Let’s get one thing straight: this question isn’t the one you should be asking.
Or well, this question isn’t the one you think you should be asking. Silk and satin are words we believe we know all about in terms of fabric. But there’s actually a common mistake about what silk and satin are.
Silk fabric is produced from natural fibre made by silkworms, popularly mulberry silk. High-quality silk is a fabric that’s maintained its luxurious image and has been manufactured for thousands of years. Most high-quality silk products are made with silk fibres that’ve been woven in a particular way - notably with a charmeuse weave.
Satin, however, is a type of fabric weave. The common term relating to satin refers to the glossy sheen on one side of the fabric. But, “satin” can in fact be made using a range of fabrics including polyester or even silk. Polyester satin or satin fabric with polyester blends are easy to find in most stores and what we normally refer to when talking about satin fabric.
What do we really mean when we ask the question, “silk or satin?”. For the average shopper, what’s really meant is: Pure silk charmeuse fabric or polyester satin fabric?
Let’s have a look at the differences between the two.
Are these fabrics natural or man-made? Manufacturing materials (including fabric) has been made so much easier through technology. Polyester is one of the outputs stemming from human creativity in the textile industry. In contrast, silk is a protein that has been spun from silkworms on mulberry tree. This means silk is the strongest and smoothest natural fibre known to man.
Beauty Benefits and Softness
Polyester satin fabric has a clear slippery feel under your fingertips. Though slippery, it’s not necessarily soft. Pure silk fabric gives both a smooth and soft feel as it’s produced from a natural protein. Man-made textiles have not been able to replicate this.
Silk reduces friction on our skin, so there’s less chafing, dryness and redness when our bodies come into contact with it. The protein filaments from pure silk are also hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin as it’s made from natural silk fibres. This is an integral part when we look at the type of fabrics used in products that come into contact with the most noticeable skin on our bodies - our faces.
For those out there who are considering switching your cotton pillowcases for something new, silk has a range of skincare and hair benefits that you may want to have a look at.
It seems like a strange comparison point, but it’s an important part of fabric selection. While neither silk or satin are particularly heavy, polyester satin weaves don’t adapt to the environment the same way silk does.
Silk is a fabric that’s naturally temperature-regulating, making it breathable so it’s never too hot or cold in any situation.
As polyester is synthetic, it’s easier to mass produce. Polyester satin can be inexpensive and more easily incorporated into daily products given the right steps in the production processes are followed. You’ll easily be able to find many affordable options for polyester satin products on the market!
On the other hand, silkworms and handling the natural fibres need to be carefully nurtured.The manufacturing of pure silk and having it woven into charmeuse fabric can be quite difficult and labour-intensive. This means pure silk is a luxury product and therefore causes it to be much more expensive than polyester satin.
Depending on what you intend to use the fabric for, it’s important to think about what you can get out of using it and how much you’re willing to spend on it. In the end, it all relies on your needs as a shopper.
If you’re comparing charmeuse silk pillowcases and polyester satin pillowcases, we recommend choosing silk. Even though it may be a little pricier, investing in natural silk for a good night’s rest may be worthwhile. If you’re considering getting one for yourself, have a look at the ecosa mulberry silk pillowcase. It’s made from pure silk fibres, it’s breathable and easy to maintain. It’s the perfect pillowcase for your beauty sleep!