Everything About Silk

facts about silk

The lap of luxury is small, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your spot in it. There are multiple ways to experience the luxurious and great comfort that the world can provide. Even if you’re just starting your venture into the extravagant life you’ve always wanted, there is one sure-fire way that you can enjoy it: mulberry silk bed sheets.

Bed sheets are a big part of anyone’s life, considering we spend a third of our life in bed. Scientists recommend that a healthy dose of sleep is 8 hours, so you’ll likely be spending at least a third of every day asleep. There’s no reason to be sleeping in something uncomfortable, so start your journey to a luxurious life with getting a beautiful set of mulberry silk sheets.

Silk has been in use for thousands of years. Only emperors and high-ranking people in China were able to have silk material adorn their body, so it’s no wonder that it remains a valuable material today. It is rather difficult to acquire, considering that silk worms have to make the threads, but there is nothing like them on the market—silk is undoubtedly the most delicate and luxurious material on the market.

What is silk?mulberry silk facts

To understand what mulberry silk is, we must first look at what silk is, at its base. Silk, in its most basic form, is a natural protein fiber made by silk worms called the Bombyx mori. When in the process of metamorphosize from larva (or caterpillar) into a moth, the silk worms will create a cocoon around themselves. This cocoon is what the silk material becomes. The cocoons are taken and spun into clothing and sheets.

Silk worms are dependent on humans to breed them because of thousands of years of selective breeding. Wild silk worms were not a good idea to harvest. Originating from China, the trade spread throughout Asia and even made it into Europe. Even though this may be the case, many silk connoisseurs argue that only Chinese silk is authentic.

What is mulberry silk?

Mulberry silk is considered the highest quality of all silk. As said above, Chinese silk is considered by many to be the original and best silk. Chinese silk is mulberry silk because it comes from mulberry silk worms. These worms are the ones that are bread in China. They are fed with their favorite mulberry leaves to produce the best silk they can. The silk is uniform and the purest of white, but can be dyed different colors.

Natural mulberry silk is hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating as well. Since it’s a protein, it will naturally fend off any sort of allergy microbe or odor-causing bacteria from your sheets. That doesn’t mean it is impervious, considering you will have to care and wash your silk bed sheets whenever you should. While silk is delicate, regular upkeep will increase its longevity and you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Even though mulberry silk makes up around 85-90% of the entire world supply of silk, there are some sets out there that aren’t. Let’s face it: silk is expensive. You won’t be able to get a full set of bed sheets on the market for less than $200. Luxury and comfort comes at a cost, so don’t be fooled by those bed sheets that promise 100% mulberry silk if you don’t pay for it. There are cheap imitations out there that will not give you the same benefits and feel as regular silk. A key factor in looking for silk is its “momme” measurement.

Does silk only come from silk worms?mulberry silk top facts

While the main type of silk may come from the mulberry worm, they aren’t the only insects that produce silk! There are other types, like raspy crickets, bulldog and weaver ants, silverfish, lacewings, and other types of flies. It has been known that spiders also make a spider silk, although spider silk uses are much different from clothing or bed sheets. They are mainly used for medical and military purposes.

What is momme?

Momme (“mummy”, abbreviated as “mm”) is the unit of measurement when it comes to silk weight. There’s a very specific measurement when it comes to silky where one momme is equal to 4.34 grams per square meter. In regard to this measurement, one ounce per square yard equals to about 8 mommes. Therefore, you can imagine: the higher the momme, the more silk it takes. The higher the momme, the more expensive your bed sheets will be.

One may think that a higher momme is better for silk, but that isn’t always the case. It will certainly be more durable and luxurious, but it may not give you the feel you’re looking for. It’s fine for bed sheets, but if you’re looking for sleepwear like robes or night gowns, you’ll want to stick to a lower momme. Heavier momme silk will actually feel closer to wool than silk, so be wary when searching for higher momme.

Which is the best momme for bed sheets?

This is a common question, but it depends entirely on one’s taste. There is no exact weight for the perfect bed sheets, but you’ll find that the average is around 19 momme. Many say that this is the perfect measurement, and you’ll find a lot of the best mulberry sheets on the market at a 19 momme.

If you want to go to the next step, there are plenty of sets of bed sheets with the measurement of 25 momme. These are quite a bit thicker and may feel more luxurious, but they will be a bit more expensive, considering they will use more silk. Regardless, if you go for the lower or higher amount, it will feel more luxurious and comfortable than any other material on the market.

When there is no “momme” weight listed, look for the “mm” abbreviation. If there is absolutely none at all, it may not be authentic mulberry silk. Take as much time as you need for research, considering that you’ll likely be paying a lot if you want mulberry silk bed sheets. There are plenty of great sets out there, but make sure you’re getting authentic silk! That doesn’t change the amount of care and maintenance that you’ll have to do, though.

What about thread count?

