- Satin, a synthetic fabric, could contain health-hazardous toxins from its production process.
- Harmful chemicals in satin could include Formaldehyde, Azo dyes, and heavy metals.
- Safety in bedclothes can be ensured through third-party certifications and natural material choices.
- Silk pillowcases offer a hypoallergenic, breathable, and toxin-free alternative to satin.
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There are all kinds of popular materials used in bed clothing. One of them, satin, is sleek and shiny. It's popular because it's smooth and looks glamorous.
Satin is sometimes assumed to be a good alternative to silk, but that's simply not the case.
The reality is that satin fabric can contain some toxins that make it dangerous to use in your home. Why does it contain those toxins? Primarily because of the highly artificial process by which it is made. On top of that, satin can lead to other issues. Satin still tugs at your hair, and it can irritate the skin. The chemicals it holds have been associated with an increased risk in cancer or other issues in the body.
Here is some more information about the satin items in your home. Read this to learn why you need to know the difference between satin and silk before you buy bedclothes.
What Is Satin Made Of?
Satin is artificial. Usually, polyester, rayon, or nylon fibers are used to weave the threads into a "satin weave." The result is a seemingly luxurious shiny fabric, though satin does not have the same benefits as silk.
There are several kinds of satin and satin weaves including:
- Antique satin
- Surf satin weaves
- Slipper satin
- Double-faced satin weaves
- Polyester satin
Satin is said to have many benefits. Some include durability, wrinkle resistance, and the ability to drape easily.
Satin is also made to be affordable...but it's only creating the illusion of being a luxurious fabric. It is made with synthetic fibers that create the appearance of a lustrous surface, but those fibers aren't natural or, in some cases, safe. So, while you might think that silk and satin are comparable, the truth is that they're nothing alike.
What Kinds of Chemicals Can Be Found in Satin Fabric?
There are all kinds of chemicals that can be found in satin depending on the specific finish on the material. You could find toxins such as:
- Azo dyes (some which are associated with cancer)
- Heavy metals like cadmium or mercury
- Organotin compounds
Sometimes, the function of the chemicals makes them necessary. For example, satin evening gowns might be made with flame retardants to prevent accidents near candles. Unfortunately, flame retardants may bioaccumulate. They build up in the body. Over time, they can cause problems ranging from infertility to cancer.
Other chemicals used in the creation of satin material can lead to dermatitis and allergies. For instance, AZO dyes, which are used to color textiles into vivid colors, can come off and come into contact with the skin. In a worst-case scenario, those AZO dyes could break down into aromatic amines and cause cancer.
Chemicals like chlorobenzene are troublesome, too. Why? They can accumulate in your body. They have the potential to irritate or affect the thyroid, nervous system, and liver. In some places, like in the European Union, their use is restricted.
What Can I Do To Stay Safe Against Satin Toxins?
Knowing the chemicals that are in some satin pillowcases and bed sheets, you need to know how to suss out the items that might be dangerous to your health.
One of the best things to do is to look for products that have a third-party certification. For example, you can look for the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification on bed linens to see if they are free of the chemicals listed above.
You may also want to switch to choosing natural materials. The most common natural fabric options in the United States include cotton, silk, leather, and wool. Always read the information provided about the material. Use that information to determine if dangerous dyes or treatments were used on the products. If so, opt for a different brand or product that has received safety certifications.
At Blissy, we suggest switching to silk instead of satin. Silk is a healthier alternative to satin and has many health benefits. Silk is:
- Bug resistant
- And so much more.
Should You Choose a Silk or Satin Pillowcase?
Now that it's time to choose your next pillowcase, what kind should you get? We think it's clear that silk pillowcases are the best choice.
Silk is a durable material with a glossy surface similar to the finish that a satin weave creates. Silk pillowcases feel much more luxurious, and they are free of the hazardous toxins in manmade materials. While silk often has to be hand-washed, our pillow covers are machine-washable. Just check out our care instructions.
At Blissy, know that we take your health seriously. We use 100% natural mulberry silk in all our products. Our products also have OEKO-TEX certification, because they are safe, eco-friendly, and non-toxic.
Our silk is nothing like the synthetic satin you've experienced in the past. It doesn't contain the harmful chemicals you could find in satin and sateen materials, so you can rest easy knowing you're not harming your body.
- Daulan, L. (2021, October 11). What chemicals are in Textiles and the Health Implications. Allergy Standards Ltd. https://www.allergystandards.com/news_events/chemicals-in-textiles-and-the-health-implications/
- Why is satin fabric so in demand? (2020, October 20). Modesi Fashion. https://www.modesifashion.com/blogs/more-about-our-passion/why-is-satin-fabric-so-in-demand
- Wilson, J. (2022, November 5). Toxic Textiles: The Chemicals in Our Clothing. Earth Day. https://www.earthday.org/toxic-textiles-the-chemicals-in-our-clothing/
- (2020, November 8). What Is Satin Fabric? A Guide to the Types, Characteristics, and Uses for Satin - 2023. MasterClass. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-satin-fabric-a-guide-to-the-types-characteristics-and-uses-for-satin