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Benefits of Silk

Silk Ballerina

Have you pondered the fact that you spend 1/3 of your life in bed?

Or, thought in another way, you will spend between 2500 - 3000 hours in bed over the next 12 months.

This is the time our mind and body rests, repairs and rejuvenates. The quality of our sleep has a direct impact on the quality of our lives during our waking life.  If you're here, reading this, you're in the right place. An oasis of calm, indulgence and intimacy.

There isn't another fabric more ideal than silk for sleeping in. Once you've tried it, you won't go back.  You might start with a MayfairSilk Pillowcase or Deep Sleep Eyemask and feel the difference before trying one of our silk sheets or duvet sets.  See for yourself why it's been referred to as the "Queen of textiles", since the 27th century BC. 

It is not just our opinion that sleeping on silk is one of the best investments you can make, many top skin doctors, specialists, dermatologists and hair dressers all praise this remarkable material. 

Mulberry silk reduces signs of aging

1. REDUCE SIGNS OF AGING

"Did you know the second cause of wrinkles is sleeping? After sunlight/UV exposure, squishing your face into a pillow for approximately 2,500 hours per year is like ironing wrinkles into the skin. In fact, by the time someone is in their mid-40s, I can usually look at their face, neck, and chest and determine if they are a side or back sleeper! Trust me, it shows.”
- Renée Rouleau, Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert

“Long the secret of film divas, silk pillowcases prevent facial skin from creasing during the night. Silk allows the skin to glide along the pillow so the face rests comfortably without placing pressure on creased skin, effectively ‘ironing in’ wrinkles.”
- Dr. Sobel, NY Magazine's Top Dermatologist 5 years in a row

“I always sleep on silk so that my skin glides rather than drags across the fabric, reducing the chances of wrinkles, particularly those in the nasal labial fold between mouth and nose".
- Angelica Kavouni, Harley Street Plastic Surgeon (Sunday Mail)

Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group, says:

"Sleep creases typically form as people move around in their sleep, sleeping with their face down or pressed up against their pillows, and primarily when fabrics have higher friction forces and the skin cannot glide along the fabric. A common mistake is using pillowcases with fabrics that grip skin rather than allowing it to slide across it. Ideally, you should be using a silk pillowcase."

Dr Dendy Engleman, Manhattan Cosmetic Dermatologist, says:

“The bottom line is, any product that helps reduce the strain on the skin is beneficial.”

If you invest in a nightly skincare routine with creams and serums, silk has an additional benefit. The fabric absorbs less moisture than cotton, so your skin stays more hydrated on silk than it does on cotton.

“Our skincare isn’t doing much good on our pillowcase. So limiting that absorption and friction allows our skincare products to work harder for us."

Fabrics such as cotton hold up to 27 times their weight in water vs 0.1-0.3 times silks weight. Cotton draws the moisture out from your skin into your pillowcase and bed linen, drying your skin overnight as you sleep wrapped in it for 6-8hours. This is less of an issue in your younger years, but as we age our skin naturally becomes drier and elasticity reduces.

Laura Dyer, PA-C at Dr Amy Wechsler Dermatology, explains:

“The moisture pulled into the pillow can also draw in allergens and bacteria, causing damage and reactions to your hair and skin. Sleeping on a silk surface means less moisture will be taken from your skin and hair." 

MayfairSilk™ has tightly woven, smooth, completely natural protein fibres, which are kind to the skin, even the most sensitive. Our fabric is fast drying as it ‘wicks’ away any excess moisture. Whilst, maintaining the natural moisture levels of your skin.

This is why it is widely recommended by dermatologists and leading skincare specialists to assist in maintaining healthy skin. Hydrated, plump skin cells show fewer lines, wrinkles and greater luminosity.

Silk maintains your skin's natural moisture

2. SMOOTHER AND SHINIER HAIR

“You can avoid waking up with bed head by sleeping on Silk Pillowcases, cotton causes more friction and disrupts the hair cuticles.”
– Charles Worthington, London

“A silk surface also reduces the friction between your skin and hair against the pillow, which can result in less breakage when it comes to your hair.”
– Laura Dyer, PA-C

"Whether your hair is straight or curly, high quality silk pillowcases reduce friction, so your trip to the hairdresser lasts longer. Silk keeps straight hair straighter and blow-dries last longer."
– Ellin Lavar, Stylist, InStyle

Regular use of MayfairSilk™ preserves your hairs' natural moisture, making its appearance more lustrous. The smooth cling-free properties of MayfairSilk™ allows your hair to glide across your bedding without tugging or pulling.

