Everything you Need to Know About Silk

About Silk

Silk is an amazing and luxury fabric like no other. It has long been one of the most luxurious fabrics available and is best known for its amazing benefits to your health and beauty and its softness and strength. 

Interestingly, the Chinese managed to keep silk a secret for over 1000 years. Anyone telling the secret or taking a silkworm out of China was put to death… However, the secret of silk became known to other countries when two monks smuggled some silkworm eggs out of the country hidden... in their bamboo walking sticks. Yes… I know!

We will try to explain silk, Mulberry Silk, Momme, Grade, Standards and finally… How did we get hyaluronic acid into it… and is it proven?

The Health Benefits

SILK FOR YOUR HAIR
  • Mornings are a dream after waking from sleeping on a silk pillowcase.  Hair is smoother, silkier and tangle-free.  The frizzies are dramatically reduced or eliminated.  It maintains more moisture.
  • Silk tames bed head.  Tangles in morning hair are caused by the friction of cotton during sleep.  Moisture is lost.  Without you knowing, hair snags and pulls. In contrast, hair glides across silk as you move around and turn in bed.
  • Hair is less likely to break.  You will find new growth now from growth is far better and so the future of your hair increases as your hair is replaced with new growth.
If you use scrunchies for a top-knot to give your hair automatic lift when brushing out, you will find even just using a silk scrunchie can be helpful.  Satin and elastic pulls and is harsh, silk isn’t… it slides.
 
SILK FOR SKIN
  • Silk helps maintain moisture in the skin and reduced friction helps remove the likelihood of developing wrinkles.
  • Silk reduces sleep wrinkles.  Cotton pillowcases drag and draw facial skin, which is delicate, causing it to pucker and crinkle resulting in more obvious lines and wrinkles. Over time, those lines can become permanent. The increased moisture and loss of less water helps to soften the skin.  Skin plumping and rejuvenating results.
  • Skin conditions such as acne and rosacea may be improved with the use of silk.  Unlike some fabrics, silk has been shown not to irritate skin.

If you ever forget your night time skin ritual of products after your evening shower, but sleep on a silk pillowcase you will see that the usually expected dry wrinkles are less than they would be.  Clean skin on a silk and hyaluronic pillowcase in comparison to moisture sucking cotton is extraordinary.  A silk pillowcase is an extra treatment, not one we would expect you to use alone, most of us enjoy our skincare, but consider it a bonus that your skin will thank you for.  

EVERYONE BENEFITS FROM SILK
  • Silk will improve sleep and you will be more rested, alone improving your well-being and appearance.  Sleep is the time our body and skin repair itself. This is enhanced by nature with silk.  Silk helps to balance the temperature of our bodies. Moisture and sweat is drawn away.  It insulates in colder weather and breathes in heat. Perfect for summer and winter alike.
  • Silk is overall healthier.  It is hypoallergenic and will not cause irritation.  Dust mites find silk inhospitable and it is resistant to mould and other particles such as dust.
  • The benefits are numerous and immediate and after several days you will see a marked difference.  The benefits increase week on week. You will always benefit from having silk in your life. Many people have used them for years and literally pack one for business trips and holidays.
  • Silk is an affordable luxury now.  Nothing in the world compares to silk.  It feels amazing.  
  • You can take it for granted:  We guarantee you will simply forget the the importance of something you do without thinking.  We think it is great you can take it for granted.
We would say consider your silk and hyaluronic acid pillowcase a bit like taking a supplement. Not only for skin, but also for your hair and general well-being.  Hair is the reason many people use a silk pillowcase. Other reasons include skin conditions and allergies.

SILK - Momme, Grades & Standards

Mulberry Silk, Momme, Standards & Grades

Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk in the world used for home textiles, bedding and apparel.  It gets its name because the Bombyx mori silkworm is fed solely on mulberry leaves and produces luxurious long fibres of pure white.  Other types of silks such as wild silk or Habotai silk are less uniform in colour and texture, with shorter strands and the quality of products made with this are a poor comparison. Mulberry silk comes in a variety of grades and weight thicknesses, known as ‘mommes’

