Silk Pillowcase – Homemade Beauty Sleep!

posted on March 9, 2013 by  |  posted under Beauty, Mother's Day, Sewing  |  21 Comments

Homemade Silk Pillowcase

Ladies, ladies. We need to have a little chat… ok? OK!

We are going to talk about beauty sleep. Now, we all know how important sleep is, especially with the busy lives us women lead. BUT, I’m not talking about plain old sleep… I’m talking about beauty sleep! How much time do we spend sleeping every day… 7-8 hours? Lets do some calculating; that means we spend about 114 days per year sleeping! By the time we are 30 years old that means we have slept for close to 10 years! We do a lot of sleeping! I think that calls for some serious thought to how we sleep!!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase

Over the last year as I have done tons of research on how to get my hair to grow I have found so many helpful hints! From Coconut oil Treatments to Silk pillowcases! I was in a department store one day about to buy a polyester satin pillowcase, I had heard that satin pillow cases were the KEY to keeping my hair hydrated and healthy. When I approached the checkout counter the woman asked me why I was buying the pillowcase? “Uh.. because my hair is breaking off and super damaged!” To my surprise she told me to put the pillowcase back and go home and find a better one! She proceeded to tell me that while she was a hair dresser for 25 years she had seen the miracles that SILK satin not polyester satin had worked on her clients. I went home and did my research. Sure enough.. silk is exactly what I needed.

Here are some of the benefits of sleeping on silk:

– Silk is the nearest thing to human skin known to man. Silk contains a natural protein and 18 essential amino acids. Studies have shown that amino acids can counter the effects of aging, especially in the facial skin. Silk also contains natural cellular albumen, which helps speed up metabolism of skin cells — thus helping to reduce signs of aging. Wrinkles are caused by a consistent loss of daily moisture and skin elasticity that go far beyond the sleeping hours. Unlike cotton (a very absorbent fiber), silk will not absorb natural moisture from your face and hair, or facial beauty creams while you sleep. It allows for more effective use of night creams, providing better skin hydration, as a result giving you a clearer skin.

– Silk pillowcases feel cooler against the skin, because they don’t trap body heat like other fabrics. Silk pillowcases are thin and soft. Silk is a natural heat regulator. It will maintain body temperature and does not conduct heat, or static electricity! Silk helps to retain heat on cold nights and keep you cool on those toasty summer nights!

– Silk is hypoallergenic. It is amazing for those who have sensitive, dry or itchy skin. Silk is inhospitable to dust mites and house mites unlike other pillow surfaces.

– Silk pillows offer a smoother surface for the face, so you don’t wake up with the crease marks that are common with other fabrics. The material doesn’t bunch up, making it less likely your skin will have added lines in the morning.

– Sleeping on Silk can help prevent hair from thinning. Cotton causes more friction, disrupting hair follicles as we move in our sleep, which leads to hair breakage and split ends. Silk Pillowcases will prevent hair from tangling as we move in our sleep, they will also help keep our hairstyle better for the next day. Cotton may feel soft to the skin but its weave actually grips and tugs at individual strands causing damage and breakage.

– Hair treated by bleaching, highlighting, coloring, chemical perms, blow drying and curling or straightening is especially susceptible to breakage – For braided, chemically treated or normal hair the use of silk pillowcases reduces hair breakage, helps maintain proper moisture balance, protects hairstyles and eliminates most tangling.

– Silk is important for those who have hair extensions/weaves and eyelash extensions. It won’t loosen or tangle the hair while you sleep and provides the ability for the extensions to last longer.

– Silk also helps prevent messy bed head, the proteins are anti-frizz and trap less body heat than other fabrics.

– Silk is a very easy fabric to care for. It should be washed on cold and hung out to dry, the best part is it dries very quickly!

Whew.. You see? I mean, we should all be sleeping on silk! I have been sleeping on silk for the last 2 months and I can vouch for the miracle differences it makes. For me silk has worked, my skin is smoother and clearer than ever and my hair feel and looks amazing. My beauty sleep has never been better!!!

NOW.. on to the rest of the story. I searched for silk pillowcases everywhere. It was so hard to find any that were 100% silk. The ones I did find were expensive, and some had horrible reviews! So I decided.. Why not make one? The problem was.. Where do I find silk? Well ladies. I found the silk and I have put together a little tutorial for all of you so we can all enjoy a restful night sleep on a sweet silk pillowcase.


