There are few things more luxurious than pure silk sheets, and probably few things least understood in the world of bed linens. Silk sheets are an investment. Made to be used, they get better over time as they last a long time. Are they expensive? Yes, they are, but every household should have at least one set for the master bedroom. Once they try them, most people never go back to anything else.
Pure Silk Sheets -The Starting Point
China first discovered and, to this day, maintains its place and the top producer of quality silks. Other silk producing countries are India, Thailand, and other Asian and Mediterranean countries.
Making silk is a long and difficult process - possibly one of the reasons the Chinese excel at it as they have been manufacturing silk for centuries. It is a schoolroom fact, that silk is produced from silkworms who eat mulberry leaves, and who then, over the course of several days, spin cocoons of silk. The cocoons are harvested, the worm removed, the cocoon put in water to soften, and then the silk thread wound on spools.
This is a simplification of a process that is extremely delicate and can be upset by environmental and temperature changes. To make one pound of silk, one is looking at the work of over three thousand silkworms, plus numerous humans, who, feed, harvest, and turn the silk filaments. Herein, lays the reason for the expense of the fabric . This cultivated silk is also known as mulberry silk. Wild silk or Tussah silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms who live in the wild and whose diet consists of mulberry and oak leaves. Wild silk is a different color because of the compounds of the leaves the wild silkworms eat, and it is rougher in texture.
The Reasons for Purchasing
Pure silk sheets are often considered the ultimate in luxury and even decadence. The reasons that people purchase them are often more practical:
- Silk has the ability to wick moisture away from the skin, keeping it dry and cool in the summer. It also acts with the human body during colder climates and serves to form a cushion around the body by which body heat can be retained.
- Silk does not wrinkle and crease. Much bedding today, looks crumpled and wrinkled when pulled from the dryer, and there are several fabrics, including pure cotton sheets, that must be pressed to look their best.
- Silk is also perfect for people suffering from dry skin and allergies. Silk sheets do not attract as many dust and bed mites as other forms of bedding.
- The makeup of silk has also been beneficial in protecting the skin on the face and hair. In addition, silk may help those who suffer from insomnia by helping provide a more restful sleep experience.
- Again, if properly taken care of, silk ages well, and these sheets often last a long time.
How to Purchase
Silk sheets are measured by their weight, known as the momme weight, as well as its thread count. The higher the momme weight of the sheets, the more durable the sheets. Momme weight of 12-19 is considered best, and thread counts should at the minimum of 400.
Remember that mulberry silk will be more expensive but that it also will last longer. Wild silk will have a rougher texture, and the material will have slubs or irregularities in it.
Taking Care of Silk
Stains on silk need to be treated promptly with a gentle liquid soap, warm water and soft cloth. In order to get the maximum life out of your sheets, remember to handle them gently.
Hand wash your silk sheets the first few times in the bathtub or sink with lukewarm water and something gentle such as Woolite®. After that, they can be washed in a washing machine and then dried using a dryer with both machines set on delicate or low settings.
Keep colored silks out of direct sunlight if drying them naturally outdoors. Sunlight will fade the color on the silk. Also, never use bleach. Bleach and harsh detergents will ruin silk beyond all recognition.
These sheets can give a more restful, a healthier, and a more comfortable sleep. At the end of the day, they are both the gift you give yourself, and a well earned luxury to end and start every day right.