Is Silk Good in Winter?

Silk is a natural material, and like other natural fibres, it’s good at retaining a warm layer of air near to your skin, however because of its permeability, it won’t make you feel sweaty and clammy as most synthetic fabrics.

Silk has excellent temperature regulating properties, so it will keep you cool and comfortable even as you move from the warmth of the inside to the cold of the outdoors.

Silk is perfect for combating the risks of freezing temperatures like cold, dry air in the winter. The dense fibres of silk comforters decrease heat loss from the body which helps you keep warm in the cold.

Is Silk Good in Winter

The fabric forms a smooth, frictionless barrier when worn directly against the skin as an initial layer. This layer acts as a hypoallergenic barrier between your skin and the cold, as well as your additional garments.

Let us have a look at some of the benefits of silk fabric.

So what are the benefits of silk in winters?

1.) It feels smooth against the skin- Silk fabric has an extraordinarily smooth surface, is exceedingly soft, and is quite pleasant to the touch. Even sensitive skin types are not irritated by it.

It’s smoothness allows it to glide over the skin rather than drag over it, as many other materials do. People who suffer from skin diseases such as eczema can consider wearing a layer of silk during winters, which will not only keep them warm but will also be gentle on their skin.

Silk is incredibly fine, so it feels smooth on the skin, and it can work well as a foundation layer, particularly between heavier and scratchier apparel.

2.) It is a moisture absorbing fabric- Silk is extremely absorbent and dries quickly. It absorbs up to almost 29% of its own weight in moisture and remains dry to the touch.

Simultaneously, silk thread simply expands, and efficient air circulation facilitates quick evaporation of excess moisture that doesn’t accumulate and makes you freeze. As a result, silk fabric absorbs perspiration while allowing the skin to breathe.

3.) It is a natural thermal regulator- Silk is a natural thermal regulator that keeps the body temperature stable throughout the night.

Silk is a natural thermal regulator that keeps the body temperature stable throughout the night

When it’s chilly outside, the heat is trapped within due to the air trapped between the silk strands, generating an isolation effect.

That is why silk is recognised for keeping the body cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Silk naturally responds to our body balance, maintaining a constant temperature.

4.) It is a breathable fabric- Fabric breathability, defined as how effectively a fabric enables air and moisture to move through, is crucial in controlling body temperature.

Silk has a high breathability rating and is well-known for its quick drying time. Silk’s capacity to swiftly control moisture levels means that even if you’re working up a sweat, you won’t get cold and uncomfortable.

5.) It is hypoallergenic in nature- It is gentle on delicate, dry, or irritated skin, which is beneficial for those with eczema or who are allergic to synthetic fibres.

So even if you layer yourself with clothes during winters, having an initial layer of silk beneath will not cause allergies. 

6.) It provides the highest level of comfort- Silk conforms to your body shape, and is a natural fibre that is thinner, lighter, and more flexible.

This implies that it does not put pressure on our bodies, but rather, as with heavier conventional bed linen, it encourages mobility and improves our body’s natural relaxation.

7.) Silk is extremely durable- Despite its luxurious and fragile look, silk is a fairly robust natural fibre. A silk thread has the same tensile strength as a steel wire of the same diameter. As a result, the cloth is extremely durable and will keep its elegance for many years.

What are the disadvantages of silk?

1.) Care and maintenance- Silk requires more maintenance than other materials. Dry washing is the most often used method for cleaning silk. If you intend to hand wash, start with a small area.

To keep silk looking good, hand wash each item separately with a silk-specific detergent or mild soap. Silk should never be bleached or soaked in prewash products.

All silk garments should be air dried and steam ironed on a low level. All this seems a lot during the cold temperatures when all you want is to cozy up on your blanket. Also, wringing or twisting silk clothes may destroy and permanently ruin the fabric. 

2.) It is extremely delicate- Although silk is prized for its delicacy, that same sensitivity of silk is viewed as a drawback of the fabric.

Because silk fades quickly in bright sunshine, a new silk garment dried outside might appear old and worn out.

Silk also degrades chemically when it comes into touch with natural oils of our body and sweat. The fabric has a yellowish hue that fades over time and is particularly susceptible to sweat stains.

Traveling with silk clothing can be inconvenient since silk wrinkles readily and necessitates the use of a steam iron. Silk is also a water absorbing fabric, thus liquid stains are visible.

3.) Silk is very costly- Silk is one of the costliest textiles on the market. It is more expensive than cotton or nylon.

Silk ties and sheets are much more expensive than cotton counterparts due to the fabric’s exquisite look and challenge in manufacturing. Silk is considered a luxury item, so expect to spend a lot on it.

4.) Low resistance in harsh weathers- While silk is more effective against the elements when it is near to the body. It is, however, susceptible to external severe winds and moist conditions.

To understand this, we should know the type of environment silkworms thrive in, and we can observe that it was not designed for extreme cold climates. 

See also: 10 Best Winter Safety Jacket for Workers

What is the best material for winters, silk, wool or cashmere?

Despite their striking differences in appearance and feel, silk and wool have a lot in common. Both are derived from animals, wool from the coats of sheep and goats, and silk from silkworm cocoons, and both give an excellent layer of insulation and warmth. 

But, despite their similarities, there can be only one winner when it comes to the crucial question, which is warmer? 

It is wool that is of course warmer than silk. Silk is used to make cocoons for moths, which are cold-blooded creatures that require a dry, temperate habitat as larvae but don’t require as much warmth and insulation as mountain goats, sheep, and other animals.

Silk has advantages, and in some cold-weather situations, it may even have an added benefit. After all, layers are key to keeping in the warmth, and silk, with its lightweight texture and easy drape, is a lot easier to layer than certain types of wool. But a wool garment is still likely to keep you cozier and warmer than silk.

Silk and cashmere are nearly equal in terms of pure, unadulterated luxury. But let’s see how they are in terms of warmth.

Sure, you’ll need a huge budget to outfit yourself in either one, but if you do and you’re headed to some cold temperatures, which one of the two will better protect you from the cold? 

Despite silk’s superior heat-regulating capabilities, cashmere wins. Cashmere, which is made from the underbelly of the mongolian goat, is wonderfully rare, sumptuously soft, exorbitantly costly, and extremely warm.

See also: Is Wool Warmer Than Polyester?

Different weights and uses of silk fabrics-

The weight of the two textiles is the first obvious difference when comparing silk and wool. Silk is manufactured from the mulberry silkworm’s cocoon fibres. 

The weight of silk fabric is typically measured in a Japanese weight measuring technique, that is momme (mm),  with 1 mm equaling around 4.3 grams per square meter. The chart below depicts the various silk fabric weights and their intended usage. 

Weight in grams Characterization  Uses
70- 80

45-60

24-30

Typically heavy

Medium in weight

Typically lightweight

Made usually into trousers and pants. 

Bed sheets, pillow cases and ties.

Made into scarfs, tops, blouses. 

Conclusion

Silk has various advantages apart from keeping you warm. They’re extremely breathable in any type of environment which is beneficial as it is essential for your skin to breathe in order to keep you comfortable throughout the day. 

Silk does require a little bit of your attention, but it stays with you for a long time if taken care of properly. And especially during winters, it has end number of benefits if worn closest to the skin.