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The Ultimate Guide: What is Ice Silk?

With the arrival of scorching summers, people start hunting for all things with a cold feeling. From the daily wear to the nighttime bedding, everyone seeks respite from the relentless heat. Have you ever noticed the “ice silk” before the product’s name while shopping online? It’s certainly piqued your curiosity. But what’s the deal with ice silk, and why does it promise such cooling comfort? Join us now to discover what makes it the ultimate choice for staying cool in hot weather.

What is Ice Silk?

The first thing you need to know is that Ice silk is not a standalone fabric, it is more like a catchy marketing term cooked up by sellers to spice up their products, and there is no precise definition or strict standards for ice silk in the textile industry. Instead, ice silk is a broad category of fabrics with a cooling and comfortable sensation. Ice fabric is not made of a single material but of chemical fibers such as viscose (aka”rayon”), spandex, and polyester, often blended with other materials.

What is Ice Silk Made of?

The most important raw material for ice silk is a common man-made fiber called viscose fiber. viscose fiber is crafted from a mix of natural fibers and then given a series of special treatments to create a fabric with soft and breathable features. Besides viscose, ice silk is also made of polyester, nylon, and a hint of modal, adding durability to the blended fabric.

Pros and Cons of Ice Silk

  • Pros

Ice silk fabric is prized for its silky-smooth texture and cooling properties, making it a popular choice for summer garments. Its ability to wick moisture and prevent static build-up ensures comfort. Besides, specially treated ice silk has good UV protection.

  • Cons

However, alongside its advantages come some disadvantages. Its delicate nature means it’s prone to damage from friction, resulting in persistent wrinkles that are tough to smooth out. Furthermore, keeping ice silk fabric clean can be challenging, as it easily attracts dirt and may suffer from pilling and shrinking after prolonged washing.

Applications of Ice Silk

Renowned for its cooling properties, ice silk is a versatile fabric perfectly suited for warm seasons, it’s extensively used in making summer essentials such as underwear, socks, beddings, and cooling sleeves. Its ability to provide a refreshing sensation makes it a preferred option for individuals seeking comfort in the heat.

Why Does Ice Silk Feel Cool?

  • The Material of the Fabric

Thermal conductivity is a crucial factor in determining how fabrics feel. With its high thermal conductivity, ice silk feels cooler than many other fabrics.

Besides thermal conductivity, moisture absorption also affects the comfort of a fabric in hot weather. Take viscose fiber, for example. While it may have lower thermal conductivity, it has high absorption and breathability. This means that when you sweat, viscose fibers quickly absorb the moisture and wick it away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate and take heat with it, keeping you dry and cool.

  • The Structure of the Fiber

The shape of fibers within ice silk plays an important role in providing a cooling sensation. Specifically designed cross-sections, such as cross-shaped or polygonal structures, enhance the fabric’s thermal conductivity. These intricate shapes create gaps within the fabric, allowing airflow and accelerating sweat evaporation. Consequently, ice silk products with these special fibers give you a cooler and more comfortable sensation.

Moreover, the surface texture of the fibers contributes to the cooling effect. Smooth ice silk creates a large contact area between the skin and the fabric, allowing for better heat transfer away from the body, thus enhancing its cooling properties.

  • Special Treatments

In addition to the above two factors, some special treatments are employed to elevate its cold feel. For example, adding finely ground jade powder when weaving ice silk can enhance the thermal conductivity of the fabric, as it has high thermal conductivity.

Besides, cooling silicone oil is a common soft agent used in the soft finishing treatment for ice silk. By harnessing the impressive thermal conductivity of silicone oil, this treatment effectively dissipates heat, providing a refreshing sensation to the wearer. However, both jade powder and cooling silicone oil will lose their cooling effectiveness in further washing.

Consequently, choosing ice silk items wisely is essential for your comfort and safety.  Take cooling sheets for example, cheap cooling silicone oil is used in the soft finishing treatment of cooling sheets. While these sheets may initially feel cool and inviting, they often become rough and lose effectiveness quickly. Moreover, the chemicals in cooling silicone oil may pose potential skin issues in prolonged use.

Is Ice Silk Pure Silk? Ice Silk vs Silk

Ice silk is not pure silk. While both of them are smooth and comfortable, they have little in common other than their touch.

How to Wash and Care for Ice Silk?

When it comes to washing, always check the care label before washing, especially regarding machine washing. If the label indicates hand washing only, it’s best to follow that advice to preserve the fabric’s quality. Here are some caring tips for you.

  1. Select a mild, neutral detergent, as alkaline detergents can be harsh, especially if your ice silk product contains cellulose fiber, which isn’t resistant to acidity or alkalinity.
  2. Limit soaking time to no more than 15 minutes, and keep the water temperature around 30℃. 
  3. Use a fabric softener when rinsing your ice silk product to keep it soft and free from wrinkles.
  4. Air drying your ice silk after washing. Avoid direct sunlight exposure as it can cause fading and damage over time.


  • Is ice silk biodegradable?

Whether or not ice silk is biodegradable depends on the fabric composition of the ice silk. Ice silk products made from sustainable viscose fibers are biodegradable. Ice silk products made of unsustainable viscose fiber or polyester are non-biodegradable.

  • Is ice silk durable?

Yes, ice silk is durable. But it can easily damaged by improper laundry and friction.

  • Is ice silk antibacterial?

Yes, ice silk is antibacterial, which keeps you clean and healthy all day.

  • Is ice silk good for your skin?

Yes, ice silk is good for your skin. With its great moisture absorption, ice silk ensures a refreshing and comfortable feel for your skin. Yet, it’s important to steer clear of cheap ice silk, as they may contain cooling silicone oils that can potentially harm your skin with prolonged use.

  • Is ice silk better than cotton?

Ice silk and cotton each have their pros and cons. For outdoor sports in hot weather, opt for quick-drying ice silk fabrics. These materials help you stay dry and comfortable during physical activities. If you spend most of your time indoors, particularly in an office with an air conditioner, cotton fabrics offer a better wearing experience. 


In conclusion, ice silk presents a refreshing solution for those seeking cool comfort during scorching summers. While it’s not a natural fabric but rather a blend of synthetic fabric, its cooling properties are undeniable. From its moisture-wicking abilities to its soft texture, ice silk offers a reprieve from the heat, making it ideal for various summer essentials like garments and sheets. If interested,  you can browse Sinosilk to learn more about other fabrics.

More Resources:

What is Silk? – Source: Sinosilk

What is the Best Fabric for Sheets? – Source: Sinosilk

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