Silk pillowcases are more intricate and delicate than ordinary pillowcases. For this reason, there are more specific features you should know before making a final purchase. What is a momme count, and how is it pronounced? What is a silk grade? Why does the type of weave matter? This blog post answers all those questions and more. For now, let’s answer the most important question regarding silk.
How to choose a silk pillowcase? Momme count, grade of silk, type of weave, and OEKO-TEXT Certification are the most important aspects of a silk pillowcase. Check the care instructions and other features, such as enclosure type and case size, for proper washing and convenient use.
Purchasing a silk pillowcase is exciting. You get to feel the thrill everyone’s been raving about, finally. Smooth hair and face for days, and all that jazz! Before you head out and pick a color, make sure you know these important factors that show how quality (or not) a silk pillowcase is. Choosing the best based on these factors will give you the best value for money, so keep reading!
Silk Pillowcase Features To Consider
Unlike cotton pillowcase quality, which is measured in thread counts, the quality of silk pillowcases is determined by the momme count.
Momme is a Japanese form of weight measurement, which measures 45 inches by 100 yards for every pound of silk fabric. Momme is abbreviated as “mm” and pronounced as “moe-me.” This can also be measured in grams, where one momme equals 4.340 grams per square meter.
A momme measures the density of a silk surface, so, in essence, the thicker the fabric, the better the quality. Naturally, a higher momme count equals a higher value for every silk product. Momme count determines the quality of silk pillowcases, which makes it significant in selecting your silk pillowcase.
17 mm or lower is ideal for lightweight items such as light blouses, silk dresses, and summer scarves. 19 mm is considered too thin for a pillowcase, while 30 mm is too thick, often compared to “sleeping on drapes.” For pillowcases, the best momme count is 25 mm.
Grade of Silk
Silk has three primary grades: A, B, and C. Other subcategories of silk include grade AAA, grade AA, grade BBB, grade BB, grade CCC, and grade CC. We will discuss only the three primary silk grades in this section for easy understanding.
Grade A silk is the best choice for silk floss that does not break so you can unravel it beautifully. A single silk floss can expand to a mile when stretched thoroughly. Thus it requires no stitching except keeping them intact on the edge of the comforter.
It also shows very few to no clumps on grade A silk. The fewer clumps it has, the warmer it turns out to be. It is also noticeably softer, lighter, and more breathable than other silk grades. As it is, it feels very much like sleeping on a cloud! ☁️😶🌫️
Grade B silk is made from cocoons that produce short floss instead of long floss. Because of this, grade B silk pillowcases may contain clumps, resulting in slight unevenness and air pockets over time.
Stitches on the silk will keep the comforter in place, although this could result in some discomfort. Grade B silk pillowcases feel rougher to the touch and have less sheen than the Grade A version.
Grade C silk is the innermost layer of the silk after the Grade A and Grade B silk has been removed. It is yellowish in color, sometimes with brown dots that resemble oil from the silkworm. It feels rough and has no sheen. It also has a noticeable shorter floss, which means that stitching is essential for the silk to cover the entire comforter.
Because it has the lowest quality among silk grades, Grade C silk is known to lack lightness and breathability. It usually is yellowish in color, so when you spot a white Grade C pillowcase, it is most likely bleached, potentially damaging the silk structure and making the pillowcase much rougher.
As with Grade A silk pillowcases, this could be further classified as 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A.
6A is known to be the most premium quality, so we at Celestial Silk use Grade 6A Mulberry Silk on our pillowcases, and we settle for nothing less.
Type of Weave
Weaves are incorporated into fabrics depending on the material. In the case of silk pillowcases, weaves are determined by the momme count of the fabric. Weave styles can determine the durability and longevity of a fabric. Below are the common types of silk weave and the best momme weight to use them.
Finally, we have the charmeuse weave, the best weave for silk pillowcases. Charmeuse weave is ideal for silk fabrics between 12 to 30 mm, so 25 mm silk pillowcases fit well in the middle of the range.
Charmeuse means “charmer” in French, which is pretty apt for silk pillowcases if you ask us! This type of weave gives off both a shiny or lustrous feel and another side with a matte finish. The Charmeuse weave is also utilized in bedding and sheets.
Thanks to the shiny texture on the outer side, charmeuse weave on silk assists in excellent hair and skin health. For the most part, silk has a hypoallergenic and non-absorbent characteristic that allows the skin and scalp to absorb all the good oils from the body and care products.
So when picking out a silk pillowcase, make sure it has a charmeuse weave to guarantee excellence, quality, and durability.
Silk has general care instructions when it comes to washing. Real silk can be washed both by machine and by hand. Likewise, real silk is vulnerable when wet. As discussed in our previous blog post, cold water is best on silk products, including pillowcases. With a pH neutral detergent and proper care, your silk can be sparkling clean again.
