Are Silk Comforters Green

In today’s world of tsunamis, hurricanes, droughts, melting icebergs, and global climate change, smacking the label “Natural” on a product means something more than it did just 10 years ago. We all want to save the earth, and if all that requires is pulling this box off the shelf, instead of that one, or putting this bag in your shopping cart, instead of the other one, then that’s easy enough, right?

But many manufacturers and retailers have taken advantage of the public’s mood to “green-wash” anything they can. Consumers’ desire for a green home. Including the name “Natural” in a product title or advertisement is simple enough to do and will draw in a few extra customers. Natural can be a meaningless part of a title, indicating no quality about the product. Or it can mean something more, that the product is eco friendly and friendly toward your body and health.

Silk comforters are made from natural fibers, and they friendly toward both the earth and consumer.

Types of Fiber

A fiber is a thin, hair like filament in one long continuous piece. It can be spun in to thread, yarn, or rope, or matted into products like paper or felt. There are 2 main types of fibers: natural and synthetic.

A natural fiber is one derived from plant or animal. Examples of natural fibers include cotton, linen, jute, flax, ramie, sisal, silk, wool, angora, mohair, alpaca, feather, and down.

Synthetic fibers are man-made improvements or alternatives to the natural fibers used in making fabrics or rope. Synthetic fibers are made by forcing a material through tiny holes, called spinnerets. Examples of synthetic fibers include: nylon, modacrylic, olefin, acrylic, and polyester.

Similar to synthetic fibers are artificial fibers. Artificial fibers are made from natural materials through a man-made process. Examples include rayon and acetate which are made from wood.

Silk Fiber

Silk is a natural fiber that comes from the silk worm. After it has spun its cocoon, the silk is reeled off to make silk fabrics. To make the filling material for silk comforters, the entire silk cocoon is stretched into large sheets, then layered one on top of the other. Silk filling is known as silk floss.

There are 2 main types of silk used in making silk fabrics. Mulberry silk is obtained from silk worms that have been fed a strict diet of mulberry leaves in a controlled environment. Mulberry silk is also referred to as cultured silk.

Wild silk, or tussah silk, comes from caterpillars, other than the mulberry silk worm, that eat a varied diet in the wild. Tussah silk is not as strong or smooth as mulberry silk because the insects are allowed to emerge from the cocoon, breaking the fibers and resulting in much shorter fiber lengths.

Is Silk Really Natural?

Silk is a renewable resource, meaning silk production can keep pace with consumer consumption, unlike synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic which are derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. Silk is also biodegradable. It readily decomposes and makes good compost or mulch to renew the soil, unlike fibers made from fossil fuels.

Silk undergoes minimal processing while being made into silk bedding. The cleaning process involves soaking and rinsing in water. Silk comforters are hypoallergenic, or super clean when finished, safe for even allergy sufferers to have against their skin.

In these ways silk is both good for the environment and good for people’s health, deserving the title “Natural”.