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F A Q s

The internet is flooded with information on all possible topics, including silk. We realized a lot of the information available is actually tailored to sell the plethora of silk products currently available and might not necessarily be correct. The silk products sold at Handkraftz are very different from those sold by most other retailers and e-tailers. In fact you will only find them in high street stores in New York or Los Angeles. So it is important that you know in detail about our fabrics and our products. We hope that after reading this FAQ section, you will easily be able to differentiate between different kinds of fabrics and weaving techniques, and differentiate between a good product and an average one. Should you have any further queries, please contact us.

Why should we buy silk bedding from India instead of China?

Currently India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. The production of silk was practiced in the Indus Valley Civilization, which means silk production in India dates back to about 2500 B.C. In India, even today silk is woven by small families of weavers in their homes. The norms and practices followed are still the same as centuries ago. Silk weaving is still a craft practiced by a few skilled craftsmen, rather than a large scale mass production done in factories and passed off as handwoven. The pure silk fabric that you get from weavers in India is far superior in terms of quality and life of the fabric than what you get from factories in China.

Why is Handkraftz bedding not made of charmeuse or habotai?

Habotai is a very thin silk with a momme count of less than 16. This makes it highly unsuitable for heavy usage like that of a duvet cover or quilt. While we sleep, we toss and turn, and reqular pressure on the fabric is bound to reduce its life. Habotai is ideally suited to delicate wear like scarves and garment lining.

Charmeuse or satin weave silk is a slightly thicker silk available in 16-19 momme count. With this weight, the fabric is still too delicate to be used as bedding. Some manufacturers claim to be selling 22 momme count charmeuse silk which is better quality. But the weave itself, a satin weave, makes the fabric difficult to deal with for bedding. Charmeuse is ideally meant for garment use.

Which silk do you use for your bedding?

At Handkraftz, our bedding is crafted in mulberry silk with two different kinds of weaves, dupioni and shantung.

Dupioni is a heavy weight handwoven mulberry silk with prominent slubs, a rustic charm and a beautiful sheen. It has been used as the silk of choice by Indian royalty for generations. It is also used in bridal gowns all over the world. With a fabric weight of 125 gsm (25 momme), it is ideally suited for bedding.

Shantung weave originated in the Shantung province of China and migrated to India. Shantung weave silk is positioned between the dupioni and the taffeta. It has much less slubs than the dupioni but the same sheen, smoothness and weave. It has the crispness of the taffeta, without the price and the heaviness. These qualities make it the fabric of choice by most seamstresses for their quilting and home linen projects.

Our shantung silk is typically woven in 95-100 gsm weight (23 momme silk), making it the heaviest bedding silk available. You get the quality and properties of the best mulberry silk, without the weight and the price tag.

What is the thread count of your silk?

Thread count is used for measuring cotton. Silk is measured by its weight, given in grams per square meter (gsm) or momme. The heavier the gsm/ momme, the better the quality of silk. All shantung silk bedding sold at Handkraftz are in 23 momme and Dupioni silks in 25 momme. The same silk is used for the bedding as well as the pillow shams.

How can you be selling silk bedding at such low prices?

At Handkraftz, we work directly with local weavers in South India, the centre of silk weaving in India. The fabric is woven by the weavers and directly sent to our seamstresses to be converted into duvet covers and quilts. Thereon it is directly shipped to our warehouses in the US. We do not use imported and complicated machines to weave our fabric or stiych our bedding. Also, since there is no middleman, trader or whole-seller involved at any stage in the entire process, we can keep our costs low and pass on the same to our customers.

Why do you have cotton on the reverse of the bedding?

Though silk is an expensive material, we want more customers to be able to experience the luxury and natural properties of the queen of fabrics, without making a dent to their pockets. Habotai or charmeuse, being slippery were not a fabric of choice. Similarly, a satin polyester backing, as used by many of the big stores was out of question. The only other fabric of choice was pure cotton, a natural, hypoallergenic, and breathable material. Our backings are of 100% pure cotton.

Can your silk bedding be used throughout the year?

Ideally, a lighter weight, like 19 momme should be used in summer, and a heavier 22-25 momme should be used in autumn and winter months. Our duvet covers are made of 23-25 momme silk so they can be used as blankets/ coverlets during autumn and as duvet covers during winter. Our 25 momme quilts are ideal for light winter use.

Is your silk organic?

Silk is a natural protein fiber extracted from the cocoon of a silk worm. It is impossible for silk to be organic since the mulberry tree is sprayed with pesticides and chemicals are used for the dyeing of the yarn. Vegetable dyes fade with time and so are a not used by anyone for such an expensive fabric. As of now organic silk does not exist and there are no certifications for organic silk. Any organic silk being sold is purely misrepresentation.

Can your silk be washed?

We do not recommend washing silk. Silk when washed, will lose its stiffness and become limp. Pure silk bedding if washed, cannot be returned or exchanged. No seamstress or fabric shop will recommend washing of silk. If the chemicals in dry-cleaning bother you, there are a lot of eco-friendly dry cleaning options available.

Can your silk duvet covers be ironed at home?

All silk, if properly cared for, can be ironed at home. You can iron your duvet covers on the reverse with a clean steam iron, free of any previous deposits in the steam holes. Keep the iron on low heat, preferably silk setting. Use a clean piece of cotton on top of the silk as an added protection. Do not keep the iron for too long on any one specific area.

How long will my bedding last?

The life of your bedding depends on how well you keep it and use it. In India, silk saris are an essential part of a woman's trousseau. It remains with her for a life time and is then handed down as an heirloom to the daughter or daughter-in-law. A well taken care of bedding can last you a life time.

Why do you charge for the swatches?

As a small e-tailer company, trying to keep its costs low so that the customer can benefit, we do not build in these costs within our pricing. If you decide to order from us, the cost of the swatch is refunded to you, and you get to keep the swatch as well.

Why do you have a 5-day return policy for silk?

All our silk products go through a rigorous inspection at the manufacturing stage and are re-inspected at the time of shipping. We cannot control the environment in which the customer stores/ uses the products. If there is a genuine manufacturing defect in the fabric, it would be visible immediately upon opening. We feel that 5 days is a long enough time period to check whether the bedding meets with your liking or not.

Why do you have a restocking fee on silk bedding?

Considering the delicate nature of silk, any return will have to go through the same rigorous inspection as is done at the time of inspection. This requires a lot of manpower. The bedding has to be inspected for the smallest of defects to ensure that it can be resent to another customer.

We strongly recommend you order a swatch before ordering your bedding.

Why don't you have any certifications?

Most certification agencies charge thousands of dollars to give certifications, which mostly need to be renewed every year. The price of the certifications will increase our prices a lot. Our primary objective is to keep our business small and ensure that both the artisans and the customers remain happy. Our certification is our assurance that we will give you the best quality sourced directly from craftsmen.