The Ugly Truth Behind Silk Pillowcases  

When we think about silk, we think about luxury, luster, and all the different promises made around silk and what it can do for us. But have you ever considered what silk really is, and how it is made? With so much attention paid to ethically-made products and cruelty-free manufacturing processes, silk requires our immediate attention. The horrible truth behind what it takes to make a silk pillowcase will keep you up at night. Read on to discover the ugly truth behind silk.

What is silk?

Silk is a natural fiber that is produced by certain insect larvae to create cocoons. The most well-known species which is also the one most-commonly used for industrial silk production is the Bombyx mori , otherwise known as the mulberry silkworm. The life cycle of the Bombyx mori has four stages. The moth lays its eggs, which then yield larvae. The larvae or caterpillars eat mulberry leaves until they reach their full-grown size.

When the caterpillar reaches the stage in its life where it is about to transition, or metamorphose into a moth, it spins its cocoon from silk fibers. The pupa then hatches from the cocoon to become a moth and the cycle starts all over again.

"3,000 cocoons are required to make just one yard of silk material"

How is silk made?

The first man-made silk production occurred in China and has since become prevalent all over the world. The silk production process starts with the cocoons. Once the mulberry silkworm, which is in fact a caterpillar, has encased itself in a cocoon, the cocoons are harvested by silk farmers. Some cocoons are left to metamorphose into moths for breeding purposes to produce future generations of eggs and larvae. According to PETA , after the male moths mate with the female moths, the male moths are then discarded. The female moths are kept alive just long enough to lay their eggs, only to then be crushed to a pulp and tested for diseases. If no disease is found, the eggs are kept around to hatch. If any disease is identified, the eggs laid by the female moths are destroyed as well.

 

Unfortunately, the fate of the cocoons that are collected by the silk farmers for silk production is not a happy one, either. During the natural life cycle of the silkworm, the pupa makes a hole to break out of the cocoon, on their way to becoming a moth. This damages the cocoon and part of the silk yarns in the cocoon and hence dramatically lowers the value of the silk. Silk farmers therefore kill off the living pupa inside the cocoon to prevent them from hatching and damaging the silk cocoon. The cocoons are subjected to high heat in the form of oven, steam, or boiling water to kill off the pupa. The cocoons are tossed into boiling water as this helps unravel the cocoon shape into silk fibers. The silk fibers are woven together to make continuous silk thread. According to OECOTEXTILES , 3,000 cocoons are required to make just one yard of silk material, so every yard of silk material represents 3,000 moths that were cruelly boiled and killed before emerging out into the world.

Unfortunately, the fate of the cocoons that are collected by the silk farmers for silk production is not a happy one, either. During the natural life cycle of the silkworm, the pupa makes a hole to break out of the cocoon, on their way to becoming a moth. This damages the cocoon and part of the silk yarns in the cocoon and hence dramatically lowers the value of the silk. Silk farmers therefore kill off the living pupa inside the cocoon to prevent them from hatching and damaging the silk cocoon. The cocoons are subjected to high heat in the form of oven, steam, or boiling water to kill off the pupa. The cocoons are tossed into boiling water as this helps unravel the cocoon shape into silk fibers. The silk fibers are woven together to make continuous silk thread. According to OECOTEXTILES , 3,000 cocoons are required to make just one yard of silk material, so every yard of silk material represents 3,000 moths that were cruelly boiled and killed before emerging out into the world.

What is Peace Silk?

Peace silk, also known as Ahimsa or Eri silk is a process which claims to be ethical in that it allows the pupae to hatch from their cocoons before the cocoons are collected for silk yarn production. However, this process is not regulated or monitored, so there is no real way of knowing whether companies which claim to be producing or purchasing ethical or peace silk actually make good on their claims. In addition, in many cases, the adult moths, although allowed to hatch to complete their metamorphose into moths, are still treated with cruelty, being exploited to mate, and produce eggs, only to then be killed off or left to die when they are no longer useful to the process.

If not silk, then which pillowcase material to choose?

Cotton may not have the luxurious commercial image that silk has, but it can certainly hold its own when it comes to added value. Cotton is highly breathable and airy. It is a natural fiber that is grown cruelty-free with no animals being exploited or tortured in its production process. Sonovia’s 500 thread count cotton Spark Sateen pillowcases are designed to give you luxurious, shiny cruelty-free pillowcases with a difference. Sateen is in fact the cotton version of satin. The pillowcases are made with Sonovia’s patented process which uses ultrasonic technology to embed zinc into its soft cotton fabric. Sonovia’s green technology only uses eco-friendly chemicals that are safe for people and the environment.

What makes Sonovia’s Spark Sateen pillowcases with zinc unique?

Sonovia’s Spark Sateen pillowcases with zinc have many unique properties. They are antibacterial and eliminate bacteria with over 99% efficacy. Because of these capabilities, Sonovia’s pillowcases can be washed less frequently than other pillowcases on the market, saving you the weekly hassle and saving precious, clean water. The pillowcases, being antibacterial, also target the bacteria which causes acne and eliminate them with over 99.99% efficacy, so that while you are sleeping, your pillowcase is taking charge of your skin health. To make the pillowcases even more sophisticated and unique, Spark Sateen pillowcases also include a special wicking finish which quickly clears and evaporates any sweat away from your skin, on top of the natural moisture absorption provided by the soft cotton itself. The pillowcases also include an innovative easy-care finish to cut back on ironing. With reduced washing and ironing loads, you now have more time to actually use the bed rather than maintain it! Sonovia’s pillowcases are especially soft and comfortable, give you a cool and crisp feel with the indulgent luxury and luster you can only get from sateen.

 

Falling asleep is quite a challenge for many people. There are so many thoughts keeping you up at night, but the cruel ways your pillowcase was made should not be one of them. With Sonovia’s sateen pillowcases enhanced with zinc, you will not only fall asleep guilt-free, but will wake up to better skin in a clean head space. Develop a green conscience – choose Sonovia.