Is Mulberry Silk Real Silk? Discover Its Unique Qualities

Hi friends! I’m excited to clarify some common misconceptions about mulberry silk and show why it truly deserves to be called “real silk.”

My goal is to highlight the special characteristics that set this premium silk variety apart. 

Stick with me to learn all about mulberry silk’s origins, benefits, and how to identify when it’s pure. Let’s dive in!

beige mulberry silk sheet

What is Mulberry Silk?

First things first – what exactly is mulberry silk? Simply put, it’s a type of silk made from the cocoons of Bombyx mori silkworms that are fed a diet of mulberry leaves.

Most silkworms actually eat white mulberry leaves, which gives this silk its name.

  • The Bombyx mori silkworm is specially cultivated for silk production
  • Mulberry leaves are the silkworm’s preferred food source
  • Eating these leaves allows the silkworms to spin uniform, high-quality silk

The actual production process goes like this:

  • Silkworm eggs hatch and the larvae are fed mulberry leaves
  • They spin cocoons out of long silk threads to pupate in
  • The cocoons are boiled or steamed to extract the threads
  • Finally, these threads are processed into fabric

It takes about 3000 cocoons to make one mulberry silk garment! As you can see, producing this special fabric takes incredible effort from start to finish.

green and beige mulberry silk fabric

Is 100% Mulberry Silk Real Silk?

Now you might be wondering – is mulberry silk actually real silk? Great question!

  • Real silk simply refers to fabric made from natural silk fibers rather than synthetic materials.
  • Since mulberry silk comes directly from silkworm cocoons, it’s 100% real silk.

In fact, mulberry silk is often considered one of the highest quality and most desirable types of real silk. Here’s how it compares to a few other common silks:

  • Tussah silk – Made from wild silkworms so it has more variability in texture and color
  • Eri silk – Very durable but coarser than mulberry silk
  • Muga silk – Extremely rare and not produced in large quantities

As you can see, mulberry silk is in a league of its own when it comes to consistency and luxury. Its reputation for excellence is well-earned, so yes – it absolutely qualifies as real silk!

green and white mulberry silk cloth

Is Pure Silk the Same as Mulberry Silk?

Another question I often get is whether “pure silk” and “mulberry silk” are interchangeable terms. While they sound similar, let me clarify the difference:

  • Pure silk just means any fabric made completely from silk fibers without synthetic mixes or blends
  • Mulberry silk refers specifically to silk made by Bombyx mori worms fed mulberry leaves

So technically, you could have a pure silk fabric that still isn’t mulberry silk if it came from different silkworms.

However, mulberry silk is almost always pure since using anything other than 100% natural silk fibers would diminish its quality and value.

Because of its consistency and purity, mulberry silk is widely considered the highest grade of silk you can find.

When I see “pure silk” on a label, I assume it means mulberry unless otherwise specified.

green and white mulberry silk textile

Is Mulberry Silk Natural or Synthetic?

By this point, I hope I’ve impressed upon you that mulberry silk starts as a completely natural fabric spun by silkworms! It is not a synthetic or man-made fiber like polyester or rayon.

Here are the key things that make mulberry silk natural:

  • Origins – Comes directly from a living creature (the Bombyx mori silkworm)
  • Biodegradable – Unlike synthetics, mulberry silk will decompose
  • Renewable Resource – Silkworms can produce silk indefinitely

The amount of effort to harvest natural silk makes it more valuable than synthetics. It also gives mulberry silk some advantages like:

  • Better breathability – Natural fibers allow more airflow
  • Adjusts to body temperature – Stays cool in summer, warm in winter
  • Longer lifespan – High quality silk may last for decades

I don’t know about you, but I always feel better wearing natural fabrics close to my skin. Now maybe you’re starting to see why mulberry silk commands such high prices!

blue and beige mulberry silk material

Unique Characteristics and Benefits of Mulberry Silk

Alright, we’ve established the origins and authenticity of mulberry silk. Now let’s talk about what makes it so exceptionally luxurious!

Softness and Smooth Texture

Mulberry silk has a universally acclaimed smooth, soft texture against the skin.

The secret lies in the Bombyx mori silkworm’s diet – mulberry leaves contain trace minerals that get absorbed into the silk fibers they spin.

The result is a fabric with an unbeatably soft handfeel.

  • Feels gentle even on sensitive skin
  • Light and airy drape – Doesn’t cling to the body
  • Very lightweight despite its durability

You’ll notice the difference mulberry silk makes as soon as you run it through your fingers or try it on!

blue mulberry silk cloth

Strength and Durability

Despite feeling almost weightless, mulberry silk is deceptively strong. The long silk fibers spun by Bombyx mori make threads and fabrics that hold up well over time.

