Montesquieu asserted: "Scepticism is the first step towards truth!"
So it's important to take a small (or a big) step back from a number of prejudices that are as fanciful as they are widespread!
Included in the list of these wacky "urban myths and legends", whose origins are somewhat obscure, those that circulate on the web about Silk are very long standing!
So why don't we kill them off?!
Discovered 3,000 years before the Christian era, silk has always been considered a raw material that is as elegant as it is luxurious, long reserved for the elite. Nowadays it is democratized and used in the textile industry for its many thermal and antibacterial qualities, as well as for its shine and its unparalleled feel. So it is not surprising to find Silk coming into our homes as well, and especially our bedrooms.
When it's used in the manufacture of quilts, pillows or even high quality bed linen, silk pampers, fascinates and gets itself talked about! There are endless incorrect ideas! Here are some surprising and baseless myths:
1 - Silk is cold!
Quite the contrary! Cool in summer and warm in winter, silk is a natural raw material that absorbs moisture and permits thermo-regulation during sleep. And what's more, this property also discourages the development of bacteria and mites and allows the fibre to regulate temperature better.
So, a sheet, a duvet cover or a pillowcase made of silk will remain cool in summer and will be warm when it starts to get frosty.
A silk duvet will also have a high fill power in spite of weighing less than a down or wool duvet. Because silk is naturally healthy and insulating, the combination of its outstanding thermal and sanitation properties provides the best sleeping environment:
Because it is thermo regulating, it is ideal for people who suffer from hot flushes, or for unheated rooms where there can be wide variations in temperature.
Light and airy, it avoids that suffocating sensation you can have with other types of heavy or thick duvets, and improves blood circulation.
Soft and enveloping, it avoids thermal bridges.
It is very absorbent, so it limits moisture and perspiration while also keeping the air healthy.
2 - Silk must be washed by hand!
Another well-known idea that is as false as it is common!
Silk is a naturally healthy, antibacterial and hypoallergenic material. Washing it with water is therefore superfluous and could risk deteriorating it and stripping it of its natural properties.
Moreover, because silk's naturally antibacterial qualities limit the proliferation of bacteria, the source of bad odours, there are even fewer problems in looking after it!
All our silk sheets and duvet covers can be washed in the washing machine!
We recommend using a delicate cycle at 30° C and using a detergent designed specifically for silk, like Tenestar. Placing the items in a laundry bag will also help reduce wear and tear from the machine.
Far from altering the quality and lustre of your silk sheets, regular washing will make them softer and smoother.
As for our quilts, they are easy to look after. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your bedding and help it maintain its qualities for a long time:
Air your silk duvet two to three times a year, avoiding direct exposure to the sun. This allows the silk to regenerate and regain volume.
Use a duvet cover to protect your duvet and avoid getting stains on it.
If you should get a stain, be careful to clean only the cotton cover and avoid getting the silk interior wet. In order to avoid any risk of damaging the silk, it is advisable to use a detergent made specifically for silk, such as Tenestar.
Out of season, store the duvet in a dry and cool place, out of the sun. The slipcover supplied with the duvet is ideal to protect your it against dust while allowing good ventilation.
As a last resort, we advise you to ask a professional who knows silk well and has specific detergents for silk. Washing in water is absolutely inadvisable because the silk fibres will become gorged with water and will lose their natural properties when they dry out. Remember to tell the cleaner the replacement value of the silk duvet.
Because it is hypoallergenic, it is ideal for people suffering from asthma, or skin or respiratory tract allergies. Itching and sneezing, which are often responsible for sleep disorders, are noticeably reduced.
3 - Silk is very expensive!
This is one of the first things that come to mind when we think about silk, but it's not true!
It is true that good quality silk is costly to produce. If you think about it, between 3,000 and 5,000 silk cocoons are needed, on average, to produce 1 kg of silk!
At Maison de la Soie, our goal is to strike a balance between the quality you expect from our products and the price you would like to pay. Compare and you'll see!
