There is no doubt that purchasing anything made of silk is an investment. The process of growing silkworms, harvesting their cocoons, and turning those cocoons into soft luxurious silk is a demanding and time consuming process.
So before you make that purchase of silk sheets that you are longing to slide in between every night for a blissful nights sleep, here are some things you need to know.
Weight and Thread Count
When looking at silk sheets, thread count is important, but not as important as the “momme” (pronounced like the word “mummy”) weight. Silk is typically measured by momme weight because it is such a fine and light fabric. The higher the momme number on a set of silk sheets, the heavier the fabric. If you are looking at sheets with a momme weight of only 6-9, those sheets are not going be very durable or last long. Silk with a momme weight of 12-19 is good for sheets.
Dont completely disregard thread count. Look for sheets that have a thread count of at least 400.
Types of Silk
There are two basic types of silk, wild silk and cultivated silk. Wild silk, as you might expect, comes from wild silkworms. The filament threads from them are not long continuous threads like those from cultivated silk so it is not as durable or as strong as cultivated. For sheets, durability is a big consideration. Although they cost more, sheets made from cultivated silk are recommended because the thread strands are much longer. Cultivated silk is most often referred to as Mulberry Silk because that is the only food cultivated silkworms eat. Mulberry silk is the most expensive. Tussah, Habutai, and wild silk can all be quite nice too and are a little less expensive.
Satin versus Silk
When looking at silk sheets you may be confused by sheets labeled “satin silk.” Satin does not refer to the actual fabric. Satin refers to the weave of the fabric. The silk filaments in satin silk are woven in a way that gives the fabric a smooth shiny surface. Satin silk woven from mulberry or cultivated silk threads is very luxurious and durable. It may make your pocketbook cry a little too because its also expensive.
Think About Your Mattress
Dont forget to take the size of your mattress into consideration when purchasing silk sheets. Im not talking about whether your bed is twin-size, full, queen, king, or California king. Im talking about how thick it is. If you have a pillow top mattress you need extra deep sheets. It would be very disappointing to receive the silk sheets you ordered only to find they dont fit on your mattress.
Care of Silk Sheets
Although cost is the biggest barrier to people purchasing silk sheets, the fear of caring for them makes many people shy away from purchasing them too. Although they are not as easy to care for as percale sheets which can get thrown in the washer, tossed in the dryer and come out looking great no matter how much you abuse them, silk sheets require gentler care but its really not that hard.
Most silk sheets do best with hand washing for the first few times, and then being machine washed on the gentle or hand washable cycle using a gentle soap. They should be air dried out of direct sunlight although some people dont have any problems with putting their silk sheets in the dryer and drying them on the air setting to remove the excess moisture and fluff them up.
A Few Benefits of Silk
Silk sheets can be beneficial to your health. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic. When a silkworm weaves it cocoon there are naturally occurring substances in it that protect it from various natural threats. Because the process of turning the cocoons into silk is a gentle one that does not strip away that natural substance, silk is a natural deterrent to dust mites, mold, and fungus all things that can bother allergy sufferers and people who suffer from asthma.
Although I dont know if this is proven or not, but the essential amino acids found in silk are said to be good for a persons skin, hair, and nervous system. Sleeping on silk sheets is supposed to delay wrinkling of the skin. Those same amino acids are supposed to be calming which is good for a persons nervous system as being calm allows a persons body to more easily refresh and rejuvenate itself during sleeping hours.
Silk sheets are great in both the summer and the winter. Because silk has a great draping ability, it gently conforms to a persons body which helps to retain heat and keep a person warm in the winter. In the summer its great breatheability properties allow it to wick away moisture and keep a person cool.
Where You Buy Your Silk Sheets Is An Important Consideration
Although department stores are the first place many people go to when buying sheets, you may not want to buy your silk sheets at once because most department stores do not offer high quality silk sheets.
As a general rule, the highest quality silk sheets are ones that are made to order for the buyer. Consider doing business with an online business that is both the manufacturer and the retailer. Not only are their prices competitive, they know their product very well and can answer all the questions you have, and even some you didnt know to ask, before you purchase.
Silk sheets are a wonderful thing to own. Once you have one set, you will want to buy more. That are that wonderful.