Silk is hypoallergenic

3. HYPOALLERGENIC AND ANTIBACTERIAL

“People are very rarely allergic to silk. This is because silk is free of any potentially irritating added chemicals and contains natural substances that ward off various environmental allergens (and resulting skin conditions)”
- Neal B, Schultz, MD New York City Dermatologist

Allergy and Asthma Care say the following:  

"For people with skin allergies, silk is also an excellent material alternative because it has long, smooth fibers that do not rub or irritate areas of the skin. Most people suffer from clothing dermatitis, which is a condition that causes your skin to develop a rash after being exposed to a certain material. Textiles that have shorter, coarser fibers are more likely to cause friction against your skin, which will ultimately lead to rashes and irritation. As a result of silk’s long, nonabrasive fibers, it provides long lasting comfort to the wearer’s skin."

"Another major culprit of skin allergies are the chemical treatments used to die, stain, and style different types of fabric. Many of these chemicals are harsh and are hard to completely wash out of the material. Trace amounts of these chemical agents can cause severe skin reactions that are often uncomfortable and painful. Silk is a material that does not require any chemical treatments to make it softer or more wearable. It is a natural wonder that has a smooth feel, without any chemical additives."

"Lastly, silk is a material that resists the growth of mould, mildew, and fungi."

MayfairSilk is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, which is one of the leading causes of allergies. Our entire production process is also free of toxic dyes, chemicals and harmful substances (certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100). Thus, caring for you and the planet.

Silk regulates your temperature

4. TEMPERATURE CONTROL

You know how everyone loves the cool side of the pillow?

This is a thing of the past when sleeping in MayfairSilk™. It naturally stays cool to the touch with thermal regulating properties. Perfectly adjusting to your body temperature so you remain comfortable across all seasons. This is partly due to its low heat conductivity and lattice structure that traps air to keep you warm in the cold and venting excess heat when you're hot, so that when it’s time to rest you’re wrapped in a cocoon of luxury. 

5. EASY TO CARE FOR

We use the latest modern technology to produce a tightly woven strong fabric in 25 momme for pillowcases and 22 momme for bed linen. Providing an elegant matte lustre with a smooth, supple feel. Our products are machine washable on a delicate cycle - see more care instructions here.  

Despite its appearance, silk is the strongest known natural fibre and is actually stronger than steel of the same diametre.

The quality of MayfairSilk™ will care for you for many years to come. 

EXPLORE OUR COLLECTIONS

Mayfair Silk pillowcase collection

Beyond exquisite beauty, MayfairSilk™ Bed Linen offers so many advantages. Browse our Silk Bed Linen Collection of 100% pure mulberry silk.

We offer a wide range of colours in Silk Pillowcases (Standard 50x75cm and Superking 50x90cm) and in our Silk Bed Linen (Flat Sheet, Fitted Sheet, Duvet Cover in sizes Double, King, Superking and Emperor).

MayfairSilk™ sheets are much more than a mere luxury item or bedroom decoration, they are an investment in your health, rejuvenation, sleep and a powerful natural aid in your beauty regimen.

FURTHER READING:

Mulberry Silk is a remarkable natural material, comprised of 18 amino acids including Glycine (45%), Alanine (29%), Serine (12%), Tyrosine (5%), Valine (2%), Aspartic Acid (1%), Arginine (1%), Glutamic Acid (1%), Isoleucine (1%), Phenylalanine (1%), Threonine (1%), Cystine (0.5%), Histidine (<0.2%), Lysine (<0.1%), Methionine (<0.1%), Proline (<0.1%), Tryptophan (<0.1%).  

Silk has been well studied in the past decades due to its outstanding mechanical durability, stable chemical properties and good biocompatibility.

The fiber thickness is 10-30 micrometers. Being a long-strand fibre, the length of one thread from the cocoon is 700-1500m. Before dying (which is Oeko-Tex 100 Standard certified) the filaments are white or cream-colored, smooth and soft to touch. It has similar structure to hair.  The iridescent/shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre. This means that incoming light is refracted at different angles, producing beautiful colour variation. 