  • Withstands many washes without fading or thinning
  • Resists tears, snags, and punctures
  • Maintains vibrancy of dyes and prints
  • Can be passed down for generations if cared for

Properly cared for mulberry silk pieces become family heirlooms – they literally don’t make fabrics like this anymore!

Hypoallergenic Properties

Pure mulberry silk has impressive hypoallergenic properties that prevent allergic reactions:

  • Repels dust mites and many other common allergens
  • Naturally absorbs and evaporates moisture
  • Allows skin to breathe

This makes mulberry silk a great choice for sensitive skin types. It minimizes irritation that can be caused by other fabrics.

white mulberry silk textile

Temperature Regulation

Mulberry silk effortlessly adapts to ambient temperatures, keeping you comfortable year-round.

The moisture wicking properties of silk prevent clamminess in summer while retaining warmth in winter.

  • Cooling abilities – Feels up to 3°F cooler than the actual temperature
  • Insulating abilities – Provides warmth without bulk or weight

Having fabrics that multitask saves room in your closet and luggage when traveling!

Lustrous Appearance

Last but not least, mulberry silk has an unmistakable luminous sheen. Light reflects off the smooth, uniform fibers for a glow that looks almost lit from within.

  • Has a subtle iridescence rather than flat matte appearance
  • Gorgeous drape catches the eye
  • Many luxury fabrics try (and fail) to mimic real silk’s radiance!

A little mulberry silk can instantly elevate an outfit from drab to fab. It’s eye candy, what can I say?

I discovered what makes mulberry silk unique, and it truly is fascinating.

black mulberry silk textile piece

What are the Disadvantages of Mulberry Silk?

As close to a miracle fabric as it gets, mulberry silk does still have a few drawbacks:

  • Expensive – The labor-intensive production process gets reflected in the prices
  • Requires gentle cleaning – Dry clean only or hand wash to avoid damaging fibers
  • Occasionally prone to snags – Though not as delicate as some think!
  • Vulnerable to sunlight – Prolonged exposure can cause fading

However, I’d say mulberry silk still compares very favorably to other luxury fabrics:

DrawbackMulberry SilkCashmereWoolLinen
CostHighVery HighLowMedium
CleaningGentleGentleMediumHigh Maintenance
WrinklesSomeSomeFewVery Prone

As this little comparison shows, mulberry silk holds up better over time than cashmere or linen, with fewer special handling requirements than wool.

So while it does require some extra care, I’d say the benefits outweigh the costs!

black mulberry silk sheet

Is Mulberry Silk as Good as Silk?

At this point you’re probably realizing mulberry silk isn’t just “as good as silk”…it’s widely regarded as the best silk of all!

While subject to personal preferences, mulberry silk offers clear advantages over other silk varieties like:

  • More consistent quality and texture
  • Vibrant, luminous appearance
  • Unparalleled softness and drape
  • Holds dye better than wild Tussah silk
  • Less coarse than durable Eri silk

The extra effort to cultivate Bombyx mori silkworms under strict conditions pays off in the final product.

So when comparing silk varieties, mulberry silk is really the gold standard all others aspire to.

How Can You Tell if Mulberry Silk is Pure?

If you’re shopping for mulberry silk products, make sure to buy from reputable brands so you don’t get ripped off with synthetics or blends.

But here are some DIY ways to test silk purity at home:

  • The Burn Test – Light a small piece of thread on fire. Real silk should burn quickly with a smell like burnt hair, leaving a very fine, powdery gray ash. Synthetics melt into hard black beads.
  • The Gum Test – Dampen a piece of silk with water then gently rub it against itself. Pure silk gets sticky with a white film called sericin. Synthetics stay slick and smooth.
  • The Fabric Weight Test – Drape silk fabric over your hands. Quality mulberry silk feels evenly lightweight and airy. Cheaper fabrics tend to be stiffer and uneven in density.

And of course, nothing replaces relying on reputable vendors like my online silk boutique! I stand behind the purity of everything I sell.

beige mulberry silk textile


I hope you’ve discovered a new appreciation for the wonders of mulberry silk. This exceptionally luxurious fabric earns every bit of its reputation.

From its origins in cultivated silkworm cocoons to its unparalleled softness and beauty, mulberry silk sets the standard that all other silks aspire to.

Sure, it requires a bit of extra care and investment. But like most good things in life, you get out what you put in.

Treat your mulberry silk pieces well and they’ll last a lifetime. No wonder it’s considered the true gold standard of silk!

So next time you come across “real silk” or “pure silk”, remember there’s one variety that rises above the rest.

Give mulberry silk a try and I guarantee you’ll notice the difference. Thanks for learning with me today!

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