Homemade Silk Pillowcase

First you will want to order some silk fabric. Hop on over to for ordering. You have 2 options for silk: here and here. The 19.5 mm is a little bit thicker and more luxurious. The 12 mm is lighter weight, but still a very soft and beautiful fabric. They are both excellent choices, so it totally depends on personal preference. You will need to order 1 yard of the 45 inch wide fabric. This is only enough for 1 pillowcase. If you are planning to make more than one, order 1 yard per pillowcase.

You will also need a 20 inch all purpose zipper that matches your fabric. Silk is so slippery that if there isn’t a zipper, you will constantly be fixing your pillowcase!

Cut 2 pieces of silk to be 21 x 28 inches. (Standard Size Pillowcase)

Set your sewing machine to a baste stitch setting. Lay the two pieces of fabric right sides (shiny satiny side) together. Pin one of the short sides together. Baste along the short side at 5/8 inch.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Once you have basted along the short edge, press the seam open with a cool/warm iron. We are going to apply the zipper down the center of the seam. Place the zipper face down and centered down the seam, the same distance from each edge. Make sure you leave the zipper pull sticking up instead of laying under the zipper. We will need to use the zipper pull to push the zipper open. (pull to push.. doesn’t really sound right) 😉

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Place a few pins down one edge of the zipper to hold it centered against the basted seam.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Pull out your zipper foot. You will need to move your needle to the left of the right so you don’t break it when you start sewing. Line the zipper foot up with the edge of the zipper and sew (regular stitch length) to the inside of the zipper foot. Make sure you back stitch, and sew the entire length of the zipper. When you get to the end of the first side, remove the pins from the other side, flip it around and sew the second side the same as you did the first.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase You should end up with a seam looking something like this, with the zipper in the center of the seam!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Unpick about an inch away from the edge of the basted seam. You will want to unpick about 2 inches of the center seam. Push the zipper pull down until it is in the open you just created. We will use this opening to flip the pillow right side out after we are done sewing!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase On to sewing the rest of the pillowcase. Flip the pillow back over so you are working with the inside! Fold the zipper in half and pin that corner. Like the picture below!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Line all of the edges up and place 3-4 pins along each edge and one at each corner of the pillowcase.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Start at one end of the zipper. You are only going to sew around the three sides (not including the zipper edge). Stitch at regular length, back stitch and stitch at 5/8 inch. Be careful as you sew over the zipper portion. You will want to turn the hand wheel to make sure you don’t break the needle on the teeth.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Once you have sewn around the edge you will want to secure the raw edges so they don’t fray! If you have a surger, lucky you! Surge the three edges you sewed along. You won’t need to worry about the zipper edge being secured. For the rest of us.. Use a zig zag stitch and sew right along the 3 edges!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase This will prevent the inside edges from fraying and gives it a nice finished look! Trim up all the strings and we are done sewing!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Now back to the opening. You will turn the pillowcase right side out with the little hole you opened previously!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Once it is right side out you will need to finish unpicking the rest of the based zipper seam.

Homemade Silk Pillowcase Then you have a perfectly centered hidden zipper! Isn’t it pretty? 😉

Homemade Silk Pillowcase You are ready for your beauty sleep! Try this pillowcase on your standard sized pillow and feel just how soft it really is!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase We love our moms, so take a few minutes to whip out this pillowcase for your mom, grandma or special woman in your life! We can all use our beauty sleep, young and old alike. Tie it up with a pretty ribbon and pair it with a yummy treat (hemmm hemm, mint brownies) 😉

She will love it!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase

What are some of your favorite beauty sleep tricks?

I’m sure we all have some great secrets to share!

Homemade Silk Pillowcase

    1. May 8th, 2012 at 10:03 am
      Missy says:
      who knew? that looks so soft and comfy. I have never attempted a zipper before, but this might just be worth the learning curve. :)
    2. May 8th, 2012 at 4:59 pm
      merylee says:
      To lara
      RE: Silk Pillowcase