Silk fibroin (the part of the cocoon used to create our fabrics) a major protein component of cocoon spun by silk worm, has diverse applications in the biomedical field which can be attributed to its high tensile strength controllable biodegradability, haemostatic properties, non-cytotoxicity, low antigenicity and inflammatory characteristics.

Bombyx mori silk fibroin is characterized with a unique amino acid sequence of GAGAGS, a hydrophobic block which contributes to the formation of β sheets in the fibroin structure. The high tensile strength of silk fiber is attributed to the β sheets while the hydrophobic block contributes to its elasticity.

 

R = H, glycine; R = CH3, alanine; R = CH2OH, serine

Hydrogen bonds form between chains, and side chains form above and below the plane of the hydrogen bond network.

The amino acid compositions of the silk proteins are shown below. B. mori silk fibroin contains a high proportion of three α-amino acids, glycine (G; Gly, 45%, R=H), alanine (A; Ala, 29%, R=CH3), and serine (S; Ser, 12%, R=CH2OH), in the approximate molar ratio of 3:2:1, respectively. Tyrosine, valine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, etc. make up the remaining 13%.

The high proportion (45%) of glycine, which is the smallest amino acid, allows tight packing and the fibers are strong and resistant to breaking. The tensile strength comes from the many interseeded hydrogen bonds, and when stretched the force is applied to these numerous bonds and they do not readily break.

Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. It has a good moisture regain of 11%.[2]

Silk fibroin has been manufactured into nanofibers, particles, scaffold and film that can be widely used in biomedical field and healthcare industry.

Regenerated water-based silk fibroin suspension have been coated onto fruits which can effectively modulate the gas diffusion to help manage fruit freshness during the transportation and in developing regions without refrigeration. Additionally, silk fibroin has been manufactured into particles as a drug carrier that can realize controllable drug release.

Sources:

[1]. Quantitative profile Analysis of Mulberry Silkworm Bombyx mori. (CSR2XCSR4), International Letters of Natural Sciences 7 (2015). 

[2] Chemistry of Garments: Animal Fibres

[3] Fraser, R.B.D. and MacRae, T.P. Conformation of Fibrous Proteins and Related Synthetic Polypeptides, Chapter 13. Silks. Academic Press: New York, 1973; 293-343. 

Vepari, C.; Kaplan, D.; Silk as a Biomaterial. . Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 Jun 1

Xue, Y.; Jao, D.; Hu, W.; Hu, X. Silk-silk blend materials. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 2017, 127, 915–921. [CrossRef]

Najjar, R.; Luo, Y.; Jao, D.; Brennan, D.; Xue, Y.; Beachley, V.; Hu, X.; Xue, W. Biocompatible silk/polymer energy harvesters using stretched poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene)(pvdf-hfp) nanofibers. Polymers 2017, 9, 479. [CrossRef]

Rockwood, D.N.; Preda, R.C.; Yücel, T.; Wang, X.; Lovett, M.L.; Kaplan, D.L. Materials fabrication from bombyx mori silk fibroin. Nat. Protoc. 2011, 6, 1612. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Xia, X.-X.; Xu, Q.; Hu, X.; Qin, G.; Kaplan, D.L. Tunable self-assembly of genetically engineered silk–elastin-like protein polymers. Biomacromolecules 2011, 12, 3844–3850. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Keten, S.; Xu, Z.; Ihle, B.; Buehler, M.J. Nanoconfinement controls stiffness, strength and mechanical toughness of β-sheet crystals in silk. Nat. Mater. 2010, 9, 359. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Li, C.; Vepari, C.; Jin, H.-J.; Kim, H.J.; Kaplan, D.L. Electrospun silk-bmp-2 scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Biomaterials 2006, 27, 3115–3124. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lammel, A.S.; Hu, X.; Park, S.-H.; Kaplan, D.L.; Scheibel, T.R. Controlling silk fibroin particle features for drug delivery. Biomaterials 2010, 31, 4583–4591. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Liu, H.; Fan, H.; Wang, Y.; Toh, S.L.; Goh, J.C. The interaction between a combined knitted silk scaffold and microporous silk sponge with human mesenchymal stem cells for ligament tissue engineering. Biomaterials 2008, 29, 662–674. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Marelli, B.; Brenckle, M.; Kaplan, D.L.; Omenetto, F.G. Silk fibroin as edible coating for perishable food preservation. Sci. Rep. 2016, 6, 25263. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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