Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture).[…] Silk production also occurs in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants), silverfish, mayflies, thrips, leafhoppers, beetles, lacewings, fleas, flies, and midges. Other types of arthropod produce silk, most notable the various arachnids such as spiders (see spider silk).
See that, Pipedream? You know what that is? That’s the definition of silk. Notice what’s not mentioned there? Cotton. Nylon. Polyester. This is because silk is a noun, not a adjective. Don’t believe me? Here let the fine folk of Merriam Webster weigh in on the matter:
Silk: noun, often attributive
1: a fine continuous protein fiber produced by various insect larvae usually for cocoons; especially: a lustrous tough elastic fiber produced by silkworms and used for textiles
2: thread, yarn, or fabric made from silk filaments
Got it? Noun. Not a adjective. Not a general descriptor. I believe that the word you have been meaning to use on your packaging is silky or perhaps soft, or maybe satiny. But silk? Yeah, no. See the little part on your site (and conveniently absent from much of your packaging) where you say that the content is cotton or polyester on something labeled as “Silk Bondage Rope“?
Yeah that’s where you’ve got a problem. Either it’s silk or it’s cotton/polyester/satin or whatever. Don’t even get me started on the whole satin thing. The products you’ve had the gall to label as Japanese silk? That’s just a nice little muddy mess you’ve made there of the traditionally sought after Chinese silk and Japanese rope bondage. Good job. I suppose I should give credit- at least the packages don’t say “oriental”.
Some bondage folk will poo-poo synthetic rope, but you know what- I have no problem with you making polyester rope there Pipedream. Go for it. It’s inexpensive, it’s usually pre-tied bedroom bondage, and it’s often bought as a gag-gift for bachelor and/or bachelorette parties. I won’t fault you there.
Cotton rope also has it’s place. It’s great for crotch lines and bondage that you intent to cut off in the course of the scene. It’s nice for folk who want to try bondage and aren’t ready to invest in high-quality rope. It’s great for water bondage. I know a lot of avid bondage folk who make good use of cotton rope on a regular basis. It’s cool with me.
But for the folk who are looking for actual silk rope? Your mislabeling is misleading and that’s not cool with me in the least. It makes the jobs of sex-store employees harder than it ought to be, as we try to explain to customers that no- this isn’t silk even though it says “silk” on the box, and they look at us like we’re trying to con them somehow. If anyone is trying to con customers here, it’s certainly not those of us on the sales floor.
Silk rope exists. As does bamboo, silk-bamboo blends, extra-soft hemp, even alpaca. All sorts of exotics beyond the traditional hemp, jute, and sisal, are available these days. There’s even rope that conductive for electrical play! People like all kinds of different fibres for ropes for different purposes. Everything feels different, and everyone likes different sensations. This is one of the wonderful things about people.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a disappointed customer who ended up with this stuff, expecting actual silk. Sure they probably should have known it wasn’t really silk given how little they paid for it, but at the same time it does say silk (or “Japanese silk”) on the packaging. Shouldn’t what’s in the package be reflected by how it’s labeled? I seem to recall something about false advertising and all that… Oh, right, we’re dealing with an industry that is completely un-regulated when it comes to materials safety and identification.
Maybe it’s time we did something about that?
- Satin is a weave, which can be made out of almost any fibre. I’d bet that given the pricepoint and that Pipedream doesn’t disclose the fibre content, that it’s polyester or nylon and not silk. [↩]