Since you camera tries to meter as if it were pointed at 18% grey, it would have tried to darken the scene. You're needing exposure comp makes sense.
I don't know why, but I kinda want a bit more detail (shadows) in the polyester fiber. I don't know if it would have helped the picture at all, but it seems to lack a bit of form for my tastes.
I like adding the perls. The reflective nature adds a nice contrast.
ps. And nice title.