In Compiègne, northern France, we can find an emerald green silk dressing gown that belonged to Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione and lover of Napoleon III. History teaches us that nothing happens by chance, and there are words and actions that have changed lives, paths, destinies.“Dear Cousin, try to persuade him by using the means you consider most appropriate.” These are the words written by the Count of Cavour to his cousin Virginia, in order to get Napoleon III’s attention. Italy needed his support before the conclusion of the Congress of Paris, and Virginia Oldoini had a great responsibility. She was so beautiful, and so smart that she knew exactly how to move, even inside political circles. Nonconformist by nature, she refused to wear corsets and underwear, and she preferred to wear soft fabrics with no support, especially dressing gowns. In particular, she was wearing an emerald green dressing gown to seduce Napoleon III on a night that will change the history of Italy. In fact this sexy garment could change the destiny of many love stories, as long as you hide your horrible (but very comfortable) fleece suits in the remotest drawer of your closet, that can be reached only with a folding ladder, if you know what I mean. It’s time to bring the dressing gown back to fashion, and I’m talking to women but also to men, provided that while your belly grows (no exceptions) the desire drops (no exceptions). It was once a must have in anyone’s wardrobe, a symbol of refinement and intellectuality. Today we have all become a bit lazy and we saw it as a garment to be worn only on special occasions. But it is also true that a touch of silk on the skin has never hurt anyone: if we wear it in the morning over our pajamas, it gives us a sophisticated touch and makes our dark circles under the eyes, pale face and unkempt hair almost disappear, because silk is always symbol of elegance and charm, and so is its history. Legend has it that this fiber was discovered by Chinese Empress Xi Ling Shi, and China itself kept sericulture secret for centuries. Silk reached the west only in 550 A.D. thanks to some monks who smuggled  silkworm eggs by hiding them in the bottom of canes, putting an end to the Chinese monopoly on this wonderful fabric. Eggs are the key element for the creation of silk; you should know that the silkworm feeds solely on mulberry leaves. After about four weeks, it becomes an adult and begins to form a filament (the length of which is incredibly variable between 300 meters and 3 kilometers) with which it creates a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, a real transformation takes place and the silkworm turns first into a pupa and then becomes a beautiful butterfly, which lays its eggs before it leaves the shell and flies away. The cocoons are then processed using the “degumming” process, which removes the sericin. The threads of the cocoon are coiled with a special device to then be processed on the spinning machine. Depending on the processing, you can get many different silk fabrics, such as crepe, tussah silk, chiffon, georgette, taffeta, satin, just to mention a few. As you know, silk is a particularly precious natural fabric. But perhaps you do not know that with respect to the global production of this fabric in the world, the percentage of silk fibers is lower than 1%. Also, for 1 kg of raw silk it takes about 10 kg of silkworms, for 3 kg over 25 mulberries, and for a silk dress almost 70 kg of mulberry leaves. So it’s no wonder if it is considered to be one of the most precious existing fibers and must be treated with the utmost care. It has always stood out for its shininess, elegance and lightness. Its appearance and the delicate feeling that it provides when you touch it have made it unique and elegant. Precisely because of these characteristics, it requires special treatment, and Miele has also eliminated hand washing for silk, creating a special program that protects this precious fabric. The washing procedure respects its characteristics and is made even more delicate thanks to the innovative honeycomb drum. Miele also recommends using the Woolcare detergent and drying silk in the tumble dryer with the Treatment Silk program, thanks to which silk garments are dried in a gentle way to prevent the formation of creases. Another tip? Because silk fibers are very sensitive to high temperatures, silk garments should be ironed while slightly damp or with a steam iron only, using non-stick slab on the iron that prevents the formation of lucid points. We just have to worry about wearing our best clothes, Miele will take care of the rest.

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