If you've never experienced the luxury of sleeping on silk bedding, you're missing more than just the sensuous, elegant feel of silk, because there's much more to silk than its soft pleasant caress.
The Cool Feel of Silk
Silk makes an excellent choice for bedding because it is cool in the summer and keeps you warm in the winter. You may wonder how it can be both, but as a natural fiber, silk is breathable and works to wick body moisture away from the body when you are hot. Silk also keeps you warm in the winter because of it's draping quality. It hugs the body and eliminates air pockets and works to retain your body heat. It's a win win fabric for bedding that keeps you comfortable.
Silk Bedding and Allergies
While buying silk bedding can feel extravagant, in reality it is also a practical choice for those who suffer from certain allergies or asthma, because it is naturally hypoallergenic. Silk is a natural fiber made from the cocoon of silkworms. As the cocoons are processed, care is taken to retain the cocoons' natural ability to protect from natural threats. This protection is due to naturally occurring amino acids like sericin which translates into a natural deterrent to common allergens including:
- Dust mites
Silk Sheets are Durable and Safe
When you think of silk, it's easy to think of it as a delicate fabric. The fact is, even though it is delicate to the touch, a silk fiber is stronger than a fiber of steel the same size. However, it's important to note that silk produced by cultivated silk worms is more durable than that made from the cocoons of wild silkworms. That's because the silkworms raised in captivity receive a steady diet of mulberry leaves. When the cocoons are ready, they are soaked and great care is taken to unwind the fiber of the softened cocoon in one long strand. Keeping the strand intact makes for a stronger fabric.When you're shopping for your silk bedding, if the label reads "spun silk", it means the fibers are wild silk spun into a longer strand rather than being naturally occurring. This fiber is not as durable as silk made from unbroken strands. One silk thread is usually comprised of 4 - 8 silk filaments and due to it's natural inclination to stick to itself, creates a strong bond which results in a naturally durable fabric and silk sheets that last for years.
Silk is also known for its safety, not just in its ability to thwart dust mites but in the fact that chemicals are not used to process 100 percent silk products. Silk is also a natural fire retardant which is why it is recommended for bedding.
Caring for Silk
Caring for silk is the one draw back for some people. If you want all the benefits we've already discussed like the natural protection from dust mites and the fire retardant qualities, then you need to buy silk bedding that says it is 100 percent silk. Buying silk sheets of this quality will take a little extra work when laundering. In fact, it is recommended that silk sheets be washed by hand the first few times they are laundered. Some sheets require hand washing for as long as you own them. Others can be washed on the gentle setting with gentle soap and cool water, but they should never be dried in the drier. The preference is to let them air dry in the sunshine.
In the case of a silk comforter, it is recommended to cover the comforter with a duvet. This makes cleaning easy because the duvet can be washed and dried, while the silk comforter will not need to be washed or dry cleaned because of it's natural ability to repel dust mites, mold and mildew.
When you stop to think about all the advantages of owning silk bedding, it's easy to see that silk isn't just for sheets anymore. The fact that silk works to repel dust mites makes it an excellent choice for a comforter. Plus the fact that it is resistant to mold and mildew makes it a wise choice in humid climates or in bedrooms that tend to be humid due to humidity coming from the master bath. Not only that, but silk gives you that smooth silky texture without being slippery. Silk really is a perfect choice for bedding if you can work around the extra work required to keep it clean.