      Did you prewash the silk. The silk website says that the silk shrinks in width & length. There is no mention of silk shrinkage in the tutorial. Thanks for posting a great guide.
      • May 9th, 2012 at 8:55 pm
        Lara says:
        So, here is what I have read and know. The silk from can be washed in any temperature water and dried at normal settings. So if you want to be able to wash and dry your pillowcase with warm temperatures you should DEFINITELY pre-wash it. BUT from what I have read your silk will last SO much longer and stay softer if you wash it in cold water and let it air dry. Cold water and air drying will not make the fabric shrink, so you shouldn't need to pre-wash it. So whichever is more convenient for you! :)
    3. May 8th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
      Gina says:
      Is it machine washable and dryable? (Is dryable a word?!) :)
      • May 9th, 2012 at 3:14 pm
        Lara says:
        It is definitely machine washable. Wash it on a cold cycle and then leave it out to air dry. It will probably be dry within an hour! They dry super fast!
    4. May 8th, 2012 at 11:29 pm
      Mary says:
      I love that this is machine washable in any temp and air dryer. Question, would dying this white silk lessen the beauty effects or interfere with the silks natural structure?
      • May 9th, 2012 at 3:15 pm
        Lara says:
        I think it is totally safe to dye silk! Have you heard of the koolaid methood? I have heard that is the best way to dye silk. I would love to dye some pillowcases too!
    5. May 9th, 2012 at 11:10 am
      Jeanette says:
      Thank you so much for this, I want to try it but I am not sure what I would need for a king size pillow. Do you have that information?
      • May 9th, 2012 at 3:17 pm
        Lara says:
        king size pillowcases are typically 20 x 38-40 inches. Just use the same directions only cut your fabric to be 21 x 39 inches instead! Same size zipper and everything!
    6. May 9th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
      Kassie Lashua says:
      That is such a PERFECT mother's day gift!!! I SO wish I had time to make that!!! Can you just ship me one you've made? Haha! Thank you so much, I will make it someday!

      P.S. I did not know ALL those things about a silk pillow. Thank you~loved this post
    7. May 9th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
      Monica says:
      Excited to make a couple of pillow cases but didn't want to wait for the fabric to arrive in the mail.

      If you are in the Bois area, Caledonia Fine Fabric has silk fabric in stock (located on Americana just off the River St exit).
      • May 9th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
        Monica says:
        meant Boise area =)
    8. May 10th, 2012 at 6:30 pm
      Liz says:
      Love this! Thanks so much!
    9. June 20th, 2012 at 8:06 am
      slancto says:
      Hello! I love your article about using silky pillowcases to allow your hair to slide across your pillow at night, decreasing friction, less breakage and tangles. I am not scientifically oriented, but I believe using a polyester curtain panel..cutting it andusing your pattern to make your own pillowcases..then placing it OVER a cotton pillowcase..might be an option, as well. The reason I say this, is because you get the delight of no tangles or breakage, but at the same have the cotton pillowslip that "Wicks" away the perspiration from your scalp at night, improving circulation to your scalp. It's only an opinion, but I am pretty good with hair pearls. Kind Regards to you, Lady Grace
    10. August 9th, 2012 at 9:36 am
      Kaylynne says:
      I found Duponi 100% silk at JoAnns (the only fabric store in my small town). It seems super heavy and I am really confused to see that there are many different types of 100% silk. Do you think it is best to order the silk that you listed in your post or would it matter? It's been a long time since your original post, what would you say now about the pillowcase that you made? Has it held up, etc.
      Thanks a bunch!
    11. November 12th, 2012 at 10:38 pm
      Donna says:
      What type of silk should be used for the pillowcases? On the site there are two types that are the 19.5mm weight. Silk Dupion and Charmeuse.

      I can't wait to try these pillowcases! Thanks!
    12. December 6th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
      elisha says:
      I just stumbled upon this site and I've been perusing the different tabs. I've been sleeping on silk for years! it's amazing. I even lined my cribs with it to prevent that darn bald spot babies get from rubbing their heads on cotton. When I wear my wool coats in the winter I line the neck with a silk scarf to keep my hair from rubbing against my clothing causing even more breakage. I love silk! LOL
    13. March 12th, 2013 at 11:51 am
      Ashley says:
      I have been looking for king silk pillow cases for a while now. What a great idea to make them myself. I love this article thanks for all the great info.
    14. December 9th, 2014 at 9:41 pm
      Erin Shapiro says:
      How much fabric would be necessary for king sized pillows? Love the tutorial! Can't wait to make my own!
    15. April 21st, 2015 at 4:51 pm
      Heather says:
      Re: Silk Pillowcase

      Thanks so much for the tutorial I love it, I really want to make some silk pillowcases. Can I ask if you tested the silk that you bought to make sure it is real silk. I looked on the website you recommended and it seems really, really cheap for 100% silk.
    16. December 19th, 2015 at 10:17 pm
      Amanda Slade says:
      Wow I've never considered making my own pillowcase! You make it seem so easy and do-able - I might attempt this! My favourite beauty sleep trick is actually really simple: don't sleep on your tummy! I used to have that habit but was told it gives you wrinkles (obviously!) Amanda @
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