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What Is Silk Made Of and Why It's the Gold Standard for Bedding and Apparel
What Is Silk Made Of and Why It's the Gold Standard for Bedding and Apparel

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Key takeaways:

  • Silk is a luxurious natural fabric made from mulberry silkworm cocoons.

  • Mulberry silk provides durability, moisture-wicking, and temperature regulation.

  • Silk promotes healthy skin and hair while preventing frizz.

  • Blissy offers premium mulberry silk bedding and apparel products.

 

From smooth, soft pillowcases and sheets to luxurious dresses and robes, silk fabric adds instant visual appeal and comfort to many items. Ever run your hand over silk bedding? Or enjoy the soft texture of a silk bathrobe?

Then you can understand why this natural fabric is in such high demand for luxury goods. Silk dresses, pillowcases, shirts, robes, and other items have a natural sheen and smooth texture that can't be beat!

So, what is silk made of? Why exactly is real silk fabric so alluring? What gives these natural fibers such a natural luster? Let's take a closer look at the production process to help you see how silk is produced for formal wear and other high-end goods and what makes silk the superior choice.

What Is Silk Made Of?

Many silk fabrics come from silkworms. Specifically, the kind used for commercial products comes from harvested silkworm cocoons.

But other types of silk fibers come from different sourceseven spiders and sea creatures, like mollusks. Genuine silk fabric has been in use for commercial goods since ancient times. We'll explore the origins of this natural material going back thousands of years.

silk thread comes from silkworm cocoons

Silk's ancient history

Did you know that silk production goes back to ancient China? As legend tells it, an empress discovered the natural sheen of wild silk by accident. The silk thread from a cocoon landed in her tea and unwound, creating a soft, shiny material with a delicate appearance.

This was the cocoon from a Bombyx mori silkworm used for making mulberry silk. This discovery kickstarted Chinese silk production and silk weaving.

Raw silk production spread from China to Japan, France, and other countries over the centuries. You may have even learned about the ancient Silk Road in school. The Silk Road was how different countries traded silk goods in the past.

In olden times, silk was solely reserved for royalty and the wealthy. These days, silk goods are still luxurious. But they're also much more accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of this superior fabric.

Silk textiles, silk cloth, and other silk products have always been considered luxury itemsand it's no wonder why. Their natural sheen, ultra-soft texture, and other qualities put them far above other materials, especially synthetic fibers.

how silk gets made infographic

Types of silk fabric

Not all silks are the same. As mentioned before, real silk fabrics come from different sources. Some are wild silk or raw silk, while others are farmed or domesticated.

These are some of the types of silk used to produce commercial goods:

  • Mulberry silk

  • Tasar silk (Tussah silk)

  • Eri silk

  • Muga silk

  • Spider silk

  • Sea silk

  • Vegan silk, like eucalyptus silk

Mulberry silk comes from the mulberry silkworm. It's a versatile type of silk that's considered the highest quality silk fabric.

Tussah silk or tasar silk is a wild silk that comes from silkworms living in forests and other natural habitats. It's more textured than mulberry. It also has a gold coloring, which makes it harder to dye.

Eri silk comes from wild cocoons. It's heavier than tussah silk and mulberry silk, so it's not as suitable for luxury goods, like silk garments and bedding.

What about muga silk? This kind of silk fabric also has more of a golden hue like tasar silk. It's mainly used for making traditional garments in India.

Spider silk comes from spiders. While it has a lot of strength, it's not easy to extract. It's often used for medical or military applications. Sea silkwhich comes from mollusksis incredibly rare.

How mulberry silk is made

Let's focus on mulberry silk, since it's the fabric of choice for luxury itemsfrom formal wear to decorative pillows. This type of silk comes from the harvested cocoons of domesticated Bombyx mori silkworms.

How are these silkworms able to produce silk with such a luxurious texture? They spend their time feeding on mulberry leaves. This diet helps them produce silk threads that are highly soft and delicate, yet durable.

learn about the entire production process of silk

Here's what the silk production process is like overall:

  • Bombyx mori moths lay eggs

  • Silkworm eggs are kept at a certain temperature until they hatch

  • Silkworms are fed a steady diet of mulberry leaves

  • Silkworms begin spinning a protective cocoon

  • Silk workers harvest silk from cocoons and unwind it to produce silk filaments

The fashion industry uses this natural fiber produced by silkworms to create high-end items with exceptional quality.

