Silk has become a very popular feature in many mattress and bedding products in recent years. Silk cocoons are designed by Mother Nature to protect the baby moth from heat and cold, mildew, mould and mites. These desirable traits make silk one of the healthiest materials to incorporate into your bedroom. High quality silk products are made without the use of chemicals making silk a great natural choice.
Just like any material, silk has a wide range of qualities. We specifically choose to work with St Genève, the preeminent Canadian luxury bedding specialists.
What is Tussah (wild) silk?
Wild silk is farmed outside, from Antheraea moths. They feed on oak trees. The silk is heavier, tougher and more resilient than Mulberry silk. For these reasons, we prefer to work with wild silk wherever possible.
What is Mulberry (cultivated) silk?
Bombyx caterpillars are raised indoors, and fed mulberry leaves. This gives cultivated silk the snow-white appearance it is famous for. Mulberry silk is finer and softer than wild silk, at the expense of being less durable.
One interesting tidbit to note is that there are certain silk bedding products labelled Mulberry Silk when in fact they are not. There are cases where the actual Brand Name is "Mulberry Silk" yet the filling material is not pure. It's a lot like a certain store which sells Indian linen, and the Brand Name is "100% Belgian Linen" - marketing can indeed be very clever.
What are the advantages of silk?
- Moisture Resistance - Silk is a natural fibre that is air permeable, and due to the content of 18 varieties of amino acid, it naturally absorbs humidity (drawing moisture away from your skin) which means you don’t become sticky or wet during sleep. This can especially benefit people who suffer from rheumatism.
- Anti-Acarid Allergy Resistance - Silk contains Sericin, an anti-acarid property that prevents the growth of mites and mold, making it a great choice for skin allergies.
- Fungi Immunity - Silk is fungi immune and does not contain harmful trace chemicals and therefore resistant to mold and deterioration.
- Contains natural cellular albumen fibre - Silk contains natural cellular albumen fibre, a component that contributes to skin health by speeding metabolism of skin cells (decreasing aging of skin) and, coupled with the silk amino acid and permeability properties, contributes to the relief of joint pain, asthma, arteriosclerosis, neurodermatitis, and insomnia.
- Maintains body temperature - Silk is a "natural" fibre. It does not "conduct" heat or static electricity; heat is retained during cold air temperatures and redundant heat is shed during summer temperatures (keeping you cool). Therefore, your body maintains its natural temperature.
- Silk is light-weight - Silk sleep products feel light and airy, providing an ultra-luxurious feel.
Silk in Mattresses
As with many other natural materials, silk is normally used sparingly. In most standard mattresses claiming to contain this material, silk is almost always blended with a synthetic anchor fibre such as polyester. The typical silk blend in most mattresses is less than 5%, with the rest being polyester. It is for this reason that mattress specifications almost never list the actual silk content.
Pure silk content in a mattress is almost entirely non-existant, even in ultra luxury beds. Standard mainstream mattresses never use pure silk. Whenever a claim of "silk fill" is used, it is generally a blend of 1-5% silk with 95-99% polyester as an anchor fibre.
Visit our St Genève silk page to learn even more about silk.
Read our blog post The real story on silk duvets to learn more about when purchasing a silk duvet is the right decision.