Silk's Special Qualities
The use of silk as a weavable fibre was developed in China over 4000 years ago. Initially only the Emperor was allowed to wear clothing made from this beautiful material with its very special properties. The Chinese were well aware of the value of the silk cloth and and kept its manufacturing processes safe from the rest of the world - on pain of death - for over 30 centuries.
So what makes silk so special?
'Long' silk filaments are reeled from the cocoon of the silkworm. Only about half of the silk from the cocoon is fit to be reeled as 'long' silk. Short pieces are discarded, to be used in inferior silk cloth. A small number of these filaments (between 5 and 8) are then twisted together to form strong, lustrous yarn ... the finest of all natural fibres.
Strong and resilient
Silk has the greatest strength of any natural textile fabric. Far stronger than cotton or wool, it is as strong as steel of the same thickness. It is also very elastic and will stretch to 20% of its length without breaking ... which means that silk materials will keep their shape and not wrinkle badly.
Warm and breathable
Silk is a poor conductor of heat, which means that silk holds heat near the body, keeping it warm ... warmer than cotton or linen. But the strangest, and perhaps most important, of silk's properties is that, being low in density, it is highly moisture absorbent and can absorb as much as 1/3 of its own weight in moisture without feeling damp.
So, the duvets are breathable. They keep the body warm, but do not become damp. Instead it acts to control the body temperature, a bit like a thermostat. So it keeps a constant temperature through the night giving maximum sleeping comfort. It is this ability to balance between body temperature and ambient room temperature which has led to silk's famed ability to be 'warm in winter, cool in summer'
Light and snug
Extra soft and lightweight, the duvets are made from multiple layers of long mulberry silk floss which are stretched out by hand over a frame until the desired thickness is reached. A cover of cotton sateen is then hand tacked to the filling. The result is an even layered duvet of light silk floss which will not 'bunch' and will drape snugly around the body. This can also bring benefits to those, including some arthritis sufferers, where the weight of ordinary bedding may cause discomfort.
Silk is noted for its hypoallergenic qualities. These duvets can be excellent news for allergy sufferers, especially those prone to asthma or hay fever. The duvet is placed inside your normal duvet cover, which is cleaned regularly. However, unlike other duvets, the 100% silk filling, encased in a shell of habotai silk, will not accommodate the house mites which thrive in other bedding materials and which are the cause of so many allergy problems.
The Chinese have recognised for many centuries other benefits of silk which may be attributed to its being a natural substance, made up of several amino acids very like human skin. These include the soothing of itchy skin and relief for vascular sclerosis.
In conclusion, the myriad properties of silk make it a quite remarkable material. Having slept under silk you will never want to return to feather or down.
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