When you're shopping for new bedspreads, pillowcases, eye masks, or even pyjamas, you'll see many choices available. With different labels, thread counts, and materials, it can be hard to figure out which is the best option for you. However, one material that consistently stands out above the rest is Mulberry silk.
Often referred to as one of the strongest and finest luxurious fabrics that can be purchased, Mulberry silk is a crowd favourite. Its unique history and wide range of benefits when it comes to style, beauty and health make it a popular fibre. If you're unfamiliar with Mulberry Silk, we break down everything you need to know in our complete guide to this fabulous high-quality fabric.
What Is Mulberry Silk?
While most silk comes from silkworms, it can also be collected from multiple sources, including honeybee larvae, clams, spiders, and even goats! The issue with other sources of silks is that they're hard to harvest, either because they're not strong enough to create high-quality silk or due to the tiny amount of silk produced by the specific source.
Most products' silk comes from silkworm cocoons or the larva of silk moths. These silkworms are either domesticated or found in the wild. Mulberry silk refers to domesticated silkworms which are farmed in a controlled environment.
Where Does Mulberry Silk Come From?
Mulberry silk is a luxury fabric made by silkworms and is well-known for its soft feel. Mulberry silk comes from the silkworms of a specific type of moth - Bombyx mori - raised in captivity that feed on Mulberry leaves, resulting in consistent, high-quality silk that's white in colour. Once they reach a specific age, they'll create a cocoon made of pure silk thread. These cocoons are then collected and turned into various silk products. On average, it takes between 2,000 to 3,000 cocoons to generate a pound of mulberry silk.
Image by Quang Nguyen Vinh: White silk cocoons in a basket
Although around 60 countries around the world have a silk industry, the vast majority of Silk is produced in China (58%) and India (37%).
The Cost Behind Mulberry Silk
Is Mulberry Silk Expensive?
Silkworms are meticulously raised to create the best silk possible. So much time, money, and effort go into raising these silkworms. This is why their silk is one of the most expensive fabrics on the market. You can expect to pay top dollar for any product containing 100% Mulberry Silk.
Why Is Mulberry Silk So Expensive?
When you compare mulberry silk to other fabrics, it's generally more expensive because there are significant differences between the quality, care, and type of materials.
The quality of the leaves that are fed to silkworms is one example. They have to be free of any chemicals or pesticides to ensure that they produce pure silk that is not harmful when used against the skin.
Another factor is the cost of raising silkworms. They must be raised and fed very carefully to ensure they create a high-quality silk thread, which requires a lot of time and attention. The result of this process is a gorgeous white silk, which is vastly different than the uneven or broken scraps of wild silkworms. All of these factors contribute to a higher cost.
Benefits of Using Mulberry Silk
Mulberry silk is very beneficial for sleepwear and silk bedding products. Most consumers choose this fabric over alternatives because it's:
- Environmentally Friendly: One of the best benefits of Mulberry silk is that it's environmentally friendly. The silkworms are raised in captivity, so there's no need to use pesticides or chemicals on any mulberry leaves. This ensures the highest quality Mulberry silk with no side effects for you!
- Better Quality Sleep: Pure Mulberry Silk enhances sleep quality which is why you'll see many luxury hotels using mulberry silk bedsheets in their suites.
- Smooth & Lightweight: The smooth texture allows the hair shafts to lie flat against our scalps, which creates a weightless feel against your head, preventing tangles and breakage.
Is Mulberry Silk Better Than Regular Silk?
Yes, mulberry silk is better quality than regular silk. Mulberry silk is created by carefully raising the worms to ensure they make the best silk possible. With Mulberry silk, you can expect consistent quality along with a soft texture you'll love.
Is Mulberry Silk Good For Your Hair?
Mulberry silk can help you maintain better-looking hair as its smoothness reduces friction significantly, thereby reducing the risk of breakage. Mulberry silk is frequently used on those who want stronger hair or have varying hair textures such as curly and kinky hair.
Is Mulberry Silk Good For Your Skin?
Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies, so it's essential to make sure that we're using products that will not cause irritation or damage to this sensitive area.
Mulberry silk, like other silks, is less absorbent meaning it removes less of the moisturiser you put on your skin and removes less of your natural oils. This means that after sleeping on silk chances are you'll have more moist, better looking skin.
Is Mulberry Silk Just Satin?
Technically-speaking, satin refers to a type of weave, not a material. A satin weave leaves a material with a shiny, soft and elastic finish. In ancient China satin was made exclusively from real silk in China. So it is possible to find mulberry silk products weaved in satin.
However, times have changed. Today most manufacturers using the term "satin" are referring to a product made with synthetic materials. If you can't find the material specified, there's a strong chance it's not mulberry silk.
Quality Of Mulberry Silk
Most people choose Mulberry silk because it's one of the highest quality silks available on the market. Not only is it a durable material, but it's soft and smooth to the touch.
How Can I Tell If Silk Is Real Or Fake?
There are a number of ways to test if silk is real or fake.
1. How it looks
Real silk refracts light at different angles, creating different colours as the material bends and twists. If the colour looks flat all over, it's probably not silk
2. The scrunch test.
When you scrunch it in your hand, you'll hear a crunching noise. If you don't hear that scrunching sound, it may well be fake.
Gently rub the material between your fingers. If it feels warm to the touch after doing so, chances are that it's real silk.
4. The Ring Test
Real silk is incredibly smooth and low-friction. It glides rather than snags. One way to test this is to pass your material through a ring. If it gets stuck, it may not be silk. If it goes through smoothly, it probably is!
5. The Burn Test
This one is a bit extreme, so it's not for everyone. To do this one you need to take a light to a piece of the material and observe the following:
- Smell of plastic and burning with no ash = synthetic material
- Smell of burning hair and a brittle ash = real silk
Care of Mulberry Silk
What Detergent Should You Use For Mulberry Silk?
It's essential to always use a detergent that is delicate on your Mulberry silk products. Try to avoid using and fabric softener or conditioner as this can compromise the quality of your silk. To ensure the safety of your products, you can protect your silk by putting it into a mesh bag before washing.
How Often Should You Wash Silk Pillowcases?
It's best to wash silk pillowcases just as regularly as you would other pillowcases. Always either handwash or use a 'delicates' cycle if the manufacturer states that this is OK (most do).
Can I Tumble Dry Mulberry Silk Pillowcases?
No. You should hang dry them away from direct sunlight to avoid ading
Manufacturing of Mulberry Silk
How Is Mulberry Silk Made?
The silkworm makes the fabric known as mulberry silk. The silkworm feeds on mulberry leaves and eventually creates a cocoon out of pure silk. This cocoon is harvested and used to make silk products.
Image by Quang Nguyen Vinh: Silk worms (bombyx mori) making silk cocoons.
What Sorts Of Products Can You Make With Mulberry Silk?
Mulberry silk can be made into a variety of products, from clothing to bedding. In the past, it was mainly used for religious purposes and in monasteries, but today it's available to use for health, beauty, and home products.
Is Mulberry Silk Ethical?
In traditional silk harvesting, the silk manufacturers boil the cocoon with the worm still inside of it so that there is no breakage of the long strand of silk inside. However, there are less harmful alternatives to the silk-making process, such as the "peace silk" method, which lets the moth leave the cocoon before it's boiled.
Is Mulberry Silk Vegan?
No, Mulberry silk is not vegan because it's made using the silkworm. So if you're looking for a 100% vegan product, we'd recommend checking out alternatives such as a eucalyptus vegan silk pillowcase or high-quality cotton.
What products are commonly made with Mulberry Silk?
Understanding Mulberry silk is a great way to improve your knowledge of luxury products. It's one of the finest types of silk available on the market today, and it has a ton to offer in terms of benefits. Mulberry silk is natural, luxurious, and perfect for people who are conscious about what they put on their bodies.
So if you're ready to try out silk products, browse through our full line of products at Snooze Foundry to find the quality and indulgence that you deserve: