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Why do we use silk from the French city of Lyon ?

This article was written by Jen Cassamajor.

At Twin Flame, we’ve made it our ultimate goal to use sustainable fabrics while still getting that sexy and luxurious look we love. To succeed in that mission, it felt quite natural to turn to one specific material : silk. Is there anything sexier than a silk top or dress ? This fabric seemed like the perfect choice to stay true to our values as it is a sustainable and renewable resource (Learn more about the benefits of using silk).

Of course, when it comes to producing in a sustainable and ethical way, the question of sourcing can’t be put aside. As a French brand, it appeared obvious for us to source silk not only made in France but from Lyon as the city is internationally renowned for producing some of the most stunning silks.

 Lyon, the historical capital of silk

Let’s start with a little bit of history. How did Lyon become the European capital of silk ? The history of the production of silk in Lyon started a long time ago. It actually dates back to the 15th century when Louis XV decided to relocate that production - which originally mainly took place in Provence - in Lyon for its strategic location and its proximity to Italy, the main source of silkworms at the time. Of course the industry has evolved a lot through the centuries, from being very artisanal to becoming a huge industry fuelling the city. Industrialization played a big role in shaping the industry we know today with the automatisation of some of the steps of the production. While the 19th century was marked by two revolutions of the canuts - the silk workers - fighting for better work conditions, the beginning of the 20th saw the strengthening of the relationship between the Lyonnaise silk and fashion, and more specifically Haute Couture.

A symbol of French fashion and luxury

The history of the Lyonnaise silk might be 6 centuries old, the tradition remains today as major fashion houses still look to Lyon to find the most beautiful and luxurious silk. We could for example mention Chanel and Hermès which still both turn to Lyon to weave some of their silks today. It is not hard to get why such iconic names of the industry would turn to Lyon when we think about how Lyonnais silk producers had become essential to Haute Couture before the boom of artificial fabrics in the last century. Obviously, we also had to mention one of our favorite creators of all times : Yves Saint Laurent. Throughout his entire career, the famous couturier turned to Lyonnais suppliers, reaffirming each time the particular status of the French city and its expertise.

The silk remains a big part of Lyon’s culture. Not only do craftsmen still weave for Haute couture houses but a part of their work is also to restore old and historic pieces. The idea of saving those gifts from the past is really important to the city. There is definitely that idea that when it comes to Lyon, silk becomes more than a fabric. As a French brand, using silk from Lyon is a way for us to embrace our legacy but also to support a savoir-faire that we’re proud to consider a part of our heritage.

Discover our pieces to see the fabric in motion

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