Silk vs. Satin Pillowcases
Often we get asked: What is the difference between silk pillowcases and satin pillowcases? To start, you need to understand that this question is a little misleading. Silk is a fabric produced from the silk worm, whereas satin is a fabric weave. In truth, many different fabrics can use the satin weave, including silk. That being said, when people ask this question, what they often mean is: What is the difference between Silk Charmeuse Pillowcases and Polyester Satin (silk) Pillowcases? These are the two types of pillowcases you are most likely to come across on the internet, especially in reference to hair and skin care.
Natural vs. Manmade: To start, it is helpful to understand the difference between polyester and natural silk as fabrics. Satin silk from polyester is a manmade fabric produced from polymers. This satin silk from polyester is essentially a fabric created from oil and has the same chemical composition as plastic bottles. Silk, in contrast, is spun from the natural silk protein filament produced by the silk worm when forming its cocoon. Each silk fiber is produced from 3-5 of these silk filaments which are subsequently spun together to produce silk fabric in an assortment of momme weights.
A very different feel: Polyester silk and natural silk also have a very different feel against the skin. Polyester silk satin is slippery with a clearly distinct texture which you can feel. Natural silk in contrast is softer in feel and the Charmeuse weave affords a more subtle reduction in friction.
Benefits for your skin and hair: Both polyester satin silk pillowcases and natural silk pillowcases provide benefits to your skin and hair through reduced friction. This reduces split ends in your hair, pulling on your facial skin and both diminish crease wrinkles in the face. However, because silk is a natural protein, it also provides additional benefits. Silk pillowcases are often recommended by dermitologists to be benefical to your skin and hair Natural silk is a very good thermal insulator, helping you to stay cooler during the summer months and warmer during the winter months, which supports healthy skin. Last, silk is naturally hypoallergenic and is resistant to mold, mildew, fungus and dust mites.
Inexpensive vs. luxury: Perhaps the most obvious difference between polyester satin silk pillowcases and natural Charmeuse silk pillowcases is the cost. As a manmade fabric, polyester is easy to produce in large quantities from a relatively inexpensive source (Oil and recycled plastics) and as a result it’s generally cheap. Silk on the other hand is a luxury product and is very expensive to produce, since supply is limited and the process to harvest and spin silk is complex and labor intensive. This is one of the reasons the silk trade has more in common with precious metals and gem stones (such as being sold by weight) then other fabrics on the market.
Hopefully this article has helped to shed some light on this often asked question about the differences between silk and (polyester) satin silk pillowcases. If you’re interested in investing a pair of silk pillowcases, checkout our links below. We are confident that you will be pleasantly surprised by the luxury and comfort our pillowcases provide and you will never go back to sleeping on plain old pillowcases again.