Satin vs Silk Pillowcase - All You Need to Know

What Actually Is Silk?

Silk is a natural protein fiber produced by a few dozen types of insects around the world. Eek! From creepy crawly to classy and sleek. Yet, despite the variety of nature’s silk makers, traditionally, only silkworm silk has ever been harvested for textiles. 

It was first developed in ancient China — circa 2969 BC — and remained a vigilantly guarded trade secret for another 1,600 years, when the Europeans finally got into the game. By the Middle Ages, however, it was a trade secret no more, one of the most sought-after fabrics in existence. 

From the moment it was fist woven all those thousands of years ago, silk has been associated with luxury, even royalty. To this day, real silk demands a high price point. Like cotton, interestingly enough, weaving silk into textiles requires effort and skill. 

But beware — also like cotton, sometimes manufacturers will mix other fabric types with the silk fibers to reduce the price but maintain the texture of the material. This blend can effect the absorbency, hypo-allergenic properties, and frictionless benefits which make silk an ideal pillowcase.


What is Satin ?

Satin vs Silk, we’re back at it again! Pillowcases which exhibit a glossy surface and the sleekness of silk – but aren’t silk – are known collectively as Satin.

Satin is technically a type of weaving rather than a type of fabric. 

Although satin was traditionally made from silk, today it’s not uncommon to find satins made from a variety of synthetic fibers including polyester, rayon, acetate, and cotton. 

This is not to be confused with the above warning against silk blended with other rougher, more absorbent fabrics. 

The ability to create satin from synthetic fabrics means that it’s often much more flexible and supple than real silk. This makes it an attractive material for things like lingerie because of the way it drapes the figure. 

Most importantly, as a pillowcase, satin is much more likely to move seamlessly with you, frictionless, allowing for a restful, even decadent sleep.


Satin The Advantages

Satin: the opulence of silk without the price tag! When it comes to your hair, satin produces the same desirable effects plus other advantages which make it convenient. Many people prefer satin to silk, because:

  • Low price point! If anything deserves an exclamation point, it’s this. Satin typically costs a third to half of the price of silk.
  • More readily available. Since satin is created from common materials like polyester, it’s much easier to find.
  • Easier to clean. You can throw a satin pillowcase into the wash with the rest of your laundry, not so much with silk.
  • It can feel softer. You may actually prefer the feel of satin over silk, because it tends to feel silkier than real silk! (That too deserves an exclamation point.)

Satin is the way to go when you crave the advantages of silk at a moderate price point, made possible by the modern mastery of synthetic fiber, today.


Silk Advantages

The above points stand, but silk still deserves its shout outs. Silk and satin are both great choices for pillowcases, but some people remain fans of silk because:

  • It breathes. No turning your pillow over again and again to find that cool spot. Keeping your head comfortable and your hair unruffled. 
  • It’s hypoallergenic. Silk is naturally resistant to fungus, mold, mites, and allergens.
  • Free of synthetic fibers. Silk is a naturally occurring fiber, sometimes even organic!
  • Great for acne. It’s no miracle cure, but as we mentioned above, a Silk Pillowcase won’t absorb oils and product from your skin and hair, then transferring that back onto your face all night long.
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