What Is Mulberry Silk?

Silk Pillow Case

When browsing fabrics, you've most likely come across silk. Soft to the touch and incredibly smooth, silk lies naturally and offers a luxurious feel. You can find many different types of silk, including mulberry. You may be asking yourself, “Just what is mulberry silk, and why are so many people talking about it?”

One of the most well-known types of silk, mulberry silk gained popularity thanks to its combination of luxury and durability. But what exactly is mulberry silk?

How Is Mulberry Silk Made?

First, we'll look at the source of silk as a whole. Silkworms use proteins to create protective cocoons. These proteins form a thin, white fiber. Silkworms produce this fiber as one long strand, which contributes to the durable, soft qualities of the fabric.

Mulberry silks, also referred to as wild silks, received their name thanks to the mulberry trees that silkworms eat. Technically, silkworms represent the caterpillar phase of the Bombyx mori moth. These silkworms prefer mulberry trees for feeding over other sources. Thus, once silk producers domesticated silkworms, they used mulberry trees to feed them.

What Is Mulberry Silk? History and Geography of Mulberry Silk

Natural silk production began thousands of years ago in China. The prominence of mulberry trees attracted significant populations of silkworms. When locals realized how much the worms enjoyed eating mulberry leaves, they planted more trees to attract even more. As silk grew in popularity, the Chinese domesticated silkworms to regulate production.

To prepare silk for weaving, the Chinese developed a form of silk production called sericulture. Other countries have perfected this technique as well, including India and Italy. These countries distributed silk worldwide until the mid-19th century. China and India continue to produce silk on a large scale. Despite currently producing on a smaller scale, Italy still weaves some of the highest-quality European silk.

Why Use Mulberry Silk?

From the silkworm's perspective, their cocoon protects them from external elements while they hibernate. These protective qualities transfer to the silk and contribute to the silk's anti-bacterial, dust-repellant, temperature-regulating, and antifungal properties.


The silk fiber's length also plays an essential role in its appeal. Silkworms create their cocoon with one long, continuous strand, sometimes as long as one and a half kilometers. Mulberry silk production creates the longest unbroken silk fiber in existence.

Mulberry Silk Harvesting and Production

You can gather silk using one of two trusted methods. One method involves harvesting silk from the cocoon while the moth hibernates inside. This method provides a longer strand since it avoids damaging the strand.

First, harvesters boil the cocoon, which kills the moth inside. Next, they brush the exterior of the cocoon to find the end of the strand. Last, they unravel the cocoon to extract the long, un-damaged strand of silk.

The second harvesting method, called Ahimsa (or peace silk), doesn't hurt or kill the moths. Instead, the harvesters wait until the moth emerges from the cocoon through a hole. This hole breaks the silk into multiple strands but preserves the moth.

The method used in harvesting determines how the strands of silk get weaved together. However, this doesn't decide whether the fabric classifies as mulberry silk. Therefore, this title refers to the specific strand used, not the weaving method.

The Benefits of Mulberry Silk

Many textiles with a soft, luxurious feel also lack durability. However, the high quality of silk provides a combination of luxury and durability. This combination makes silk textiles excellent for clothing and bedding. From a design perspective, the pure white color of silk allows manufacturers to dye it in different colors easily.

Silk also offers the benefit of breathability. This feature again relates to how the moths use silk in their cocoons. The structure of mulberry silk fibers helps the moth regulate its body temperature while hibernating. Thus, silk fabric doesn't trap body heat and readily removes moisture when used for clothing and bedding.

What Makes Mulberry Silk Expensive?

Despite each cocoon creating a long piece of silk fiber, one pound of silk requires thousands of cocoons. Also, silk production relies on Bombyx mori moths reproducing. Although some moths lay multiple eggs per year, many can only reproduce once in that same time frame. Therefore, production requires billions of moths to fulfill the worldwide demand for silk.

Silk weaving also takes a lot of work. Although combing cocoons sounds simple, it requires intensive time and labor. Simply put, silk production occurs more slowly than the production of other fabrics, and this results in mulberry silk's high price tag.

