The silk pillowcase has long been viewed as a luxury item, from its inception in ancient China to its use in the modern-day home. This wonder fabric is light, easy to clean, and smooth to the touch. It does not contain harmful irritants and is 100% natural.

So what is not to like about silk? Below, we give you 8 factors to consider before buying silk pillowcases

Key Points

  1. When buying silk always check the grade. This will make sure you get the best quality.
  2. Silk is measured by weight not thread count like cotton. The unit of weight is called Momme.
  3. Make sure its pure silk as cheaper silks will have other fabrics within the weave.
  4. Check the type of silk. Mulberry silk, Eri silk, Tasar silk and Muga silk, with Mulberry silk regarded as the best.
  5. Make sure its been tested. The best silk is Oeko-Tex certified.
  6. Check the quality of the stitching.
  7. Size matters. Check its sized for the UK market.
  8. Ivory is the natural silk colour meaning it is the most pure of all the colours.

1. Check the Grade of Silk

You can check the quality of the product you are buying using the silk grading system. The higher the grade, the more expensive the product will be. Be aware of high-grade silk items that are not expensive, as it is likely the product will be falsely advertised.

Gradings use an A, B, and C system, with A being the highest grade. Each of these categories subdivides into 1 - 6, with 6 being the highest quality. So the best silk available on the market should be 6A, with the lowest quality being C1.

The 6A long strand silk comes from long strand silk cocoons. It will unravel a long way without breaking and is extremely pure.

2. Silk Weight

The weight of silk is not measured in thread counts like cotton but in momme. This is an indicator of the fabric weight. The higher the momme, the closer the weaving will be, and the denser the silk will be.

During silk production, the factory can adjust the momme count to make the product heavier or denser. Most pillowcases will have a momme value of between 15-30, with anything over 22 considered high end.

You should always avoid any silk product that does not display a momme weight. This could result in the purchase of an inferior product. As a rule of thumb, heavier momme weights will cost more money.

3. Stay Pure

Many products will advertise as a silk product and they will be telling the truth. However, they can bend this truth by incorporating polyester and cotton into the weave, bringing down the price and quality. For this reason, you must aim for 100% silk pillowcases.

Pure silk is more expensive as it is an all-natural fibre. Adding other threads will dilute the unique properties of the silk. If allergies and the impact on the environment are a worry, then you need to stick with 100% silk products.

4. Type of Silk

The best quality of silk you can purchase is mulberry silk. This product has been grown and woven in China for thousands of years and comes from the Mori silkworm, which eats only leaves from the mulberry tree.

Mulberry threads are so strong that they are actually more durable than steel. You should look for them in a charmeuse weave. This will give you the most luxurious, smooth, and strong pillowcase available. It will be free of friction, reducing static build-up in the night.

Satin is actually a type of weave and not a thread, as many people think. You can find products made from silk with satin weaves. While not as supple as charmeuse, they are still very soft and high quality.

5. Agency Testing

It is important that the silk products you purchase are tested by an agency or organization to ensure their quality and authenticity. Untested silk may have used harmful chemicals and toxins in its production.

Not only can this be an irritant for your skin, but many of these chemicals could also have been released back into the environment. This destroys natural habitats, and it is imperative that support is given to environmentally sustainable silk farming over low quality, damaging outfits.

6. Build Quality

The quality of a pillowcase can also be judged not just by the silk itself, but by how it was created. Firstly, you should check that stitching is evenly spaced and uniform throughout the case. Secondly, make sure that seams use the French technique, in which seams are hidden by folding them over when stitching.

Secondly, check the position of the zipper on the case. While much of this is down to personal preference, some people prefer it hidden to avoid snagging and irritation on the skin.

7. Size Options

Check the size of your pillows to be encased. You may require a king, queen, or standard size depending on your selection. This should be denoted on the packaging or tag of the product.

Be very wary of this when buying online. A product may tick all the other boxes and be high-quality silk with a good weave, but could be undersized. If in doubt send a message to the company or check their refund policies before you make a purchase.

8. Colour Options

The natural colour of silk is an off white ivory. If you purchase a silk pillowcase in this colour, it will be the only type that has not been dyed. Other products will have had to undergo a dye process to add coloration, even in white cases.

Once more, check the credentials of the manufacturer. Silk products without agency or organization approval could have used harmful dying techniques. These could cause irritation or environmental problems.

Buying Silk Pillowcases

Silk is very easy to look after. Make sure you set your washing machine to the specific silk setting and use light detergent on your fabric. Silk should dry extremely quickly.

Visit the pillowcase section on our website if you are thinking of buying silk pillowcases. We stock a huge range of colours and styles. These are combined with the highest quality cases, along with a great selection of furniture and homewares that will add a touch of elegance to your house.

October 14, 2020 — Michelle Smith