Why You Should Be Sleeping In Silk
Silk anything, really - is a luxury. It has been produced, bought, sold, bartered with, fought over and sought after for centuries. From its spectacular shimmer and shine to the aspect of high opulence and luxury, it can be easy to forget or completely overlook the amazing benefits that silk fibre has.
- Silk can absorb up to a third of its weight in water before it feels wet.
- Silk is breathable. It keeps you cool on hot days and through warm nights.
- Silk regulates body temperature, and conserves heat in the cold.
- Silk has impressive moisture wicking abilities, keeping you dry and comfortable in any climate, year-round.
- Silk naturally repels mould & mildew.
- Silk is hypoallergenic, and won’t irritate sensitive skin.
- Silk has a natural lustre from its smooth threads, giving a beautiful appearance.
- Silk doesn’t create static, so it does not cling or crease easily.
- Silk fibres are naturally elastic, and can stretch up to 20% without breaking.
- Silk fabrics are ideal for layering, and can be produced in light, mid & heavy weights.
What is Silk?
Silk is a protein fibre, it is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the mulberry silkworm bread in captivity a process known as sericulture. The shimmering, shiny appearance of silk comes from its prism-like structure of the fibre itself, which means that silk has the ability to refract light at different angles.
Silk can be produced by many different types of insects, most are not used for textile manufacturing however.Silk can be produced by bees,wasps,ants,silverfish,mayflies,thrips,leafhoppers,beetles,lacewings,fleas,and flies.
Spiders are also capable of producing silk. The demand, however for Spider-spun silk is very low - arguably due to the whole idea of a “Spider-Farm”.
It is in fact possible to produce wild silk, as in silk not made from silkworms in captivity. Wild silk also refers to silk produced from other types of caterpillars besides the mulberry silkworm, or from a different insect entirely. The scale of production for textiles made from wild silk has always been smaller, but has been known and used in China, South Asia and Europe since ancient times. Wild silk, even from a mulberry silkworm is also vastly different and inferior due to it being less refined nurtured.
History of Silk
Fabric made from silken fibres was first produced in ancient China; the earliest evidence of this is from around 3630BC. It was so heavily prized that for quite some time silk was only allowed to be worn and owned by members of the royal family. So prized, was it by the royals that credit for the discovery of silk was given to a Chinese empress named Leizu.
According to legend, a silkworm cocoon fell into her tea, and the heat unwrapped the silk and fine thread started to separate itself from the silkworm cocoon. Leizu found that she could unwind this soft and lovely thread around her finger. She persuaded her husband the emperor to give her a grove of mulberry trees, where she could domesticate the worms that made these cocoons.
Silk fabric was originally reserved for the Emperors of China and their families. Because of its texture and lustre, silk rapidly became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants.Used as high prized gifts or for personal use, though silk gradually spread via both social and commercial trade eventually making its way to the many regions of Asia.
The demand for this exotic and luxurious fabric grew to a point that a trade route was set up to transport silk from the east to the west. Known commonly and historically as “The Silk Road” roughly 6,500 Kilometres long spanning from China to the Mediterranean. Only a few people actually followed the entire route; goods were handled mostly by a series of merchants throughout.
Due to the Silk Road the Roman Empire knew of and traded in silk, with Chinese silk being the most highly priced luxury goods to be imported. Despite the popularity of silk, the secret of silk-making only reached Europe around AD 550; Italy was the most important producer of silk during the medieval age. Since the 15th century, silk production in France has been cantered around the city of Lyon. England struggled and to produce home grown silk, outsourcing to America in 1619. World War 2 interrupted the silk trade from China and the price of it went up dramatically.
India is the second largest producer of silk in the world after China. About 97% of raw silk comes from India. Still today silk is produced year-round in Thailand, traditionally woven by women on hand looms with the skill then passed down to their daughters, as silk weaving is considered to be a sign of maturity and eligibility for marriage.
Why you should be sleeping in Silk
The benefits and unique qualities of silk place this fabric in a league of its own.
For your Skin and hair:
Silk contains cellular albumen, which helps speed up metabolism of skin cells - thus helping to reduce signs of aging. Silk is a natural heat regulator, able to maintain the air around you at a comfortable temperature when you sleep, meaning you perspire less - extensive sweating is a big contributor to skin aging. The smooth surface of silk means there is little friction between your skin and your bedding linen, which is said to be the biggest cause for sleep wrinkles. The fact that your hair moves around freely as well basically means you will not wake up with a bed full of broken hair and your head looking like a mess.
For Allergy Sufferers:
Bugs don’t like silk, bacteria don’t like silk, and mould doesn’t like silk either. The protein which makes up half of the composition of silk, sericin is a natural repellent that keeps all nasties away. With the big 3 in-house allergens disinterested in your bedding, allergy sufferers can rest easy knowing they are safe from skin rashes, eczemas and a stuffy nose.
Light yet warm
Duvets filled with silk floss weigh a fraction of what a feather/down filled duvet does due to the heat insulating qualities of silk. Of course, the lighter weight helps with a variety of health issues such as blood circulation and arthritis. Silk is an extremely breathable fabric, though due to silk’s ability to keep heat in, there is no need to worry about being cold or over heated. The moisture in the air gets absorbed by silk and can absorb as much as a third of its own weight before it feels wet, so you’ll be kept warm and dry, something that is fantastic for women undergoing menopause and suffering from nightly hot flashes.
Silk fibres are one of the strongest natural textile fibres in the world, the fabric is able to withstand most accidental damages with ease, and with our 5 year warranty we guarantee you’ll be sleeping in silk for years to come.
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