As with using the right ingredients and materials, it is also essential to know what products destroy silk so that you can avoid them altogether. Bleach, fabric conditioner, excessive heat like iron, and strong detergent with enzymes can damage silk. If a brand does not have any of these disclosures, then it’s most likely faux silk. 🤫
Another good news is that drying silk fabrics is a breeze - quite literally. So long as you avoid hanging it underneath the direct hit of the sun or ironing it, silk pillowcases dry pretty quickly with no fuss. You can wash it in the morning, and it will be ready to be used that night. If need be, steaming is more appropriate than ironing since steam is gentler on silk rather than harsh and direct heat.
Type of Enclosure
The choice of case enclosure ultimately depends on the user’s preference and convenience. It’s not a major determining factor in choosing or buying silk, but it can definitely make a difference in your bedtime routine.
For pillowcases, there are three common enclosures: envelope, zipper, and drawstring. Drawstring enclosures are more common on tube pillows, so we’ll focus on envelope and zipper enclosures in discussing silk pillowcases.
- Zipper Enclosure - A pillowcase with a zipper enclosure can have two options: an invisible zipper or an exposed zipper. Zipper enclosures are great if you need a way to secure your pillow in place. (Like if you toss and turn a lot in the night). This also doesn’t pose a problem with sleeping as the zipper falls on either side of the case - far from the face.
If you’re one of those people who have a habit of reading garment tags (as you should!), then you’d have most likely come across the term “OEKO-TEX Certification” once or twice. But what does this mean? And how does this affect your purchase of silk pillowcases?
Straight from their official website, “STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is one of the world's best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. It stands for customer confidence and high product safety.”
Simply put, it guarantees consumers that they’re buying premium quality products from brands that don’t cut corners.
Moreover, “If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 label, you can be certain that every component of this article, i.e., every thread, button, and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article, therefore, is harmless for human health.”
Before you checkout that silk pillowcase on your cart, make sure you hear from the experts first. Always trust brands with an OEKO-TEX Certification on their tags. ☝🏻
Know the Brand: Perform a Background Check
Doing a background check on a brand is as essential as checking every feature a silk pillowcase has to offer. Before you make a final purchase, know the brand beyond the silk and check out these aspects:
The main difference between bad and good customer service is the commitment to consumer satisfaction.
Any reputable brand would be more than willing to address your concerns and questions. They will be with you along your shopping journey so you can make the best-informed decision, even if it’s just a matter of choosing among silk pillowcases.
Moreover, excellent customer service doesn’t stop at the checkout counter. They go the extra mile to ensure you’re enjoying your new purchase and taking care of it properly to prolong its quality. Meanwhile, you can quickly tell when a brand lacks compassion for their consumers when they’re unresponsive, inactive, and not solution-oriented.
Below are some characteristics of excellent customer service:
✔ Responds immediately
✔ Active across the brand’s social media platforms
✔ Knowledgeable of product details
✔ Capable of anticipating potential issues/queries/concerns
✔ Treats all customers with respect and consideration
When their products speak for themselves, you can see a well-reputed brand from miles away. In any case, authentic reviews are undisputed regarding how well a product performs.
When reading reviews and comments, aim to be unbiased so you can adequately gauge if the product is right for you. You may find bad reviews here and there and informative reviews explaining the common complaints. All of this feedback will help you make an informed decision while knowing the possible cons of a particular product, which in this case, are silk pillowcases.
In today’s modern age, brands have more reach to the right market, thanks to traditional and digital media. Companies cherry-pick the brands they feature, so when you see something you like in a pamphlet or online magazine, best believe it was intentionally and strategically placed there. Besides, no media would want to tarnish their reputation with a poorly rated product. So before you check out that silk pillowcase from your shopping cart, take a couple of minutes to do some digging on their media features.
Every company has its own beliefs and values alongside its visions and goals. Whether a company prides itself on having the best, most affordable, or highest quality products, whichever it may be, make sure that it aligns with your core values. Doing so makes it much easier to support a brand for its products and causes.
As a consumer, looking for companies that add value to your life by providing quality products while being ethical with their systems and processes is essential. Companies that give charitable contributions often gain more thumbs up from consumers. Donating to charity shows their generosity to those in need without cutting corners on their products.
At Celestial Silk, we aim to give back to the community. We work hard to provide high-quality mulberry silk pillowcases, which enables us to donate 10% of all proceeds to charity. To date, we’ve happily donated more than three thousand silk pillowcases to chemotherapy patients and lower-income women. With this, every purchase is a lending hand.
In A Nutshell:
Searching for the perfect silk pillowcase doesn’t have to be complicated when you know what features to look out for. Momme count, grade of silk, and OEKO-TEX Certification are three must-knows to determine a silk pillowcase's quality and reputation.
Other aspects like design, color, and size are less-crucial elements but important in gauging if they can provide your comfort needs. Finally, looking into the people behind the product can help you better judge your money’s worth. The first step to sleeping beautifully is knowing how to choose a silk pillowcase well.