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Silk vs. Satin

Updated: Oct 10, 2023


professional photo of Mickie and her husband
Mickie and Jonathon (husband)

As a hair professional of 20 years, a curly hair specialist of 10 years, and a 39 year old woman who finds herself easily intrigued by the science and chemistry that goes into skin & hair care products; I feel I can weigh in on this debate.




Characteristics of Silk


Silk and Satin are often confused as the same thing. Lets clear that up quick by defining both.

A Silkworm on a leaf
The Amazing Silkworm

By definition, Silk is a 100% natural fiber obtained from Silkworms.


It consists of "strings" of amino acids matching the pH level of our own skin. This amazing characteristic allows for its ability to be naturally hypoallergenic.


Pretty cool, huh!?

Silkworm producing silk
Silkworm At Work

What's even more interesting is that natural Mulberry Silk contains, "Sericin", which is the protein responsible for reducing allergic reactions, thus making silk the ultimate choice for sensitive, itchy skin.

silk eggs laying on a leaf
SIlk "eggs"


Since its not near as absorbent as cotton or other common bedding materials, silk is excellent for aging skin. It won't leech moisture from your skin and hair while you sleep. It also won't leave unsightly creases in your skin, making it the perfect choice for traveling!




 

Satin


Commonly mistaken for silk (which is understandable since it used to be made from it) however, Modern Satin is now crafted from polyester, rayon or nylon. These materials are woven into long filaments that mimic the look of silk fibers.


Satin is actually a weave and not a natural fiber like silk. It's how they weave the chosen materials (polyester, rayon, nylon) that gives it the characteristic "sheen" that silk naturally has.




The finished product resembles silk, in touch and texture, but it cannot offer the many benefits that silk has.


 



Back to Silk...

cup of coffee placed on a book that is resting on a bed of silk bedding
Silk bedding


100% Mulberry Silk ranks supreme in the "silk arena"...


...this is due to the careful breeding & strict diet of the silk worms. This added attention to detail makes this the most sought after silk for bedding and arguably the finest silk in the world!



One of the many fantastic qualities of silk is that it isn't near as absorbent as cotton, and other materials. Therefore, it leaves our skin, and hair's moisture barrier intact while reducing friction between our hair, and our pillow. Hair knots, and skin wrinkles, BE GONE!




Silk also enhances our sleep with its temperature regulating properties allowing us to keep cool at all times.

-As a lover of the cool side of the pillow, I can attest to this fact:)




 



When looking to purchase Silk products it's important to understand these key things-


Silk is measured in "Mommes"- (a Japanese unit of measurement used when describing the weight of a silk thread.)


Silk also comes in 3 weights:


silk sheets in different colors
Silk sheets in an array of colors

19 Momme- most common weight used

22 Momme- slightly heavier and more luxurious feel

30 Momme- the ultimate in luxury & most expensive


Simply put:

If the piece of silk fabric weighs 19 lbs then the "Momme weight" of that silk is 19.


The higher the weight, the more silk used in the weaving process, naturally getting better as the Momme count goes up.


Testing for Authenticity


Most companies offer to send a sample of silk for the purpose of testing it. All you will need for this test is a lighter, a candle and your silk sample.

-OR- check out this short video to learn the test.


Light your candle wick so you have a steady flame source, then touch your silk swatch to the flame, and pull it away. Note if it smells like burnt hair.

This "burnt hair" smell is one of the for sure signs that the silk in question is the real deal.


Other signs to watch for:


Silk burns slowly and won't actually catch fire, it stops burning immediately when you remove the flame. Also, it leaves behind charred beads that when rubbed, quickly turn to ash in your hand.


There you have it! The definitive guide to identifying true silk!


I hope this has cleared up any questions on this subject and, if you'd like a referral to my trusted silk company, click here.



-I enjoy researching these topics and making these decisions easier for people. I also thoroughly respect companies that are doing the right thing by their customers & the planet.


"Money is power...why not spend it on quality products from top quality businesses that actually care about their customers." -Mickie















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