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What's so special about Soufli silk?

the White, Santorini

Oct 8, 2015
by The White Santorini
Category: Materials
Silk fabric from Soufli

Soufli silk is silk produced in the town of Soufli in Northern Greece. It is unique in glow, texture and quality.

The story begins around 554 AD when two monks returning from China brought back with them silk tree seeds hidden inside their hollow wooden canes. The first town in the western world to receive this unique seed was Soufli, then part of the Byzantine Emprire. And so begins a long story of silk tree growing, silkworm breeding and silk textiles production in Soufli. By the end of the 19th century accumulated silk expertise, along with some production modernization, had turned the small town of Soufli into the silk capital of the Balkans. Its unique textiles were being exported to European markets, mainly to French and British customers, among others.

Silk production in Soufli retreated to low volumes during the second part of the 20th century. It is being revived lately as fashion designers from Greece and the world re-discover its fine quality.

The uniqueness of Soufli silk products stems in part from the fact that silkworms in Soufli have always been feeding on sycamore tree leaves, a feat made possible by the area's special climate. The production process of this delicate material requires special care and treatment. Soufli silk textiles, such as soie savage, crepe satin and cocoon-silk are unique in glow and texture.

Soufli silk products must be dry-cleaned only. Dry cleaning can help preserve the fabrics glow and remove any shrinking that may occur from contact with water.

Enjoy some rare photos from Soufli, then and now:

Silk factory in Soufli circa 1940

1940s silk production facility in Soufli, Northern Greece

Women of Soufli packing the silk tree seeds

Women in Soufli packing the silk seeds

Modern silk production facility in Soufli

Modern silk production facility in Soufli, Northern Greece

Pupal mating!

Pupal mating