Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Unusual Properties of Silk


Silk lingerie and nightwear can be regarded as the ultimate luxury. Often used in top end designs and by design brands such as Sonata, Liliana Casanova, Diki and Jane Woolrich which are certainly not low budget products.

Soft to the touch and with a really delicate feel it is only natural to think of silk as a fragile fabric only for use on special occasions. So you might be surprised to learn that it is a very strong material, Kevlar (used for bullet proof jackets etc) is only 7 times stronger by tensile measurements. But you are not going to want to go to sleep in a Kevlar jacket! Strength beyond what you would expect is not the only unusual property of silk. Silk has interesting thermal properties which make a silk garment cool to wear in summer and warm in winter. Just what you want from underwear or sleepwear. And if that is not enough good news about silk then remember that silk is a naturally non allergenic material, so it is perfect to be worn against any skin but most especially for sensitive skin.

The downside is that silk underwear, nightdresses and pyjamas are typically more expensive than their counterparts in man-made fibres, even when comparing quality and designer brands of man-made fibre garments agains silk, the silk generally comes out at a higher price. So when budgets are tight it is a real temptation to cut costs and go for the less expensive option... but is it truly less expensive?

There's an old saying in the UK which goes like this; "You get what you pay for". Put simply, it means if you buy a cheap item it is likely not to last or wear well and you end up buying again in a very short time. If you buy quality it will last, sometimes for years and years and years...we are back in an indirect way to the strength of silk. A strong fabric, used in a well made garment and cared for properly can last a decade or more. So do the sums. Spend £55 on a cheap man-made fibre nightdress which lasts 12 months or spend £285 on a real silk nightdress which lasts ten years - the silk nightdress is actually less expensive.

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