Blog Post by Michelle from The Vanilla Plum with Ros McAllister, on why she started the brand and the benefits of silk  

When I thought about luxury sheets, I always thought silk was one of those fabrics that is synonymous with luxury–everyone wants them. Silk is commonly thought to be a delicate fabric and is often overlooked in the linen department. But is it really delicate? Or is that a misconception. I asked Silk Magnolia to answer your questions about silk. Their answers will definitely surprise and inspire you!

What or who inspired the creation of Silk Magnolia? Is there a story behind it?

Silk Magnolia was born in 2004 when I attempted to purchase some silk bedding and discovered it was difficult to find AAA Mulberry Silk in Australia. I’ve always had a passion for silk since I was a small child, and was fully aware of the health benefits, and so it was a must have on my bed. There is nothing more glorious than hopping into a luxurious bed after a long day. That is what you get with our pure silk bedding. 

What exactly is Mulberry silk? And why is it considered the premium silk for bedding? 

Mulberry Silk is the highest quality silk available. The unique thing about mulberry silk is how it is produced. Mulberry silk has its history in China where local farmers grow Mulberry trees and harvest the leaves, exclusively for the silk worms to feed on. This silk is the finest in the world. 

Mulberry silk is more refined than other types of silk but is also durable and luxurious. Mulberry silk is 100% natural, odourless and hypoallergenic. The silk contains a natural protein called sericin that reduces the possibility of an allergic reaction. 

What’s the deal with the 19 momme thing. Does it compare to cotton thread “count?” What’s the range for bedding if you want quality?

Momme is the unit used when describing the weight of silk threads. For silk sheets 12:19 is considered good quality with sheets in the range of 16-19 momme being very high quality. 

The standard for measuring momme weight is using a piece of fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. If that piece of fabric weighs 19 pounds then the momme weight of that silk is 19. The higher the momme weight, the heavier the fabric. 

19 momme is the ideal weight for silk bedding as it has the perfect luxurious feel and sheen without feeling “satiny”. Silk should always feel silky and smooth on your skin and face without being too shiny. 

What’s one thing you wish your customers knew about your silk that they usually don’t?

We are so passionate about silk and love sharing our knowledge with our customers…or anyone who is interested. A lot of people don’t realise that silk is a natural product and that it is also hypoallergenic and helpful for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. 

It is also the perfect choice for babies and little ones as it is natural and soft for their delicate skin.  Silk contains a natural protein similar to what our skin naturally contains as well as 18 essential amino acids that actually nourish your skin and hair while you sleep. 

Silk is definitely known as a beauty fabric–especially for hair! Why is silk good for your hair?

Silk is amazing for your hair! The natural properties of silk including the proteins and amino acids hydrate and nourish your hair. The smooth surface of silk reduces friction which is what can cause split ends and crazy bed hair. Gliding over silk your blow waves and hair styles last longer when sleeping on silk as well.

Is silk good for your skin too? Will a silk pillowcase prevent wrinkles from forming? Any other beauty benefits we should know?

Unlike cotton which draws and absorbs moisture from your skin, silk not only retains your skin’s natural levels but also hydrates and nourishes it.  Unlike dragging across cotton or linen pillowcases your skin glides across silk preventing sleep creases and fine lines. 

Using a silk eye mask also nourishes and hydrates your delicate eye area which is extra prone to aging and fine lines. Being a natural, hypoallergenic fabric, it is beautiful and soothing for people suffering from eczema or other skin conditions. We have also had feedback from customers who find sleeping on silk after chemotherapy helps with the pain and tenderness they feel. 

Will your bedding keep me warm while keeping my husband cool? If you have night sweats, will they keep you cool? Are they physically cooler than cotton? 

Silk has natural temperature regulating properties that means it keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. It has moisture wicking qualities that help keep anyone suffering from night sweats or menopause hot flashes cool and comfortable.  We have three different weights in our duvets, and they can also be clipped together to allow you to create your perfect weight and warmth level. 

Will these keep you warm on a cold night?

Because our silk duvets feel so much lighter than standard duvets like wool or polyester people worry that they won’t be as warm. But the amazing temperature regulating properties of silk mean you get the warmth without the weight even on cold nights. 

What about Charmeuse? Will this still breathe? Is charmeuse silk or satin?

Charmeuse is a lightweight fabric woven in a way in which the warp threads cross over four or more of the backing threads. The float threads give the front of the fabric a smooth finish, more lustrous and reflective than mulberry silk, while the back has a dull finish. 

Charmeuse silk is more expensive and delicate but is softer and has better insulation. It has a beautiful sheen but is still silk. Satin is a man made fabric that doesn’t have any of the benefits of pure silk.

Will satin and cotton do this too? Will this still breathe like silk?

Satin sheets are a man-made, artificial fabric which is not as soft or strong as silk and does not have the natural breathable qualities that silk does.  Cotton, although natural, isn’t as breathable or temperature regulating as silk is.

What about durability? Do they snag easily–like if I forget to take off my wedding ring? 

Silk as a fibre, has good tensile strength, which allows it to withstand great pulling pressure. Silk is the strongest natural fibre and has moderate abrasion resistance.  Because of its softness and smoothness it does not snag and catch things easily. 

Will the fitted sheet stretch enough to fit a Tempur-pedic/deep pockets mattress? King size? California king? 

We make our silk sheets with a generous depth to fit almost all mattresses. 

Silk has slip, which is a great texture description for hair and skin benefits, but how is it to sleep on? Are they slippery?

This is another myth that has been spread because a lot of people mistake pure silk for satin which is made from polyester. These man-made sheets are very slippery unlike pure silk sheets which are soft and luxurious to sleep under. 

Why should people choose silk over cotton sheets?

We believe that people should choose whatever they personally like. We know from experience though that once you have tried sleeping on a silk bed sheet you can never go back 😊 Once people learn about all the amazing health and beauty benefits of silk, and once they sleep on the real deal, we know they will fall in love with pure, luxurious silk.

How hard is it to care for silk sheet sets? Are silk sheets machine washable or will they fall apart in the washing machine? What do I do if I get a stain on my sheets? Can I iron silk bed sets? 

Another misconception about silk is that it is difficult to care for, this is not true. Silk is one of the strongest fabrics available and is low maintenance.  It is also not prone to pesky wrinkles like linen and heavy cottons are.  

We recommend washing your silk bed linen on a delicate cycle in cool/warm water using a delicate laundry liquid.  When washing your silk bed linen do not wash with any other clothing or linen like towels etc. Use on spin cycle only to preserve the integrity of the fabric. Silk does not like the sun. 

Dry your silk in the shade and out of direct sunlight.  

You can iron your silk bed linen if you wish however it is not necessary if you don’t want to. You simply iron with a cool iron on the reverse, non shiny side of the silk. 

Because dust mites will not live in silk, to refresh your silk duvets or pillows, we just place them out the sun for an hour or so every 6 months to air. They may also be dry cleaned if you wish. 

That’s all from Silk Magnolia for now! 

I can tell you from personal experience, I enjoy my silky smooth sleep, free from harmful chemicals, and share with my cat without concern. I am wrinkle-free, thanks to my favourite bed linens. Time to crawl under those silk duvet covers! ZZZZzzzzz