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Why is mulberry silk so expensive?

Having just addressed the cost of cashmere in our latest blog post, we now turn our attention to mulberry silk.

While a previous piece covered what mulberry silk is - and why it’s not only real silk it’s also the best silk - we now look at this premium fabric from another angle.

Why is mulberry silk so expensive?

Why mulberry silk is so expensive

Anyone who’s compared the price of a silk pillowcase to a cotton one cannot fail to notice that the former is far more costly.

In fact if you compare, for example, a Calidad Home silk pillowcase to one of inferior quality, you are also likely to see a price differential.

Why ‘mulberry’ matters

So why does a mulberry silk pillowcase have such a high price tag? It’s all about how the finest silk on the planet is produced.

Mulberry silk is so called because the silkworms who produce it exist on a diet of mulberry leaves.

While that might sound dull to you or me, trust us - it’s actually their favourite food.

Mulberry leaves that make the finest Mulberry silk

Silken threads

The silkworms that feast on the leaves of the mulberry tree or shrub are the larvae of the Bombyx Mori moth. They are the equivalent of what a caterpillar is to a butterfly.

So they spend their lives fattening themselves up, before spinning a cocoon of silken threads from which to later emerge as a winged insect.

Silkworms and spinning

Silkworm farmers must therefore provide plenty of mulberry leaves for these caterpillars to eat. Preferably, white mulberry leaves.

Then the larvae can concentrate on gaining body mass - and spinning their cocoon.

Mulberry silk cocoons

A SILK COCOON

For when we say silken threads, we mean that in the most literal sense. The cocoon is made from the same pure silk that our customers later sleep on.

Producing this silk thus involves time, patience - and a lot of leaves from a very specific shrub, of course.

Long strand Mulberry silk

GRADE A SILK

So the cocoon is spun, the silk is harvested - what next? Firstly, the silk will be sorted, ready for manufacture. Silk threads are graded according to their quality - and their length has a lot to do with this.

Basically, grade A is the best - and Calidad Home silk products are made using only long strand, grade A mulberry silk.

LONG STRAND SILK

Why does this matter? Longer strands of silk make for a softer, smoother fabric. The next stage in making a silk pillowcase concerns weaving the material, so only the finest, longest strands will make the grade.

While cheaper silk products may be made using shorter, lower quality strands, all our silk items are produced from these A grade lengths.

WEAVING SILK

How this mulberry silk is woven is the next issue to consider. Calidad Home silk items are made from fabric that’s made using the charmeuse weave technique.

This method involves that at least three threads are passed over one when the fabric is woven. The technique is used because it produces the smoothest silk, with an irresistible natural sheen.

THE THREAD COUNT

What else matters? The momme count, that’s what. As with a thread count - used as an indicator of the quality of cotton - the momme count basically tells you how thick and luxurious the silk is.

We use 22 momme silk in our silk products - the premium momme count for bedding, that’s kind to hair and skin and super soft to sleep on too.

Mulberry silk charmeuse weave

WHY IS MULBERRY SILK SO EXPENSIVE?

So we return to the initial question. Why is mulberry silk so expensive?

Well as you can see, producing the world’s finest silk requires time. Space for all those mulberry bushes or trees to grow in. The farmers’ time in making sure their silkworms stay healthy and on track.

After this, only the finest, long strand mulberry silk is carefully woven to create the best silk fabrics, which are then made into items like our high momme count silk pillowcases and other products.

Mulberry silk sheet

IS MULBERRY SILK EXPENSIVE?

Is mulberry silk really expensive? Well when you compare it to a product made from cotton, for instance, there’s no denying that it is more costly

How about comparing the price to that of a pot of upmarket face cream, though? That might cost even more - and it certainly won’t last anywhere near as long as a Calidad Home silk pillowcase.

When it comes to sleeping on silk, so many of our customers tell us they’d never, ever go back - even to the highest thread count cotton.

A silk pillowcase makes a fabulous beauty gift, and if you pick a stunning design like the tie dye or animal print fabrics, it makes a fantastic addition to the home too.