Silk fabric has a soft, lustrous and supple hand. For centuries silk has had a reputation as a luxurious and sensuous fabric, one associated with wealth and success. Silk is one of the oldest textile fibers known to man. It has been used by the Chinese since the 27th century BC. Silk is mentioned by Aristotle and became a valuable commodity both in Greece and Rome. During the Roman Empire, silk was sold for its weight in gold.Characteristics of Silk Fabric Cultivated silk is a beautiful luxurious fiber with a smooth luxurious hand. This type of silk can be dyed and printed in bright colors that are very pleasing to the eye. Silk's abrasion resistance is moderate. However, it is ranked high in strength for natural fibers. Silk fabrics have good absorbency. Fabrics made from silk are comfortable in the summer and warm in the winter.Silk fabrics have only moderate resistance to wrinkling. It is often recommended that silk garments be dry-cleaned. When hand or machine washing washable silk garments, test for water spotting in an obscure place because silk gets water-spots easily.