Why is this type of silk in such high demand in the silk industry? The silk threads from these silkworms have a light color, making them easy to dye. That means this silk can be put through the dyeing process to make luxury goods in any color!

The Unmatched Quality of Silk

This natural fiber has several qualities you won't find in synthetic fibers. It's not just the luxurious texture. Real silk has properties that make it the perfect choice for bedding, clothing, and more!

Below, we'll go over the qualities that make genuine silk fabric an outstanding material for commercial goods.

Durable fabric

Different types of silk fabrics have varying amounts of durability. But mulberry silk is among the toughest. Don't let the delicate appearance of its long silk fibers fool you. These silk filaments are incredibly durable.

Whether you wear silk or sleep on it, you don't have to worry about this type of silk fabric easily ripping or ending up looking worn. With proper care, silk items can last a long time! This durability means you get years of use to look forward to.

Moisture-wicking abilities

Do you sometimes sweat when you sleep? This can make your nights uncomfortable. But with mulberry silk garments or bedding, you can sleep like a baby.

Silk has moisture-wicking properties that help you stay sweat-free. Instead of having sweat stay on your skin, silk wicks it away. This leaves you feeling dry and cool, so you can get a great night's sleep!

How does this work? Silk filaments have a triangular prism-like structure that offers plenty of room for sweat to dry up. This moisture evaporates instead of sitting on your skin.

woman in a silk blouse

Hypoallergenic nature

Do certain fabrics irritate your skin? Maybe you break out in a rash from synthetic materials, like satin? You don't have to worry about this with genuine silk fibers.

Silk produced from mulberry silkworm cocoons has a naturally hypoallergenic quality. Whether you're wearing this silk fabric or resting your head on it while you sleep, it won't bother your skin.

This is great news if you're looking for luxury bedding or apparel without the risk of allergic reactions. There's no itchiness, redness, or irritation to worry about! Silk fibers have a soft and soothing texture instead.

Temperature-regulating properties

Ever have a hard time sleeping thanks to feeling overheated? Your body temperature can easily keep you up at night if it's too high. So, how can you cool off and drift off to blissful slumber?

Silk's the answer to that. Silk bedding, like pillowcases, can actually help you regulate your body temperature. This keeps you from feeling too hot or too cold to sleep.

Silk's temperature-regulating properties make it an ideal fabric for bedding apparel and accessories, like robes and bonnets. All those silk fibers help you stay at a comfortable body temp throughout the night.

Blissy Silk Pillowcase

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blissy white mulberry silk pillowcase
  • moisture retaining icon Moisture-Retaining
  • cooling icon Cooling
  • natural fiber icon Natural Fiber
  • hypoallergenic icon Hypoallergenic

Greater sustainability

Why choose real silk satin instead of a synthetic satin weave? Satin often includes synthetic materials, making it less sustainable than genuine silk fabric.

Remember how silk production with mulberry silkworms goes? The silk production process uses raw silk thread from cocoons that domesticated silkworms make.

These silkworms rely on mulberry leaves for their dietand mulberry trees just happen to be highly sustainable. The intricate process of harvesting mulberry silk cocoons offers an eco-friendly way to produce silk fabric with a natural luster.

Since the moths and silkworms are farmed, mulberry silk isn't considered a kind of peace silk or vegan silk. But it does offer impressive sustainability.

Why Silk Is the Gold Standard for Bedding and Apparel

From formal dresses and casual robes to wall hangings and bed sheets, refined silk is the top choice for many luxury items. Each silk fiber offers a combination of durability and delicacy. But that's not the only reason for using silk fibers for apparel and bedding.

Let's explore why silk production is so important to the home goods and fashion industries. It has a lot to do with the beauty benefits this fabric offersplus other important benefits!

learn about silk production

Benefits of silk fabric for skin

Did you know that mulberry leaves contain ingredients that are good for your skin, like antioxidants? The silkworm eats these leaves, giving silk qualities that boost skin health.

Silk is a natural protein fiber. Protein plays an important role in nourishing your skin. When you sleep on a silk pillowcase, this natural fabric does the following:

  • Hydrates skin

  • Reduces sleep wrinkles

  • Offers anti-aging effects

  • Helps prevent skin irritation

Benefits of silk for your hair

Silk threads aren't just good for your skin. They're also great for your hair! Silk fibers have a hydrating effect on your hairkeeping it looking healthy and shiny.

Silk won't absorb the natural oils in your hair as cotton and other fabrics do. That helps your hair stay moisturized, so it looks and feels its best.