Since silk is measured in momme, there is no need for thread count. It is not as important as the weight or quality of the silk, but a general rule of thumb is that 19 momme sheets typically have around 400 threads in the square meter of silk. Silk varies in sizes, so it’s difficult to get an exact amount unless specifically mentioned by the manufacturer. Either way, one thing is clear: there’s no need to worry about thread count when looking for silk products.

mulberry thread count

The Perfect Silk

If you’re unsure about whether or not your silk is authentic or proper, there’s nothing wrong with looking for reviews on the silk products you’re interested in. There will be multiple verified purchases made, so follow other peoples’ directions when buying. Going with a popular and well-reviewed manufacturer is always better than going blind! If you don’t want to sift through reviews, there are other places that have reviewed the best mulberry bed sheets already.

Silk vs. Sateen vs. Satin

There is a lot of debate between these three materials, considering they all look very similar to each other. All three are very different, however. None of them come close to the luxurious feeling of silk, but the others may be comfortable enough to sleep on, be it through your bed sheets or clothing. Remember, though, you get what you pay for!

Silk

Silk is one of the most luxurious materials you can get, as discussed earlier. It is made from silk worms naturally and will provide you with a hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating night. Silk will resist mold and allergy-causing microbes while keeping to your body’s temperature. The sheets will keep you cool in nights that are warm while keeping you cool in the warm nights. Its natural proteins will also keep your skin and hair healthy!

Satin

This isn’t so much a material as it is a weave of other materials. It looks similar to silk, but is synthetic material instead of natural fibers. These can be seen as something like nylon or polyester, which likely isn’t the luxury you want to sleep on. Satin can be comfortable, but it won’t come with the hypoallergenic or enriching quality that comes from silk. It feels very different from authentic silk. While it is cheaper, it will not give you the luxurious feel as silk will.

Sateen

While many may be confused about the materials that claim to be satin or sateen, sateen is also a weave, similar to satin. However, sateen is usually used with 100% cotton material like Egyptian or Pima cotton. These blends of natural fibers will give the material a silky-smooth, crisp shine to them. They will appear as illustrious as silk, but only one is made from silk worms and will provide your skin and hair with a healthy night.

Keep in mind, however, sateen also has some disadvantages. It is a loose weave, meaning it will “pill” more easily. Pilling is what happens when the material is used a lot and small balls of fabric begin building on it. These small, hard bits of fabric will scrape along your body and cause discomfort if left as it is. It’s very difficult to get rid of these small balls and the easiest thing to do is to get new sheets. They aren’t very durable, so you might want to go with a normal weave with cotton sheets.

Don’t be fooled by imitation by satin—this is one of the ways some of the people out there try to take advantage of you. Some satin can be imbued with silk, making it a bit more luxurious than other blends, but it won’t be as luxurious as silk.  If you want silk bed sheets, make sure you go for silk and not satin! Sateen is also a great choice when it comes to bed sheets, but silk will still outdo it in luxury and comfort.

What are the different types of silk?

While Chinese silk is arguably the best and highest-quality silk in the world, their silk isn’t the only ones around. You won’t find a higher quality silk than mulberry silk, but if you want to settle for something a bit less extravagant, there are other silk producers from other areas. There are other Asian countries as well as European and African.

  • Mulberry Silk

As described many times, mulberry silk is the highest quality of silk out of any other types. Coming from China, this silk is produced by the silk worm after being fed a lifetime of mulberry leaves. Mulberry silk bed sheets take a lot of care and maintenance, but they’re worth it.

  • Charmeuse

This is likely the most common silk beneath mulberry silk. Charmeuse has the more “traditional” feel that many people are more used to. It is composed of a satin weave on the front and a crepe material on the back. While this is a good silk for some clothing and accessories like neck ties and sleepwear, it will not provide the same feel as 100% mulberry silk.

  • Tussah

Tussah, or Tussar, silk, is made from a different type of silk worm than the one that produces mulberry silk. These silkworms are wilder than their cousins, but are found in more southern Asia areas. They have a rich texture and natural gold color and are produced in China, India, Japan, and Sri Lanka.

  • Chiffon

Silk chiffon is a matted, thicker form of material sometimes imbued with silk. It is less used for bed sheets and more used for a few pieces of clothing or accessories. Covers for night gowns is a good example. This material is also used for drapery for decorations. It can be for a canopy for a bed or curtains for your window.

  • Crepe de Chine

This fabric is a dress material used with a silk warp and weft (which is up and down, left and right direction of the threads) and is somewhat matted. The yarns are uniquely twisted to give it a crepe-like feel, but it is irregular on the surface. These are also used for clothing more than bed sheets.

  • Organza

This silk is a thin sheer fabric. While commonly made from nylon or polyester, this material is often used for bridal wear and evening gowns. These garments can also be made into skirts and other common clothing, but since it’s so thin, it usually needs to be covered. This material will also be used for curtains and drapery.

Conclusion

While you may be looking for some new bed sheets, there are a lot of choices out there. If you’re looking for the best that money can buy, you’ll want the best mulberry silk bed sheets on the market. Silk sheets can be disguised as fake material, so you’ll want to focus on things that boast 100% mulberry silk. There are a lot of sources out there, but you’ll want to go with the most popular and most-reviewed manufacturers.


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