What is ‘Momme’?
Momme (pronounced ‘mommy’) refers to the weight of the fabric.  Understanding the best momme to buy for your product is useful and sometimes quite important.  The price of silk increases by the momme weight.  Momme is the traditional way of measuring the weight of silk in a length of 100 yards long by 45 inches wide. (45 inches is the standard width of silk fabric).  If the weight of that length of silk is 19lbs in, then the Silk is 19 momme.  If the weight is 12lbs, the silk is 12 momme... and so on.  The tighter the weave, the more silk is used, which means that the weight and the momme count are higher.  Lower momme count Silk fabrics are translucent (e.g. chiffon silk is 6-8mm) higher momme Silk is more opaque. 19 momme silk is the industry standard.  The higher the momme the greater the cost.  Momme bedding starts at around 16 momme. 19mm is standard, 22 momme is highly luxurious, while incredibly soft. 30 momme is heavier but is still used for textiles.

OEKO-TEX® Silk Standard:
All our silk products are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certified and tested.  The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 sets standards to reduce the environmental footprint by global testing to meet rigorous test criteria from raw materials to finished products.  They are free from harmful chemicals, toxins and irritants. They are safe, natural, and healthy.

This brings us to ‘Grades’.
Silk is graded A, B, or C, with Grade A being the best. Grade A silk is the highest quality long-strand silk from cocoons that are pearly white in colour. It is very pure and can be unravelled to great lengths without breaking. Silk grades are also further differentiated by number; Grade A silk comes in A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A, with 6A being the highest and finest quality silk… then B, C etc.  For any given type of silk, Grade 6A is the finest quality. A silk pillowcase made from Grade 6A silk will cost more because of the better-quality silk.  We use Grade 6A 100% mulberry silk for ALL our silk – right down to our scrunchies.

And Here's the Best Part!  Hyaluronic Acid

Our innovative Hyaluronic Acid in Conjunction with the natural amino acids in silk.  So how will I benefit from a silk pillowcase… especially with fabulous hyaluronic acid… we hear you ask.

Slouchers Silks is made of silk that uses nano spheres of hyaluronic acid that is infused throughout the fabric via technology that has been proven to work. This is an incredible breakthrough because silk alone is amazing, but this just takes the experience to another level.

Hyaluronic acid exists in every cell of our body. It is an important basic substance for skin hydration. It is the most hydrophilic molecule in nature and has many benefits to the skin. We call this our invisible "natural moisturizing cream".

We use microcapsule technology to combine the mulberry silk fabric with hyaluronic acid. When the silk touches and rubs with the skin, the microcapsule shell on the fibre ruptures and slowly releases hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin and hair.

The combination of hyaluronic acid and mulberry silk with all the natural amino acids can improve skin metabolism, maintain skin moisture, reduce wrinkles, and promote sleep, as if applying a layer of "silk mask" to the skin all night to providing the skin with meticulous care.

Hyaluronic Acid and Silk

But there's more...

18 Amino Acids:  There are 18 different amino acids in 22 momme silk.  All part of the natural makeup of silk. Silk amino acid also known as Sericin is a natural water-soluble glycoprotein extracted from raw silk. It is used as an additive in skin and hair care products due to its high levels of serine which has excellent moisture preservation characteristics.

Hypoallergenic:  One of the unique benefits of Mulberry silk is that it is 100% natural. It is odourless and hypoallergenic. Mulberry silk contains a natural protein called sericin in the protein fibroin that reduces the possibility of an allergic reaction. Therefore, Mulberry silk bedding is a healthy and safe choice for those with allergies. Dust mites do not infiltrate silk as it is an inhospitable fabric for them. This further reduces the allergies caused by dust mites.

It works continually:  Silk works extraordinarily hard for you without any effort at all, apart from sleeping! It will do the work of expensive skincare without the additional cost. The protein makeup of silk works closely with the natural keratin in human hair.

Proven to work:  The positive benefits of silk are backed up by scientific research and even history. The first silk fabric found by modern man was in 3630 BC… reserved for emperors and as special gifts.

Silk is a non-drying natural fibre that breathes:  It is excellent at keeping a warm layer of air next to your skin, but thanks to its breath-ability, it won't end up making you feel hot and clammy in the way that synthetics will. Cotton fabrics pull moisture from the skin. Silk acts completely differently, helping your skin retain moisture. Reduced friction coupled with all the natural amino acids and proteins will all work for you.