Tired of frizz? Silk helps with this, too! Its smooth texture keeps friction to a minimumreducing frizzy hair. Silk benefits all types of hair, whether you have straight, curly, oily, or color-treated hair. You'll have less frizziness, more moisture, and a healthy shine!

Luxurious feel

Handling silk helps you feel why it's used for garments and bedding. It's soft to the touch and incredibly smooth. This luxurious texture makes it perfect for different kinds of apparel and linens, from robes and hair ties to pillowcases.

Silk glides across your skin. It doesn't pull or tug. It doesn't feel the slightest bit rough. Instead, it offers a comfortable, luxurious touch that's priceless.

mulberry silk comes from silkworms that eat leaves of mulberry trees

Aesthetic versatility

Silk's natural shine gives it tons of visual appeal, making it a great material for all kinds of consumer goods. It's got aesthetic versatility that makes it suitable for silk garments and other apparel, home decor, bedding, and more!

Silk can be used as a plain weave or textured weave. Mulberry silk can be dyed in a wide range of colors and patterns for an eye-catching look or a more subtle, elegant appearance.

Wall hangings and decorative pillows made of silk can spruce up any room. Formal wear made from silk can elevate any look. Silk bedding can add instant luxury to any bedroom.

Silk's versatile qualities help explain why it's in high demand for luxury goods and other commercial products.

Blissy's Commitment to Excellence

Blissy Silk Pillowcases and other products bring the benefits and aesthetic appeal of silk to your home. At Blissy, we use the highest-grade silk for our products to ensure the finest quality.

Each product is made of grade 6A 100% mulberry silk. This is the highest quality grade of silk available. Our silk products are also 22-momme for a lightweight yet durable fabric that's comfortable to sleep on or wear.

As part of our commitment to offering only the best, our products are OEKO-TEX certified. This means they're non-toxic, safe, and eco-friendly.

woman laying on silk

Blissy products for adults

What kinds of silk items do we have available? Our collections for adults include the following:

  • Pillowcases

  • Hair accessories, including bonnets and head pieces

  • Sleep masks

  • Robes

  • Candles

  • and more!

Choose from multiple colors and designs for your home!

Junior Blissy products for kids

At Blissy, we also offer high-quality products for the little ones. Our Blissy Junior collection includes:

  • Pillowcases

  • Sleep masks

Our Blissy Junior pillowcases are available in toddler, youth, and junior standard sizes. They also come in tons of fun designs and colors that kids will love, like unicorns, the night sky, and dinosaurs.

little girl laying on silk

Experience Silk's Benefits with Blissy

Looking for hypoallergenic pillowcases? Or maybe a bonnet for healthier hair? No matter which Blissy products you choose, you'll get to enjoy the many benefits that mulberry silk offersa luxurious look and feel, healthy hair and skin, and much more! Visit Blissy today to browse our silk collections.

View Sources

Giora, D., Marchetti, G., Cappellozza, S., Assirelli, A., Saviane, A., Sartori, L., & Marinello, F. (2022). Bibliometric analysis of trends in mulberry and silkworm research on the production of silk and its By-Products. Insects, 13(7), 568. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13070568 Muzamil, A., Tahir, H. M., Ali, A., Bhatti, M. F., Munir, F., Ijaz, F., Adnan, M., Khan, H. A., & Qayyum, K. A. (2023). Effect of amino acid fortified mulberry leaves on economic and biological traits of Bombyx mori L. Heliyon, 9(10), e21053. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e21053 Vollrath, F., Chen, F., & Porter, D. (2009). Silks and Their Composites. Advances in Pulp and Paper Research. https://doi.org/10.15376/frc.2009.3.1355 Ebrahimi, D., Tokareva, O., Rim, N. G., Wong, J. Y., Kaplan, D. L., & Buehler, M. J. (2015). Silk–Its mysteries, how it is made, and how it is used. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 1(10), 864–876. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.5b00152 Fountain, L., & Fountain, L. (2023, March 16). Benefits of a silk pillowcase. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-bedding/silk-pillowcase-benefits Silva, A. S., Costa, E. C., Reis, S., Spencer, C., Calhelha, R. C., Miguel, S. P., Ribeiro, M. P., Barros, L., Vaz, J. A., & Coutinho, P. (2022). Silk sericin: a promising sustainable biomaterial for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Polymers, 14(22), 4931. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14224931 Can silk really benefit your hair and skin routines? We asked experts to weigh in. (2023, March 15). TODAY.com. https://www.today.com/shop/silk-benefits-skin-hair-t281173

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