotai is a soft, lightweight woven silk fabric that is known for its smooth texture. Habotai silk is also known as "China silk" as much of it is manufactured there. There are several different uses for Habotai silk, including soft lightweight clothing, home decor and even as an artistic medium. Use it whenever you want to make something with a lot of sheen and texture but with almost no weight at all.

Make lingerie. Habotai silk, with its super soft and smooth texture, is ideal for making lingerie as it feels good against sensitive skin areas and breathes well. Panties, bras and other undergarments made from Habotai silk not only feel good but look good as well, as they are made from a fine thin material that shimmers with colour.

Paint on it. Habotai silk is commonly used as a medium for silk paintings as the fine weave gives it a canvas-like tooth that holds both acrylic and oil paints very well. Traditional Habotai paintings depict landscapes, animals, flowers or Japanese and Chinese characters. With your own paints and brushes, you can use Habotai silks as lightweight canvases and pack hundreds of works of art within small backpacks or other bags.

Make scarves. Perfect for summertime or tropical climates, bright-coloured and lightweight Habotai silk scarves actually help you to keep cool in much the same way Indian saris and Arabic turbans do--by allowing air to flow and cool in their folds.

Use Habotai in home decor. Lightweight curtains made from Habotai silk partially block light and keep rooms cool in sunny weather. You can also use Habotai silk in upholstery by making cushion covers or head rest covers. Tablecloths made from Habotai silk give the dinner table a luxurious and exotic feel, and they are easy to clean as long as they are soaked in warm water after getting soiled.

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About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.