Silk Bedding Direct are well known for producing the very best quality mulberry silk-filled pillows, duvets and mattress toppers available today. Click one of the buttons below to find out more....

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THE HISTORY OF SILK

Silk is one of the oldest fibres in the world and it has a mysterious and enchanting history.  Silk production began in China and the Chinese kept the production process secret from the rest of the world for thousands of years.

Legend has it that  Empress Xi Ling Shi accidentally discovered that silk could be woven around 3,000 BC. Whether true or not nobody knows, but it's an enchanting story nevertheless.

The story goes that one day when she was in the palace garden she saw that silkworms had eaten some of the mulberry trees.  Later a silk cocoon happened to fall into her hot tea and she noticed that it unravelled into a very long fine thread.  Taking the thread from her tea she wound it around her fingers and had the idea that it could be woven into a fabric.  Legend has it that she then invented a reel to draw out the fine silk fibres from the cocoon and make them into a single thread strong enough to be woven and from this the first silk fabric was produced.

Initially silk farming was restricted to women.  They would raise the cocoons, draw out the fibres and then weave the long silk threads into silk fabric. Silk quickly became know by the elite of Chinese society at the time and became a status symbol.  For a long time only high government officials and royalty were allowed to use and wear it.  It was not until during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that those from the peasant classes who could afford it were entitled to wear silk.

Sometime during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), silk became so valuable that it was used as a unit of currency.  Officials were paid their salary in bolts of silk and farmers paid their taxes in silk and grain.  Silk was also used as a diplomatic gift to visiting dignitaries or as a peace offering.

It is thought that the Great Silk Road commenced in the 2nd Century BC.  Until this time the border from Asia to Europe had been closed because of the great mountain ranges of Asia that had protected China from the rest of the world.  When Chinese ambassador Zhang Qian visited countries in Central Asia in the 2nd century AD he returned to China and told the emperor of his great amazement at what he had seen and of the great trade opportunities he had found in these countries.

Silk strands Demand for this exotic fabric spread and created the lucrative trade route we know as the Silk Road, taking silk westward and bringing gold, silver and wool to the East.  Eventually the Silk Road was around 4,000 miles long, stretching from Eastern China to the Mediterranean Sea.  It was a rough caravan track, crossing some of the most challenging terrain in the world.  Few people travelled the entire route as goods were handled by a series of middlemen.  Silk, by then, had become more precious than gold, yet nobody else in the world knew how it was produced!

The Chinese realised the great value of the beautiful material they were producing and kept their secret safe from the rest of the world for more than thirty centuries! Travellers were searched at every border and anyone caught trying to smuggle eggs, cocoons or silk worms out of China were duly executed.

That remained the situation until 550AD, when , it is said, two monks smuggled silkworm eggs out of China in their hollow bamboo sticks. Then the secret was out and countries in the West began to produce their own silk.

China continued to maintain its dominance in luxury silk items for a long time, and although China's hold on the silk industry has fluctuated a great deal in the ensuing years today almost two thirds of the world's silk production still comes from China.  Also China, particularly Zhejiang Province, is the place where the very best silk in the world is still made, mulberry silk.  
 

MULBERRY SILK DUVETS


Mulberry silk is such high quality that it can be used to make duvets in its natural state with no treatment of any kind being required.  It is this mulberry silk that is used for the interiors of the luxury silk duvets available for purchase on this website.
 

MULBERRY SILK PILLOWS


Mulberry silk-filled pillows are wonderfully comfortable, and provided that the silk is untreated (ie, not bleached, etc) it is the very best pillow filling because of the natural amino acids contained in the silk that nourish our face and hair throughout the whole night.
 

MULBERRY SILK MATTRESS TOPPERS


Silk mattress toppers provide a really comfortable padding to place on the top of the mattress and under the bottom sheet. Again, provided it is pure and natural mulberry silk its goodness will permeate through the bed sheet treating your skin the whole night through. Mulberry silk-filled mattress toppers (sometimes called mattress pads) are wonderfully comfortable too of course.
 
To find out more about luxury mulberry silk duvets by Silk Bedding Direct click one of the buttons below....

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There are also full mulberry silk-filled bedding sets available, including duvets, pillows and mattress toppers. Click on the bed size of your choice for details.

Single bed size silk-filled bedding combination set Double bed size silk-filled bedding combination set King size silk-filled bedding combination set Super king size silk-filled bedding combination set

"Thank you so much my silk bedding arrived yesterday. Loved the packaging. The pillows, duvet everything felt so soft and lovely to touch. You have been so nice to deal with, will certainly be recommending your products to friends and family."
Sally
Buckingham, UK

"I had never heard of duvets filled with silk before, a friend recommended them and I am so grateful she did, really wonderful. Even my husband noticed the difference, and that's saying something!"
Mrs. Thorpe
Spalding, UK

"You people are right, your silk filled duvet is the best bedding I've slept in, never will change back."
Evi
Amsterdam, Netherlands

"My son has asthma so I ordered one of your duvets, now it's arrived I'm ordering a double for our bed too! You can use my comments to tell others, I can't recommend your duvets highly enough, so soft, light and natural too."
Jean
London, UK

"I just want to let you know how pleased I am with my silk duvet, it's so so warm and comfortable yet so light, thank you."
Francine
Winnipeg, Canada


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