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The Ultimate Guide to Grades of Silk

Silk has perennially captivated individuals with its distinctive allure, and an increasing number of people aspire to indulge in the lavishness of silk. While pursuing silk products, you might encounter terns like 6A grade, top-grade, and more in descriptions. This could potentially leave you puzzled about the diverse grades of silk. Fear not, as this article is poised to unravel all your queries, offering clear insights into the different silk grades.

Different Types of Silk

Silk comes in various types, each with its unique quality. Below, we will introduce four commonly encountered types of silk:

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry silk is globally renowned and extensively produced silk in the world, primarily originating from China. It is obtained from the cocoons of silkworms of the Bombyx mori species, which exclusively feed on mulberry leaves. Celebrated for its exceptional strength, radiant sheen, and luxurious softness, this silk typically exhibits a natural ivory hue. It offers outstanding draping qualities, making it highly sought after by numerous fashion brands.

Mulberry Silk

Tussah Silk

Tussah silk is crafted from the silk excreted by the silkworm of the moth genus Antheraea. These silkworms feed on a diverse range of leaves, including oak and juniper. Setting it apart from mulberry silk, Tussah silk boasts a stronger, slightly rougher texture, with shorter fibers that naturally assume a golden hue, enhancing its allure. The primary source of Tussah silk is India, where it is frequently employed in the creation of sarees.

Tussah Silk

Eri Silk

Eri silk, also known as endi silk, is generated by a domesticated silkworm known as the Samia Ricini moth. These silkworms predominantly feed on castor leaves and produce large, fluffy cocoons that yield substantial quantities of silk. Referred to as peace silk, it is purportedly harvested after the silkworm completes its metamorphosis and emerges from the cocoon. Exhibiting a white hue, this silk offers commendable softness, seamlessly blending with other fibers and featuring a distinctive cotton-like touch.

Eri Silk

Muga Silk

Muga silk is a distinctive silk variety originating from the Assam region of India. It is cultivated by the larvae of the Assam silk moth, which predominantly feast on the aromatic leaves of the Som and Soalu trees. Known for its innate golden hue, durability, and a sheen that only intensifies with time. Owing to its exceptional qualities, Muga silk has emerged as the favored option for traditional and ceremonial attire in the Assam region.

Muga Silk

Different Grades of Silk

Based on the quality of silk, it is classified into 11 grades. So, which grade of silk is the best and which is the most suitable for you? Find the answer below.

Grade A

Grade A silk is often synonymous with the highest quality silk, boasting impeccable purity, and a smooth texture. It appears naturally white and exhibits a pearl-like sheen. Fabrics woven from this not only have a soft feel but also a radiant shine that sets them apart. 

Grade A has 6 sub-grades: 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, and A. The higher the number, the better the quality of the silk. Grade 6A silk is the best, from the finest silk cocoons, characterized by even, long fibers, full luster, and a soft, smooth texture. It is frequently used in the production of high-end fashion garments, accessories, and luxurious bedding, showcasing the exceptional quality of silk.

 

Grade B

Compared to Grade A silk, Grade B silk cannot reach the same pinnacle of purity and flawlessness, but it strikes a balance between affordability and desirable characteristics. Grade B silk also possesses a smooth and soft texture, but it consists of shorter silk fibers which can cause clumping and the presence of air pockets can create an uneven texture. While its appearance may not have the same luster as Grade A silk, it remains a durable and comfortable material.

Grade B silk finds applications in various areas, including clothing, accessories, and home decor. It is commonly used to make shirts, scarves, and pillowcases, offering you a touch of luxury at a more accessible price point.

Grade C

Grade C silk exhibits lower purity and quality, displaying noticeable imperfections. As it uses the innermost layer of silk from the cocoon, it has a rougher texture and lacks the smoothness and softness of higher grades. Its distinguishing characteristics include shorter silk fibers, a yellowish color, and brown spots. Additionally, due to the irregular lumpy, it lacks natural luster and appears uneven.

Despite these shortcomings, it still possesses a certain level of durability, making it suitable for your clothing projects with lower requirements, such as linings or non-apparel items that prioritize cost-effectiveness over luxurious attributes.

Other Grades

Other grades of silk, including Grades D, E, F, and other substandard varieties, possess lower quality and display noticeable flaws. Their appearance and texture are comparatively inferior. Among these, Grade F silk is often referred to as “industrial silk” and is primarily utilized for non-apparel purposes, such as industrial applications and manufacturing processes.

Assessment of Silk Grades

As China stands as the world’s leading producer of silk with a profound history in silk production, the grading standards for silk are predominantly set by the China Commodity Inspection Bureau considers the following factors:

  • Quality of silk fibers
  • Purity of silk
  • The luster of silk
  • The texture of silk
  • Manufacturing process

Various countries or regions might employ their grading systems or variations in the criteria used to assess silk. Consequently, it is recommended to refer to the specific grading guidelines provided by the silk producer or supplier before making a purchase. 

Why Choose High-Grade Silk?

Choosing High-grade silk has numerous benefits. Firstly, high-grade silk exhibits exceptional quality in terms of strength, fineness, and uniformity, ensuring the longevity and durability of the fabric. It also imparts excellent luster and a luxurious texture, enhancing the overall beauty of your silk garments or other silk products.

Furthermore, high-grade silk is often softer, providing greater comfort for your skin and delivering a delightful user experience. The craftsmanship involved in producing premium silk adds to the overall value and uniqueness of the silk. Investing in higher-grade silk ensures that you receive a superior product of enduring beauty and elegance.

Summary

By now, you should have a thorough understanding of the silk grading and a clear awareness of your requirements. If you are having trouble finding a reliable source to buy high-grade silk, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Sinosilk proudly offers 6A-grade silk fabric and an array of custom silk products, such as silk scarves, silk pillowcases, silk sleep masks, and silk pajamas. Indulge in the unmatched charm of silk by experiencing our collection firsthand. 

More Resources:

The Endless Uses of Silk – Source: Sinosilk

How to Repair Silk – Source: Sinosilk

Is Silk Breathable – Source: Sinosilk

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