Far from being more expensive than cotton or linen sheets, our silk sheets promise to give you high quality bedding with a longevity that has been verified many times.
Careful maintenance will mean you can keep your sheets for many years, making your initial expenditure a long-term investment, especially for your health and comfort.
And then, given that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, it's better to do so without making compromises, don't you think?
4 - Silk is slippery!
Although it's true that silk sheets aren't as rough as cotton or linen sheets, you shouldn't confuse the feeling of softness they provide with the dry, cold and "slippy" feeling of cheap sheets made from synthetic fibres.
It's polyester, and sheets made from polyester satin, that is slippery, not silk!
Satin (also called "Charmeuse" in English) is a soft and shiny fabric that can be made with any yarn. Generally, the word "satin" is used for polyester satin but there are also satins made from cotton, viscose etc. There is obviously no comparison with natural silk, either visually or to the touch.
So watch out for unscrupulous merchants who sell polyester satin as if it were silk satin.
Much cheaper to produce, polyester satin can be seen on the bed linen shelves of distributors in search of easy sales, who deliberately try to confuse.
You might as well compare chipboard to solid oak!
5 - Silk is fragile!
Did you know that before the appearance of Nylon, parachutes were woven from silk?
Its strength to weight ratio makes silk one of the strongest fabrics, which is tear-proof and highly resistant to wear.
Once again, "what we all know" is at work and there are lots of false ideas put together!
Don't confuse the fineness of lingerie made from silk with the strength of a cloth woven in the same material.
It's a question of quality!
As well as the synthetic fibres that try to imitate it, there are different kinds of silk, and not all of the same quality. It all depends on the insect that makes the cocoon. The best known, and the one which manufactures the best quality silk, is the caterpillar of the "mulberry bombyx" butterfly, more commonly called the "silkworm". Caterpillars of other insects (butterflies, spiders...) also make cocoons of silk thread.
There are several types of silk on the market:
- Silk Habotai, produced by worms that are bred in captivity, has a matt and slightly sandy appearance. The silk is thus not as smooth or lustrous.
- Tussah silk is produced by wild silkworms and is generally considered to be of inferior quality. The short and broken silk fibres create knots and impurities in the weaving, which greatly alter the appearance and the touch.
- A-grade silk is the best quality. For this quality of silk, superior cocoons, which unroll into a long, regular thread, are selected. For silk bed linen, this means that there are fewer ends. So the silk satin is even more luxurious, soft and hard wearing. Our sheets are exclusively made from silk of this impeccable quality.
The weight of the sheets is also important:
The Momme is a unit used to measure the density of silk fabric. Bed linen should be between 12 and 19 Mommes. This is the most important selection criterion for silk bed linen because the thicker the silk satin, the more hard wearing, soft and visually luxurious it is.
We only offer the best quality, that is 19 Mommes. If a manufacturer doesn't tell you the weight of their silk sheets, look elsewhere!
And lastly, the way the sheet is made adds the final touch to the comfort you are looking for:
The prices of rolls of silk fabric vary greatly according to their width. It is therefore more economical to sew two strips of fabric together lengthwise in order to make a large sheet. It is, however, uncomfortable and unattractive to have a seam in the middle of your sheets. We only sell seamless sheets.
6 - Silk products are chemically treated!
While some low-quality silk sheets may be bleached, our sheets are naturally white and do not require any chemical whitening during manufacture.
Ecologically speaking, sericulture does not require any chemical treatment and the silkworms feed exclusively on mulberry leaves to produce their cocoons. Silk production is therefore much less harmful to our environment than that of many other textiles.
Now that we have rectified a few mistakes and established a certain number of truths, all you have to do is judge the facts and make up your own mind...
You can take your turn in adding to the list of things people believe about silk, but this time based on actual use of the product, which, you will see, will bring more pleasant surprises than disappointments!
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more about any of the products in our catalogue. See you soon...