What is mulberry silk?
The best quality silk is cultivated, meaning the silk worms are raised in a controlled environment. When we refer to silk as being mulberry silk, we are talking about cultivated silk production with the mulberry silk worm (Bombyx mori) which is feed an exclusive diet of mulberry leaves. When you hear the terms mulberry silk and cultivated silk, the terms are generally interchangeable, as almost all cultivated silk is also mulberry silk.
Why is mulberry silk superior?
The mulberry silk worm consumes a rich diet of mulberry leaves and is considered to produce a stronger, shiner silk fiber than alternative silk sources. This form of silk is naturally white, takes on dyes well and is superior for reeling and weaving into silk textiles. In contrast, wild silk is has natural minerals on the outside which alters the color, is difficult to reel into a strong textile do to random short silk threads, and doesn’t take well to dying.
What makes mulberry silk stronger?
Silk produced from the mulberry silk worm is cultivated without breaking the cocoons long strands of fiber which allows for a stronger and better quality silk. Typical silk fibers can range between 600 – 1,500m in length( 2,000 – 5,000 feet).
What are the top things to look for in a mulberry silk pillowcase?
If you’re looking to take advantage of the various benefits a mulberry silk pillowcase provides, make sure to keep an eye out for the following.
- Review the style of the pillowcase. Many less expensive pillowcases will have an envelope enclosure on the back. This reduces the amount of silk fabric required to produce the case (thus lowering the cost), but also means you can only use one side of the pillowcase. You may also see cases with zippers or hidden zippers. However zippers reduce the comfort of the pillowcase and are not needed to keep your pillow in place. A classic, side entry pocket is generally the preferred choice.
- Consider the weave of silk you’re interested in. Mulberry silk pillowcases can come in a variety of weaves, but most often they are Charmeuse, Satin or Habotai weaves. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, but usually the Charmeuse weave is preferred over satin or habotai by most individuals.
- Quality of the stitching. Many less expensive pillowcases use single stitch seams and have little to no overlap with the pocket encloser. Better quality mulberry silk pillowcases will have double stitch seams and deeper pockets.
- Quality of silk: As with most textiles, there are various qualities of silk fabric on the market and not all silk is created equal. Make sure you purchase your mulberry silk pillowcases from a source that is reliable and backs up the quality of their product. In addition, look for pillowcases that are 19 momme weight or higher. If no momme weight is listed, you should look elsewhere.