When shopping for silk pillowcases and sheets, you may be confused about the difference between silk and satin. The fact is this: genuine mulberry silk and satin are two entirely different fabrics.
The experts at Mulberry Park Silks can shed some light on the question of silk vs. satin. We’ll also show you why you should never settle for anything less than 100 pure mulberry silk of the highest quality when buying a silk pillowcase or silk sheets. Let’s take a closer look at some of the essential differences between silk and satin.
1. Silk is a natural fiber.
Satin, on the other hand, is a type of weave made from polyester or nylon, which are manmade fabric and chemical based. Nylon and polyester satin fabric are derived from petroleum, or oil. A satin pillowcase or satin sheet set is synthetic fiber; therefore, it is not sustainable or particularly environmentally friendly to produce. As a natural fiber, real silk is biodegradable and not made with any dangerous chemicals or fossil fuels.
2. Silk helps hair and skin retain moisture.
Silk thread contains amino acids and a special protein known as sericin. When you sleep on silk, your hair and skin is naturally conditioned by sericin. In fact, many high end body lotions, skin, and hair treatment products are made with silk protein. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is an overnight beauty treatment for your hair and skin.
3. Silk is naturally temperature regulating.
Silk fibers have a special structure with a hollow center. This allows silk to absorb moisture and store heat, which regulates body temperature. When you sweat, silk wicks moisture and keeps you cool; when you're not, it maintains warmth. This is why silk sheets are great for staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a petroleum based manmade fiber, satin lacks the natural breathability, absorbency, and comfort of silk.
4. Silk is hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and dust mites.
Indeed, silk may be the most naturally hypoallergenic fabric on earth. Once again, we can thank sericin, the protein coating silk fiber that naturally repels allergens, fungus, and dust mites.
5. Silk is non irritating to even the most sensitive skin.
Along with being hypoallergenic, pure mulberry silks is made from long, smooth silk fibers that are the strongest and softest on earth. This makes silk ideal for anyone with sensitive skin (including babies) or underlying skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and contact dermatitis.
6. Silk is the definition of luxury.
Along with all its beauty and wellness benefits, nothing else feels like genuine silk. For centuries, genuine silk has been valued for its look, feel, and organic properties. A satin weave pillowcase or sheet set made of synthetic material simply cannot compare to genuine silk.
How To Be Sure You’re Buying Genuine Silk
When it comes to buying silk bedding, you have to do some homework to ensure you’re getting genuine silk. Historically, silk has been more expensive than satin for one reason: quality. However, real silk can be affordable. At Mulberry Park Silks, we suggest the following to make sure you are getting the best value when buying a silk pillowcase or sheet set.
1. Buy only 100 percent mulberry silk.
This is absolutely essential. Many unscrupulous vendors will attempt to sell pillowcases and sheets made out of synthetic fibers and fraudulently label them as "silk satin" or "satin silk." They may also try to pass off silk blends as pure silk. This is unacceptable. Carefully read the label of any silk you buy; pure silk will be labeled as such.
2. Pay attention to the quality of silk.
All silk fibre is graded according to both number (1-6) and letter. Grade 6A silk is the highest quality with the longest, strongest, fibers of uniform color. All Mulberry Park Silks products are made with Grade 6A silk.
3. Consider the momme weight.
Silk weight is measured in momme, which is equivalent to thread count in cotton fabric. The higher the momme, the more silk is used in the fabric and the denser the weave will be. Higher momme count silk also uses thicker silk fiber. A pillow case or sheets in 19 momme count silk equates roughly to 600 thread count; a 22 momme pillow case or sheet set equates to 900 thread count. Mulberry Park Silks carries pillowcases in 19, 22, and 30 momme weights. Our signature silk sheet sets and silk duvet covers are a luxurious 22 momme weight.
4. Buy silk that is environmentally friendly and safe.
Although silk is a natural fiber, it is important to ensure that it has been manufactured safely through all aspects of production. Look for silk that has been tested and certified by an independent agency. At Mulberry Park Silks, all of our products are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. This means that they have been lab-tested guaranteed to be free of all harmful substances, including toxins and irritants. This certification is intensive and will be clearly labeled by the manufacturer. If you don't see Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 or another certification clearly designated, the product is not certified to be safe of harmful substances.
5. Details matter.
All Mulberry Park Silks products are made with a charmeuse weave, which is super lustrous and smooth on one side with a matte finish on the reverse. This helps minimize hair breakage, frizz, and bedhead (especially on curly hair) while preventing sleep wrinkles. Our mulberry silk pillowcase features a hidden French seam for a tailored look. You can also choose a generous envelope closure or hidden zipper closure based on your personal preference. If you are unsure, ask the seller for a swatch sample to review prior to purchase. Mulberry Park Silks offers a complementary swatch sample program that lets you see, touch and feel our luxurious silk before you buy.
Debunking a Common Myth About Silk Care
A final word about silk: it can be easy to care for. Many consumers mistakenly believe that silk bedding to be dry cleaned. In fact, Mulberry Park Silk sheets and pillow cases can be laundered in your machine on a gentle cycle. We recommend using a detergent specially formulated for silk, and placing your items in mesh laundry bags to protect the fabric. Silk can be easily hung dry indoors our outside away from direct sunlight and can be touched up with a cool iron if necessary. We find that placing sheets on the bed while still slightly damp allows you to smooth out any wrinkles and avoid the need to iron. Learn more about our silk bedding and how to care for it by visiting our blog and website.