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Silk 101
For thousands of years, silk has been considered the most luxurious textile material and got the reputation of "Queen of the Fibers”, yet many people have limited knowledge about silk. Here we made a brief yet comprehensive introduction of silk from its history to fabric, use, and care.
Silk and silk production is known as sericulture, whose long history dating back to thousands of years ago is as rich and interesting as the fabric itself.

It's said that before 2700 BC, when ancient China was still in the tribal era, Lei Zu, the wife of Huangdi, the leader of the tribal alliance, accidentally discovered cocoons in the wild. When they took the cocoons back from the tree, they found these white oval balls were inedible. Lei Zu tried to weave the boiled cocoons into the fabric and found clothes made from this fabric were pretty comfortable and beautiful. Since then, China started the history of using silk for clothes.

The history of discovering and using silk for China has been thousands of years, and till the three-century BC, silk was brought to Europe from China. European aristocrats were fascinated by this stunning fabric and exclaimed, "it's a miracle of beauty." It's undoubtful that China has unbeatable experience and techniques in silk-producing and manufacturing.
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Mulberry silk refers to silk made from cocoons of silkworms reared in captivity, eating only mulberry leaves. The entire production process has been carefully monitored, and the environment of the silkworms is also strictly controlled.
These allow the cocoons to spin silk threads that are rounder, more excellent, smoother, lighter, and more uniformly colored than any other type of silk in the world. Mulberry silk fibers are also firm, easily beating steel fibers of the same diameter in strength and durability.
Mommes(mm) is a unit traditionally used to measure the quality of silk fabrics. 1 Momme = 4.340 grams per square meter; 8 mommes is approximately 1 ounce per square yard or 35 grams per square meter.
Momme measures the density of silk. The density of the threads in the 25 momme silk fabric is significantly higher than that of the 22 momme or 19 momme. Higher momme = more threads = more durable and expensive.
So the higher the momme the better? No, it depends. For silk bedding, 22mm ~ 25mm is the best, while for clothes, 16mm ~ 22 mm is acceptable.
charmeuse-silk-pc charmeuse-silk-pc
Charmeuse silk
crepe-silk-pc crepe-silk-pc
Crepe de chine silk
See the Difference:
Charmeuse silk Crepe de chine silk
FABRIC TRAITS Extra luster and smoothness on the front side and dullness on the back. Unnoticeable luster and has a distinctive pebbly-like "rough" look and feel.
charmeuse-silk1 Has a beautiful sheen in the front and looks very luxurious
charmeuse-silk2 Lightweight and very smooth to the touch
charmeuse-silk3 Pretty friendly for the skin and hair
charmeuse-silk4 An excellent insulator, which keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter
crepe-silk1 Super lightweight and breathable, very comfortable to wear
crepe-silk1 Has a light pearl luster, suit for daily wear
crepe-silk1 Has a great durability and excellent wrinkle resistance
crepe-silk1 Pretty friendly for the skin and hair
See the Difference:
Silk Satin Cotton
MATERIAL Natural protein fiber Man-made fabric Natural plant fiber
It's difficult for people unfamiliar with silk to distinguish real silk by eyes. Therefore, in this part of the text, we will introduce some more accessible ways to tell silk from other artificial fibers.
How to Distinguish:
Real silk Fake silk
BURN Burning real silk smells like burning our hair. The ash from burning real silk is crispy and turns to powder once you rub it. Burning fake silk smells like burning plastic. The ash from burning fake silk is sticky and hard to break apart.
Soak a real silk fabric sample in chlorine sanitizer or detergent, and it will gradually be dissolved.
Soak a fake silk fabric sample in chlorine sanitizer or detergent, and it will not be dissolved.
Rub fingers on the silk fabric, and you will feel very soft and yielding. When rubbing two pieces of silk fabric together near your ear, you will hear a crunching sound - a bit like walking on snow.
Rub fingers on the fake silk fabric, and you will not feel the way real silk gives you, the same with rubbing two pieces of face silk fabric.
For years, silk got the reputation of "queen of fibers" due to its various traits that benefit the human body like moisture-wicking, anti-allergy, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, less friction, breathable, anti-aging, and so on.
Queen of Fibers
Silk is a natural protein fiber extracted from the substance secreted by silkworms after lots of handling and processing. It is a fiber closest to our skin and contains 18 amino acids beneficial to the human body. The laborious processing and inborn advantages brought silk the reputation of queen of fibers.

There are various kinds of silk secreted by different silkworms, among which mulberry silk from silkworms that eat mulberry leaves only is the finest one available as it's long fibers with good elasticity.
Studies have shown that silk possesses certain traits such as its naturally hydrophobic nature and its inherent antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. The use of commercially available fabrics for improvised face coverings has also shown that silk possesses some capacity as an antimicrobial barrier when used alone for the fabrication of face coverings.
Breathable/Thermal Regulating
Silk is a very breathable fabric making heat escape through it, and because of its insulating characteristics, you will get a constant stream of fresh air in without having to worry about feeling cold. It's like having a natural thermostat embedded in this luxurious fabric making it the best all-season textile, which is especially ideal for women undergoing menopause and suffering from nightly hot flashes.
Silk fabric is quite lightweight compared with other fabrics. Duvets filled with silk floss weight for a mere fraction of a feather/down filled duvet of the same heat-insulating capabilities. Due to the innate heat insulating properties of silk and the thermal preserving structure of the floss sheets, you don’t have to “fight” with your duvet when you want to stretch or turn in your bed. Of course, lighter weight helps with a variety of health issues such as blood circulation and arthritis.
Durable/Long Lasting
Silk fibers are one of the strongest natural textile fibers in the world, and our silk is made from especially high quality silk fibers with a denser weave up to 750 TCI (threads per inch), meaning the resulting fabric can be very strong, able to withstand most accidental damage with ease (and we obviously do not encourage any non-accidental damage to be done to our silk).

