The use of the silk worm for fabrics began in 2600BC. China kept it a secret from the rest of the world for over 3,000 years. Since then it has become one of the most sought after fabrics, for its soft and luxurious qualities. Today, the world's top fashion designers are including silk in their collections of expensive lingerie, including bathrobes.
Josie Natori makes some of the finest silk robes available at reasonable prices. The Natori Natorious Bridal Rob retails for £581 and is made of 100 per cent pure silk charmeuse. Natori began her career making lingerie in her home. Today, her name is synonymous with luxury and her silken robes will provide the wearer with years of comfort.
Stefano Ricci is an Italian designer with over 35 years of experience. His clothing line is truly a work of art, with each handmade piece meticulously inspected by Ricci himself. His paisley silk bathrobe for men, which retails for £3,519, is made of 100 per cent silk with a pure cashmere lining. It features a black shawl collar, front pockets and long sleeves with black arm cuffs. The robe is available for purchase online or can be ordered in a Stefano Ricci retail store.
Tom Ford is a couture designer from Austin, Texas and former creative manager for Gucci. His elegant style is apparent in his designs. Ford offers a small line of handmade silk robes to discerning clients. His robes can range in price from £2,600 to £3,900 each. They have been featured in many movies and television shows, including HBO's True Blood, where a Ford silk robe is worn by Theo Alexander, in his role of Talbot, a 700 year old vampire. The line also gained fame when the clothing was worn by actors of James Bond films.
Carine Gilson is a designer of fine French lingerie. Gilson's 2010 spring-summer collection featured the Venice long kimono,100 per cent silk, embellished with the finest lace. The Venice long kimono retails for £889. Another design, the Egérie, is a sheer, cream-coloured, satin and silk robe with black scalloped lace adornments. It retails for £1,066. Each robe is handmade in Belgium.
Original antique silk robes from China are popular among collectors of Oriental art and textiles. Pure silk robes from the Qing Dynasty can fetch £975 to £6,500 or more depending on its history. Earlier robes from the Ming Dynasty can easily cost £26,000 or more. Prices vary due to condition and documentation. A Chinese silk robe from the 17th century during Kangxi's reign, received an appraisal on the Antiques Road Show of £9,750 to £13,000.
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- Texeresilk.com: The History of Silk
- Stefano Ricci: Paisley Silk Robe
- Net-a-Porter.com: Carine Gilson Egérie silk-satin robe
- Antique Road Show: Chinese Silk Robe Appraisal
- "Threads of Gold: Chinese Textiles, Ming to Ch'ing", Paul Haig, Marla Shelton; 2006.
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