Common Uses for Silk

Designers typically use silk for high-end items due to mulberry silk's high price tag. As a result, you'll typically see silk used to line high-end jackets and coats, wedding dresses, and formal wear. You can also commonly find silk scarves. This breathable fabric drapes very well, making it ideal for fashion scarves.

The high-end look and feel of silk also make it ideal for luxury home decor. Interior decorators use silk for upholstery, curtains, Persian rugs, and bedding. The natural shine and soft texture of silk create an interior space that looks and feels expensive.

How You Can Use Mulberry Silk for Self-Care

self care

You don't have to purchase large home decor or designer clothing to enjoy silk. The smooth, moisture-wicking fabric has benefits for both your skin and your hair. SoSilky creates products you use every day, like pillowcases, face masks, sleep masks, and scrunchies.

Benefits of Silk Pillowcases

Mulberry silk pillowcases help you get a great night's sleep and benefit your hair and skin. You've likely used cotton pillowcases in the past and wake up with frizzy hair that defines "bed head." Silk's smooth texture eliminates friction, so you'll wake up to smoother, less-tangled hair. Also, silk pillowcases naturally wick away moisture and stay breathable, reducing the amount of sweat buildup in your hair overnight.

For skin, silk pillowcases provide even more protection. Silk's unique properties keep your skin cleaner and don't cause creases and wrinkles as cotton pillowcases do. In addition, silk's breathability keeps your pores healthy and prevents night sweats. As a result, you'll wake up with fresher, cleaner skin.

Additionally, silk pillowcases don't crease and create friction against your face. Unlike cotton, which creates friction and pulls on your skin overnight, silk's smooth surface keeps you looking younger.

Silk Face Masks

Face masks protect our bodies from viruses. However, face masks also cause acne, blocked pores, and sweat. A silk face mask can provide the necessary protection while keeping your skin clean and beautiful.

Compared to cotton and polyester, silk effectively prevents aerosol droplets from penetrating your mask. Thus, you can expect excellent virus protection when choosing a mulberry silk face mask.

For skin protection, silk prevents sweat and friction damage after you wear a mask all day. Furthermore, SoSilky’s masks also use silk on the ear straps. Silk straps provide added comfort and don't damage or pull your hair.

Silk Sleep Masks

Sleep masks keep light out, helping you wake up well rested. If you wear cotton or polyester sleep masks, you'll remove some of your skin's natural moisture barrier. Fabrics like cotton naturally absorb moisture. This absorption includes the much-needed oils your skin produces overnight. When you consider the delicate nature of the skin around your eyes, you want to keep it moisturized and nourished.

Mulberry silk sleep masks don't pull away from your skin's natural moisture. As a result, you'll wake up with hydrated skin and fewer dark circles.

Benefits of Silk Scrunchies

Our hair can experience a lot of damage throughout the day. Many styling tools and products cause breakage, split-ends, indents, and dryness. However, silk scrunchies can prevent all of this damage. The smooth texture of a silk scrunchie glides over your hair, preventing unnecessary breakage when you want to tie your hair back.

Mulberry silk scrunchies also prevent dryness. While most scrunchies absorb your hair's natural, much-needed oils, a silk scrunchie does not. As a result, your hair will continue to produce healthy oils, keeping your hair shiny and vibrant.

Care Instructions for Your Mulberry Silk Products

Although mulberry silk products are durable, you should take care when washing them. Washing machines, dryers, and certain fabric cleaners can cause damage to luxury fabrics. First, consider using a mesh bag when tossing silk into the washing machine. This added layer of protection prevents your fabric from snagging and tearing on parts in the machine.

Next, choose a cold water temperature and a delicate or hand wash cycle for machine settings. Then, air dry your silk items. Luckily, silk dries relatively quickly, so you won't have to wait long to use your luxury silk products again.

When choosing detergent, opt for pH-neutral soaps. Also, avoid fabric softeners or detergents with heavy conditioners. Overly harsh or conditioning laundry soap will only take away from silk's natural properties.

Choosing Mulberry Silk Items

Mulberry silk can add luxury to your life, whether you use it to decorate your home, sleep on at night, or wear it during the day. SoSilky's face masks, scrunchies, pillowcases, and sleep masks allow you to incorporate silk into your everyday life.