In addition to all the natural abilities of silk… we have gone a step further with the infusion of skin enhancing hyaluronic acid, making this ultra special… and again, this is backed up by scientific proof that it works by adding an extra moisturising factor that is proven to be better for your skin and hair.

Our pillowcase is Grade 6A 22 Momme Mulberry Silk.  Here’s why…

We clearly state that our silk is ALL Grade 6A, 100% finest Mulberry Silk, it is weight 22 Momme and our pillowcase has the addition of Hyaluronic Acid, also tested and scientifically proven and approved.

We spent many months searching for the right silk because it was important to us to provide an item that coupled the beautifying qualities we felt we wanted to bring in conjunction with luxury quality, softness and durability. We tested all the momme’s over a long period. The key word here is friction… friction is what makes your face and hair messy in the morning. We tested all mommes over 16mm.  The lower momme (because it has less silk in) still great but allowed some friction as a pillowcase.  The aging process is reduced with less of this.  We moved onto much higher momme. 30 momme was felt to be too thick. An extremely high momme creates a thicker fabric. This meant that it was not as soft as we wanted.  In tests all our testers agreed 22 momme was perfect.  The 22 momme ticked all the boxes for drape, softness, and reduced friction.  We therefore chose 22mm for most of our products.  19mm proved better for scrunchies.   

Real silk is understated and classy...
Synthetics, are like all fakes, often trying to show off!

Technology has also allowed for synthetic materials to try to mimic silk.  It can try, and manufacturers are getting clever, but quite obviously, what you do not get with fake silk are the benefits.

There are tests such as the ring test, rub test, and the well documented burn test: Real silk will not 'set alight'. If you hold a flame to it the fabric will resist setting alight. You can burn it, but it will not ignite. Synthetics will go up like a bonfire. Silk burn smell is similar to burning hair, whereas synthetic will usually smell like plastic (because it is). We do not recommend you try this of course, but it is 100% fool proof and just one more fact worth knowing.

Also, although not impossible, it is rare that you will find fake silk on a website that gives you all this information.

No matter how nice the fabric, only silk provides the benefits that only silk can.  You just can't imitate class!

* Real Silk has a lustre sheen that is classy and if you hold it to the light you see colour change with light angles
* Real silk may initially feel cool on touch but if you gently rub it will feel warm
* Real silk cannot set alight.  You can burn silk but it will not ignite
* Real silk is not perfect.  Like all natural products there will variations in the evenness and this is totally expected
* Real silk, like leather, sheepskin and suede, it will age with character
* Fake silk like satin silk is usually glossy and cannot imitate silk.  Held up to light you see an unnatural white gleam
* Fake silk cannot imitate the natural warmth when rubbed and remains cool
* Fake silk will ignite like a bonfire.  It will set alight with a flame... silk won’t!
* Fake silk is perfect unless the manufacture has cleverly woven the material to imitate silk.  Even so, there are many other signs
* Fake silk will bobble and age as all synthetics do... terribly badly. 

 

Silk Care:  
Washing your fine silk items is best done by hand or using the shortest available wool cycle on a washing machine at cool temperatures (max 20 degrees). If you do use a machine, the spin cycle should be the lowest setting available.  Silk may initially shrink a little, but a gentle iron will relax the fibres and as long as washed in a cool temperature this is minimal. Nominal shrinkage is normal for all silk but is increased if washed in hot water which should not be done.  The Best solution:   Turn inside out and soak in cool water, swishing gently occasionally.  If you must use a detergent because of a mark or stain, use a small amount of detergent created for wool (another natural fibre).  Squeeze the water out gently, do not wring. Avoid wrinkling by keeping straight while drying out of direct sunlight. To remove excess water, you can lay inside a clean white towel and push this to draw out the excess water. Iron inside out on a very cool setting below the wool.  Like wool, silk is a natural fibre and can spoil if not dealt with carefully. However, simply rinsing through every week or after a few days (whatever your preference) should be enough to keep it looking good.  As with all bedding time will show wear signs etc and the life of the product will very much depend, like all bedding, on the usage, washing and storing methods. Less is more with silk.  When you iron you might find you cannot get that crisp sharp edge you may get with cotton… don’t worry about this, those tiny creases will relax naturally on the pillow itself over several hours.

NOW... Go to the top of the page and read all about Slouchers Silk with Hyaluronic Acid...