Most silk products on the market are made of silk less than 19 momme (the unit to measure the density of silk fabrics, the higher the momme, more durable the silk fabric is), while most of our products are ranged from 19~25 momme.
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic. As a natural fiber emitted by silkworms, it mainly consists of two proteins, sericin and fibroin. Sericin is naturally infection resistant, so it can keep away dust mites, mold, bacteria, and other common allergens.

Silk is also free of any potential irritating chemicals and toxicants, so it can be worn safely even for people with sensitive skin. It's no risk of causing eczema flare-up, skin rashes or dreaded stuffy nose that allergy sufferers cannot be more familiar with. BTW, most silk we use is OEKO-TEX certified.
Silk is sought after by many not only because of its inborn traits that benefit the human body, but also because of its physical features. It's very smooth and soft to the touch, super gentle on the body and is called the second skin of the human body. It's pretty skin-friendly that it can be worn safely and comfortably by kids, people with sensitive skin or in special needs after surgery, let alone common people.
Research into the cosmetic applications of silk has shown that sleeping on silk pillowcases can actually prevent or decrease the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The natural cellular albumen in silk can help to speed up the metabolism of skin cells, making them replenish at a faster rate, which in turn leads to healthier plumper skin. Silk can also help with hydration as it is rich in hydrophilic groups like amino groups. Sleeping in silk overnight, and you'll effortlessly enjoy a beauty 'spa'.
Healthier Hair
According to beauty experts and longtime silk users, silk fabric can help keep your hair soft, moisturized, and free of pesky tangles. This is mainly because of silk's two key traits. Silk is smooth and has least friction force to the skin among all fibers, which is 7.4% only. So your hair won't frizz sleeping on silk.

Silk is rich in hydrophilic groups like amino, and because of its porosity, it is easy for water molecules to diffuse. So instead of absorbing moisture from your hair like cotton fabric, silk fabric will moisturize your hair, promoting healthier, shinier hair.
Better Sleep
The natural silk fiber is very soft and smooth to the touch; hence it's very comfortable and easy to relax your body when sleeping on silk pillowcases or sheets. Moreover, thanks to silk's breathable and insulating features, it's always cool and won't get overheated when sleeping on silk. The truth is, silk actually improves your sleep quality with all its traits, and we all know how important it is to have a good night's sleep.
It takes more time and effort to take care of silk clothing, which is why some people don't want to use silk. Whereas, as long as you know the appropriate way to handle it, it's not so hard to take care of it. Read More
HAND WASHING plus minus
Handwashing is always the best and safest method for washing particularly delicate items like silk. (some may prefer DRY CLEAN).
Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Fill a basin with <= lukewarm water 30°C/86°F.

Fill a basin with <= lukewarm water 30°C/86°F is the ideal temperature for silk to be hand-washed.

2. Add a few drops of special detergent for the silk delicates.

We recommend TENESTAR as the brand of specialized silk cleaner agents for our products. Woolite and other mild detergents can also be used.

3. Let the garment soak for three minutes.

Soak the silk item and leave it to soak for three minutes.

4. Agitate the delicates around in the water.

Take the silk item and gently plunge it up and down in the water to move the water through the fabric and wash out any dirt or residue. This motion simulates the motion of a washing machine but is much more gentle.

5. Rinse the silk item <= lukewarm water (30°C/86°F).

Take the silk item out of the water and rinse the silk item under the clean water till it runs clear, and all the detergent soap suds have been washed out.

6. Use a towel to soak up water after the wash.

Use a clean white towel to soak up the moisture from your silk item, but don’t rub or wring the thing.

7. Hang the garment to dry.

Hang dry if possible; however, avoid direct sunlight exposure. Note: For a knitted item or cashmere item, it should be laid flat to dry. A drying rack basket recommended.

For those without the time, patience, or just physically unable to hand-wash silk, our products can withstand machine washing as well. Of course, there is more risk involved, and certain precautions must be taken to minimize them.
Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Check the fabric care label.

Before you throw in the wash, check the tag to see if it can be machine washed. Some silk items may lose color or get damaged if you use machine washing.

2. Sort the laundry.

Wash different colors and fabric separately.

3. Use a protective mesh bag.

Turn your silk item inside out and place it in a delicates mesh bag to avoid the shearing and tearing of silk fibers.

4. Add the proper amount of neutral or special detergent for silk to the machine.

TENESTAR recommended as it is detergent specifically designed to care for silk items. Please follow the instruction on the bottle.

5. Start a delicate cycle.

Machine wash cold on a gentle cycle. Most washing tools should have a "delicate" setting. Some machines even have a silk setting specifically for cleaning silk.washed out.

6. Minimize spin time.

Spinning can be very dangerous for silk fabric as the forces involved can shear weaker silk fibers.

7. Use a towel to soak up water after the wash.

Take the item out of the machine and use a clean white cloth to soak up excess moisture. Do Not Tumble Dry.

8. Hang item or lay flat to dry.

Hang dry if possible; however, avoid direct sunlight exposure. Note: For a knitted item or cashmere item, it should be laid flat to dry. A drying rack basket recommended.

Not all silk is created equal
Here at LILYSILK, we only use the highest grade quality silk, the 6A grade mulberry silk. We have over 14 years' experience in silk making, designing, and manufacturing, and we never stop innovating.

After unremitting research lasting years, we are proud of our revolutionary LILYÁUREA® Natural Gold-Silk Collection which, is a solution for very sensitive skin and for those who are allergic to colorants. We will also launch our unique 100% Charmeuse silk range, with elasticity – a gamechanger in the silk industry.
We can confidently say that 'Not all silk is created equal'!