Why are silk duvets “Warm in Winter: Cool in Summer?
Silk can absorb water up to 30% of its own weight before it feels damp. As the temperature in the bed rises, you perspire more. The water then evaporates from the duvet/s because of your body heat. Evaporation causes cooling. So in effect the duvet acts as a thermostat. The more you heat up the more the silk will provide cooling and vice versa. So you get a good night’s sleep at an even temperature all night long.
How should Silk Duvets and Pillows be cleaned?
The Chinese maintain that merely hanging them outside in the shade to air once or twice a year is all that is required. Something like a coffee spill on a limited area can be sponged off under the tap and hung to dry. If all else fails the duvet can be dry-cleaned, but airing is best. Please DO NOT wash the duvet in the washing machine. The floss will ball up. It will be “Goodbye duvet”.
What are washing instructions for Woven Silk? (Sheets, Duvet Covers, Pillowcases, Shirts)
These can all be machine washed at 30°C using washing soap recommended for ‘Silk & Wool’. They can then be gently spun, hang dried and then steam ironed on the lowest setting. (Silk doesn’t mind water, but is weakened by too much heat).
Why is Silk endowed with “Hypoallergenic” –or “Anti-Allergy” status?
House Mites and Dust Mites are a very frequent cause of allergic reaction in the home. One of their favourite locations is bedding. Their food source there is the dead skin that we naturally shed. Many people are allergic to the mites’ faeces. It has been observed that these mites will not –or perhaps cannot- live in silk. So, provided all the non-silk bedding is washed regularly at 60°C+ to keep it “mite-free”, this source of allergy can be controlled.
Why is Silk good for the health?
Silk and our skin have the same types of Amino Acids. Long ago the Chinese observed that silk is beneficial to our skin: That is to say, they believe the aging of the skin (wrinkles) is delayed: perhaps because of these Amino Acids. It has also been postulated that they assist the human skin cells to:
- Prevent vascular sclerosis.
- Relieve itchy skin.
- Assist in preventing, or even ameliorating arthritis.
What is a Tog Value?
The Tog Value reflects the thermal insulating properties of the duvet/s. The value expresses the difference between the heat being applied underneath the duvet and the heat that escapes from the top. The thicker the duvet; the less heat escapes; the higher the Tog Value.
Why is only Long Silk used in our duvets’ floss filling?
A Silk Worms thread can be over a mile long; though ½ a mile is more normal. The Duvet filling is made by stretching out many layers of unspun silk on a table reflecting the area of the duvet. (see picture below). Each stretched layer looks like gossamer before it is laid on its fellows. These layers cannot move against each other, so there is no possibility of the silk floss migrating, or bunching up, within the duvet. A tacking stitch is then sown in every 40cm or so to hold the floss in place in relation to the duvet’s silk shell.
Why is the duvet case just tacked to the Duvet Filling rather than ‘box-stitched’ or sewn ‘Quilt-Fashion’?
Since the filling cannot migrate within the case (see previous question) box-stitching is not necessary. More importantly; if the duvet were box-stitched, the duvet would lose a lot of its warmth, because the sewn lines would diminish insulation and would – in effect – be ‘cold lines’ across the duvet.
What should my Duvet Cover, Pillowcases and Sheets be made of?
The highest quality bedding that we recommend is based on Sand washed Habotai Silk –perhaps with Jacquard Silk on the top of the duvet cover and pillowcases for decoration. We recommend this because:
• They can be machine washed at 30°C and –if required- steam ironed on the ‘silk’ setting, i.e. not much different from any other bedding material.
• The silk will maintain the lightness of the duvet.
• It enhances the possibilities that the Chinese attribute to silk, i.e. that silk worn next to the skin slows down the aging of one’s skin and keeps one’s hair softer and smoother. Maybe this is because there is less friction between silk and the face and hair than with other fabrics.
• The Habotai weave is not as slippery as Silk satin, which means that you and the bedding are more likely to stay in the right place!
• House and Dust mites cannot live in silk. So if you’re surrounded by silk you are well defended!
Cotton or linen are good alternatives. They are both quite a bit heavier and more abrasive than silk, but they can at least be washed frequently at a robust temperature (60°C) to keep the dreaded House and Dust mites at bay.