I’m Aisling Grimley, and The Silk Pillowcase is my family business, based in Dublin, Ireland. At the Silk Pillowcase, we love the luxury and comfort that a little bit of silk has added to our everyday lives, and when we learned the multiple, expert-endorsed benefits of sleeping on silk for our hair and skin, we fell just a little bit deeper. As a woman in my ‘second spring’, I see the added benefit of our silk pillowcases and eye masks: thermo regulation, helping to cool us down and helps us to sleep better when our hormones are heating us up at night.
I got really interested in developing The Silk Pillowcase company when working on My Second Spring, the menopause website with a global community of 1.5 million women. Those women told us their symptoms daily and as well as pointing them in the direction of sound health advice, we figured we could meet them with practical solutions, too. The starting point was a silk pillowcase, quickly followed by a silk eye mask and pandemic-induced silk face masks.
We love the idea of a natural, luxurious everyday item that banishes our bed head, loves our skin, keep us cool when the night sweats swoop in. And these little beauties can pack up and go with us anywhere.
Silk scarves and shirts were my first experience of loving silk – that was where I started. The smoothness of silk against the skin is very comforting and cooling. And as I’m a massive fan of sleep (!) I thought a silk pillowcase would really enhance my night-time ritual: lavender bath, dark room, a lovely book, and blissful silence. I first came across silk pillowcases during a visit to New York, and I find I sleep much better since I’ve used them. I’ve since given silk pillowcases to several friends, who have had the same reaction. It’s a near-perfect gift. Personal, thoughtful, luxurious.
While planning The Silk Pillowcase business I did a lot of reading about silk and watched Joanna Lumley’s wonderful documentary, The Silk Road. I found out that silk is a real multi-tasker, and has been used in beauty and sleep routines across history and culture for millennia. I particularly love that it is a natural fabric with inherent anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic properties. But I really didn’t appreciate that a silk pillowcase can make hair feel silkier, smoother preserves a blow-dry, and for me, anyway, stops those pesky sleep lines that can hang around til lunchtime! I’ve since discovered that silk pillowcases are a real ‘thing’ around the world. Especially with those in the know in the hair and beauty worlds.
It’s a secret too good not to share, I really do think every woman should have at least one! So with that in mind, why not design and source our own?
And the adventure began! The quest for really high-quality silk took longer than we thought – but the quality has been key. We also prize presentation highly as our products are often bought by people wanting to give a special gift.
You can’t fake good silk. But people still try. It’s important to look at Momme count, which is akin to thread counts in quality bedding. Our silk pillowcases and eye masks are 19 momme, which is considered ideal for silk bedding. Our face masks are also 19 momme and double-layered.
The provenance of the silk is crucial. We wanted to find a supplier with a reputation for luxurious mulberry silk that applies the highest ethical standards to their production. We tried a lot of different samples and suppliers before finding our excellent partners in the Zhejiang province, China – the home of mulberry silk. They are BSCI audited and carry the OEKO-Tex® mark for excellence in textiles.
Our pillowcase is ivory in colour so that no dyes or chemicals are applied to the fabric – it’s a simple, lovely luscious silk that will help transport you to a night of deep and satisfying sleep.
In 2020 we teamed up with two top-quality Irish businesses to create some special sleep-related gift sets. Flora+Fiona is run by Fiona Hedigan and based in Dalkey in Dublin. Fiona’s knowledge and expertise in formulating and blending aromatherapy oils is second to none. Fiona sources the purest of plant oils to create beautiful therapeutic blends such as the Rest Oil in our Ultimate Rest Set. When we were looking for high-quality lavender oil to create out The Clouds Gift set Fiona recommended Dublin-based The Nature Of Things run by Benoit, a Frenchman with a passion for perfection and pure aromatherapy oils. His lavender oil is sourced in The South of France and beautifully presented. Both producers match our outlook and present their wonderful products beautifully.
OUR ETHICAL COMMITMENT
Our luxury silk pillowcase is produced by our partners in the Zhejiang province, China – the home of mulberry silk. They are BSCI audited to ensure they adhere to best practice in employee welfare and carry the OEKO-Tex® mark for excellence in textiles.
OUR CHARITY COMMITMENT
As silk pillowcases have been known to be comforting to women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, we have chosen to support the ARC Cancer Support organisation, which offers support, complementary therapies and counselling services in a warm and welcoming environment to people with cancer and those who care for them. We pledge 5% of our profits to the charity.