When I was a little girl I wanted to be a princess – live in a castle, sleep in the clouds in a bed made of silk (no peas under the mattress though) and marry a handsome prince and live happily ever after.
(The fabulous illustration above and the one at the very bottom of this post are from the beautiful children’s book ‘The Ordinary Princess’ written by my grandmother MM Kaye)
Unfortunately I did not marry the handsome prince but the evil villain and certainly did not live happily ever after – my story is the cautionary tale we tell our children not the fairy-tale. I do though sleep in silk – maybe not in the clouds or a castle but in a beautiful house in the countryside so close enough for me.
If you only want to change one thing to help your skin fight against ageing, silk should be that one thing. Way before I jumped on the natural beauty bandwagon I had read about how sleeping on a silk pillowcase can protect your skin against wrinkles.
“It’s long been a secret of the beauty industry that silk pillowcases can make an amazing difference to the appearance of your skin. Wrinkles appear smoother and there are no creases or marks from the pillowcase.
Silk does not absorb face creams like cotton can. Instead it allows your night cream to work while you are asleep for maximum benefit and a more radiant, deeply moisturised complexion.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)
I didn’t really believe it but I wanted my princess moment so I went out and bought a silk pillowcase. I have been sleeping on silk now for over 10 years and I would never change.
This year I decided to be extravagant. If I couldn’t have the fairy-tale prince I really could have the fairy-tale bed. I changed all my bed linen to the softest most beautiful silk. My pillow and duvet are also silk filled – maybe I am finally living in the clouds. It certainly feels like it when I close my eyes at night.
Not only is silk extremely good for your skin – you will no longer wake up with lines on your face or body where your bed linen has left its mark behind. It also helps reduce allergies. Bed bugs and nasties do not live in silk like they do in feathers and manmade hollow fibres.
“Silk is repellent to dust mites and moths so it’s perfect for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies. It also resists mildew and mould. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic so it can also be highly beneficial for those suffering from eczema or sensitive skin conditions.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)
It is not only fabulous for your skin but your hair benefits as well:
“Wake up in the morning with hair that’s smooth as silk. The natural proteins present in silk together with its amazing smoothness mean that your hair doesn’t get matted or dried out when your head rests on silk overnight. That’s why top models always insist on silk pillowcases.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)
Silk filled duvets or pillows regulate your body temperature. They are cool in the heat of the summer and warm in the cold of the winter.
“ Breathable and comfortable, the natural properties of silk wick away moisture from the body to keep you cool and comfortable all night long. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from night sweats or hot flushes.
Silk is great in the winter too, especially if you want to feel supremely warm without being weighed down by heavy blankets. Silk duvets feel so light that it is almost impossible to believe they can effectively keep out the cold.
Sleeping under a silk-filled duvet is like sleeping under a light fluffy cloud. Even in the depths of winter it keeps you warm and snuggly. That’s partly because of the natural drape of silk that some people call the “hugging effect.” which also helps to keep in body heat when it is cold.“ (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)
You never need to clean a silk duvet – every summer just air it in the sun for a day.
In fact I would say the only downside to this is that I feel uncomfortable sleeping on anything else. Cotton or manmade fibre sheets scratch and irritate my skin and I find it hard to get comfortable and a good nights sleep. I long for the feel of silk on my skin as I know how fabulous it feels and how good it is for me.
Maybe I should mention one other thing. I do find I can’t have a silk duvet cover and fitted sheet on at the same time – the duvet slips off at night. Instead I alternate between a silk fitted sheet and a cotton duvet cover or a silk duvet cover and a cotton fitted sheet. This might not bother you but I found I spent most of the night pulling the duvet back over me otherwise.
It is expensive as it must be 100% pure silk – but once you have invested and you wash the bedlinen with care, it is the best investment you will make and you will never look back.
I have looked for the best quality and the best price on the Internet in the UK (sorry those of you in the US you will have to look for one over there) Jasmine Silk comes out on top at the moment. Quality is important; you must have silk that has a heavy momme weight. Mulberry silk for silk filled items and Charmeuse silk for bed linen are the best type to go for. Cheap lightweight silk will not last and will not work in the same way. Jasmine silk may seem more expensive than places like eBay but you are guaranteed quality and that is what you should be buying. Below is another rather long extract from their website but it explains the differences in silk quality clearly (no I do not work or know these people but I have done my research and I wanted to pass this on to my readers):
Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk available. . . Jasmine Silk duvets, pillows and toppers are made by 100% grade A long-strand mulberry silk. Because of the rising price of mulberry silk, there are many suppliers selling cheaper silk duvets which are filled with a mix of polyester and silk, or chopped strand silk which is essentially off cuts of silk that can’t be used for anything else. . .
Mommes (mm) are units of weight traditionally used to measure the density of silk. It is similar to the use of thread count for cotton fabric. The usual range of momme weight for different weaves of silk are:
- Gauze – 3 to 5 momme weight
- Chiffon – 6 to 8 momme weight
- Habutai – 5 to 16 momme weight
- Charmeuse – 16 to 19 momme weight
Charmeuse is a luxury fabric made from silk with a satin finish. It has a floating appearance which drapes very well, especially for formal wear and luxury bed linen. We use the heaviest weight (19 momme) Charmeuse silk for all our silk bed linen.
For silk sheets a momme weight of 12-19 is considered good quality with silk sheets in the range of 16-19 being very high quality. Cheap silk sheets almost always have a low momme weight, because physically less silk has been used to make them. Anything lower than 12 momme feels lightweight and flimsy, and not particularly smooth or luxurious. It tears easily, is difficult to wash and doesn’t last long.
A-Grade Long-strand silk
Not only is our silk heavy in weight, but we also insist on using only long-strand silk. Although not often discussed outside the textile industry, the length of the strands makes a big difference to the feel of the silk and its strength and durability. Longer fibres produce smoother yarns. Shorter fibres have tiny surface ends which result in a fuzzier yarn that doesn’t feel as smooth.
Go on! Let the princess in you come out and play!