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"This actually weighs less than the old ones?"
"Don't be petty. You know how hard they worked on this."
―Sabé and Rabé, discussing a gown made of Karlini silk[src]

Karlini silk was a type of silk that was one of the principal exports of the planet Karlinus. It was imported on Naboo, Karlinus' neighbor in the Chommell sector. Useful for its ability to resist blaster bolts when woven into cloth, Karlini silk was used in clothing made for the Queen of Naboo.

During her time as queen, Padmé Amidala owned several garments made of Karlini silk, including a black traveling gown and an under-robe worn with a set of flame-colored robes. The pieces served both as protection and as camouflage while she hid among her handmaidens to escape the Trade Federation's invasion of Naboo.

Description[]

"This dress has enough Karlini silk woven into it to protect you and anyone standing behind you in a firefight."
―Padmé Amidala, to Sabé[src]

Karlini silk was a fiber from the planet Karlinus that was used to weave material for clothing. It resisted blaster bolts[1] and helped the wearer to avoid sweat stains when worn as a bottom layer. It was also relatively light and wearable.[2]

History[]

Woven together[]

"The people we want to hire are the ones you wouldn't miss, Your Highness. […]"
"My mother did that on Karlinus. She always speaks highly of it. I know it was a good tradition, and I hope we can resurrect it."
―Queen Amidala discusses seasonal farming jobs with Governor Kelma[src]

Karlini silk was one of the principal agricultural exports of the planet Karlinus, along with its tea.[2] Sometime before 32 BBY,[3] Naboo, Karlinus' neighbor in the Chommell sector, began to import their silk in bulk. At some point thereafter, it became common for artists and students from Naboo to move to Karlinus[2] and spend a season monitoring the droids that harvested the silk.[1] Seasonal workers typically earned enough money to set themselves up well when they returned to Naboo.[2]

However, by the time Padmé Amidala was elected as the Queen of Naboo, the practice had become so uncommon that mentioning that her sister had participated might have been enough to reveal Amidala's civilian identity. During a summit on Naboo, Amidala and the governor of Karlinus, Kelma, agreed to revive the practice; in return, Karlinus would consider selling grain to the queen to relieve Naboo's ongoing shortage.[2]

Fit for a queen[]

"If I had more material, I could weave a small bit of cloth with the guard rotation on it."
―Yané[src]

Queen Amidala and her handmaidens' black gown and orange under-robe were made of Karlini silk.

As Karlini silk was lighter than the fabrics used in some historical pieces worn by the queen, Amidala's handmaiden, the weaver Yané, elected to make several headpieces and gowns out of Karlini silk. In the early days of Amidala's reign, the handmaiden Sabé tested her skills as Amidala's decoy while wearing one of Yané's new designs, a dark blue dress cut in an archaic Naboo style but made of the imported material.[2]

During the Trade Federation's invasion of Naboo, as droids swarmed the Naboo capital city, Theed, and captured its palace, Amidala hid among her handmaidens while Sabé played the part of the queen. Sabé donned a voluminous black gown made of Karlini silk in order to act as decoy; Amidala reassured her that the gown's fabric would act as protection.[1] The handmaidens, with Amidala hidden among them, wore flame-colored robes with orange under-robes made of Karlini silk to complement the gown.[2]

Although the rest of the group escaped the planet, Yané and Saché were confined in the Trade Federation's prison camp during the occupation. Yané took her and Saché's under-robes and tore them into shreds so that she could weave coded messages to help organize resistance against the droids. As she used her bare hands for the repetitive process of tearing the silk, Yané sustained painful welts between her forefinger and thumb.[2]

After the invasion, when the Gungan Jar Jar Binks brought news to Queen Amidala of a map to a powerful Gungan relic, her handmaidens again wore the flame-colored robes.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

Detail of the flame-colored robe shows silk crepe sleeve of the under-robe.

Karlini silk was created for Queen's Shadow, a 2019 young-adult canon novel written by E. K. Johnston. In the novel, the black traveling gown,[1] which was first seen in the 1999 prequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,[5] was established as a garment made of Karlini silk.[1] Queen's Peril, the 2020 prequel to Queen's Shadow, also identified the under-robe of the flame-colored robes worn in that film as Karlini silk.[2] In the real world, the flame-colored robes also included silk fabric, with silk crepe used for the sashes, sleeves, and inner hoods.[6]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

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Notes and references[]

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