What are the benefits of silk? Why does the price of silk products on the market differ so much? How do I know if it’s real silk? Is it hard to take care of silk products?
These questions may come to many who are interested in silk. Below, we list a brief yet comprehensive guide you need to know about silk.
What are the benefits of silk?
Silk is a protein fiber extracted from the substance secreted by silkworms after lots of handling and processing. It is a fiber closest to our skin and contains 18 amino acids beneficial to the human body. The laborious processing and inborn advantages brought silk the reputation of queen of fibers.
The silk many people refer to is the silk fabric woven from silk fiber. And once made into products like silk pillowcases or clothing, silk can do much more than you think. For instance, let’s see what a silk pillowcase can do for you.
- Promotes sleep – It’s super soft and smooth, very comfy to sleep on. In addition, silk can self-regulate the temperature, so it stays cool at night in summer and retains warmth in winter, bringing your beauty sleep to the next level.
- Protects skin – It’s a natural protein fiber containing 18 amino acids. Instead of absorbing your creams, it nourishes your skin at night without leaving sleep wrinkles on your face.
- Protects hair – With a very smooth surface, it makes the least friction to your hair at night, causing fewer split ends or breakage to your hair.
- Hypoallergenic -It’s naturally hypoallergenic, non-chemical, non-toxic, and very friendly to people with sensitive skin. (not to mention all silk we used are OEKO-TEX certified)
- Anti-bacterial – It won’t absorb creams and lotions that breed bacteria, mold, and fungi from your face like a cotton pillowcase, so a silk pillowcase is more antibacterial.
What’s the difference between silk and satin?
Actually, this subhead is a false question as silk and satin are different concepts that are incomparable. However, many people believe that satin is an affordable substitute for silk with the same glossy and smooth features. The truth is:
- Silk is a kind of fiber
- Satin is a type of fabric weave
Silk can be woven into satin and other weaves like crepe and plain weave, while satin can be woven from different materials, including nylon, polyester, silk, etc.
Satin silk, commonly called charmeuse silk or crepe satin plain, is widely known for its gorgeous and lustrous surface, and it is the most popular and common silk fabric. However, polyester satin also shares smooth and glossy surface features. Thus it’s hard for people unfamiliar with silk to distinguish the real silk just through the surface.
Vice versa, a common mistake for many is that fabric without glossy surfaces is not made from real silk. The truth is that many silk fabrics made in other weaves do not have shiny surfaces. For example, crepe de chine silk we usually use to make apparel has a dull surface, and it’s not so smooth as charmeuse silk to the touch.
How to distinguish real silk?
As is mentioned before, it’s difficult for people unfamiliar with silk to distinguish real silk by eyes. Therefore, in this part of the text, we will introduce some more accessible ways to tell silk from other artificial fibers.
1. Burn. Take a small sample offered and burn it. Burning real silk smells like burning our hair while burning fake silk smells like burning plastic. The ashes from the burning are also different. The ash from real silk is crispy and turns to powder once you rub it, but the ash from fake silk is sticky and hard to break apart.
2. Soak. Silk is a protein fiber, so it’s usually suggested to be washed with chloride-free detergent. Soak a silk fabric sample in chlorine sanitizer or detergent, and it will be gradually dissolved, while the polyester fabric will not.
3. Touch. Rub fingers on the silk fabric, and you will feel very soft and yielding – a feeling that polyester would not give you. Also, when rubbing two pieces of silk fabric together near your ear, you will hear a crunching sound – a bit like walking on snow.
How to take care of silk?
It takes more time and effort to take care of silk clothing, which is why some people don’t want to use silk. Whereas, as long as you know the appropriate way to handle it, it’s not so hard to take care of it.
1. Wash. It’s better to wash silk clothing by hand with chloride-free detergent and water temperature no more than 35℃. Remember, don’t scrub it too hard, just lightly knead it. If you have to clean it by machine, be sure to use a mesh bag and choose the most gentle cycle of the washing machine.
2. Dry. It’s better not to expose silk clothes directly to the sun, or use a dryer. You should gently wring out silk clothes and hang them in the shade. If often exposed to the sun, ultraviolet rays will yellow and age silk clothes.
3. Iron. Silk clothes have poor wrinkle resistance compared with artificial materials. So it’s normal if your silk clothes are wrinkled after washing. It’s better to cover your silk clothes with a towel if you use an iron, but steaming them would be more favorable.
A few more tips you should not miss.
If you don’t have chloride-free detergent, mildly acidic shampoo is also available for washing silk clothes. If you don’t have mildly acidic shampoo wither, directly washing the silk clothes in water is also agreeable if it’s not too dirty.
Prepare a small spray bottle with clean water with you when wearing silk clothes, and it would be helpful when your clothes are partially wrinkled. Spray some water in the wrinkled parts and then smooth it out with your hands, and you’ll find that the wrinkle magically disappeared.