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What is Momme Silk – The Best Guide to Silk Terminology

When we introduce silk products to our customers, we often refer to a term known as “momme.” Individuals who are not familiar with silk may find themselves curious about this terminology, and even those who comprehend its meaning may still have inquiries when it comes to making a purchase. 

With utmost sincerity, we have prepared this guide to offer you a comprehensive understanding of the relevant information and assist you in acquiring the silk products you desire.

What is Momme Silk?

Momme is pronounced as “mom-ee” and abbreviated as “mm.” Please note that it should not be confused with the unit of length, millimeters. Momme is a specific measurement unit used in relation to silk fabric to indicate its thickness, quality, and density. The term “momme” originates from the Japanese words “mom” meaning “hundred” and “me” meaning “yards.”

In Japan, it is more accurately written as “monme,” but due to transliteration, it became known as “momme” and gained popularity in the Western world. In Japan, it represents the weight of a 100-yard-long, 45-inch-wide silk fabric, typically measured in pounds. 

For instance, if you have a 22-pound silk fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide, its momme weight would be 22 momme. However, let’s convert it to provide a more intuitive understanding. Just remember this formula: 1 momme equals 4.340 grams per square meter.

Why does Momme Matter?

Momme is a significant measurement indicator in the silk industry, closely tied to the quality, transparency, density, and longevity of silk fabric. Different momme weights can showcase distinct styles and provide varying sensations. 

Generally, fabrics with higher momme weights are thicker, denser, and consequently, more expensive. Therefore, considering the momme weight is crucial when purchasing silk as it helps you find a more suitable choice.

Range of Momme Silk

In the silk market, you can find various momme weights for silk fabrics. It’s important to note that several factors can influence the momme weight.

  • Silk fiber types: Silk fiber comes in different varieties, each with its unique density and characteristics. Delicate mulberry silk and coarse wild silk naturally differ in weight and density.
  • Weaving structures: Different weaving techniques create a range of silk fabrics with varying densities and texture characteristics. This plays a crucial role in determining the momme weight of silk. Generally, looser fabrics (like chiffon) have lower momme weights compared to tightly woven silk fabrics (such as twill).

Additionally, post-processing treatments of silk fabrics can also affect the momme weight. For instance, sand-washing, brushing, or other chemical treatments can impact the final momme weight.

Nowadays, most silk fabrics available for purchase are made from mulberry silk. Taking this into consideration and excluding post-processing factors, let’s explore the momme weight range of different fabric types.

Momme Weight Range for Different Silk Fabrics

Silk Fabric Momme Weight
Silk Satin 9 – 40 momme
Silk Twill 10 – 28 momme
Silk Chiffon 6 – 12 momme
Silk Organza 5.5 – 12 momme
Silk Habotai 6 – 25 momme
Silk Crepe De Chine 12 – 40 momme
Silk Georgette 8 – 18 momme
Silk Double Georgette 16 – 22 momme

Low Range Momme Count

Silk fabrics with a momme weight of 19 or less are considered to be in the low momme weight range. The lower the momme weight of silk, the lighter and more breathable it becomes. 

Fabrics with lower density also exhibit increased transparency, making them ideal for occasions that call for a lightweight and flowing appearance. Currently, there are silk fabrics available with momme weights as low as 3, such as gauze.

Due to their lower density, these fabrics may be more delicate and susceptible to tearing or wrinkling, necessitating special care.

High Range Momme Count

Silk with a momme weight between 19 and 30 or higher is classified as high momme weight silk. Compared to fabrics with lower momme weights, these silk fabrics are thicker and heavier. 

They boast a tighter weave, and reduced transparency, yet possess a more opulent appearance and enhanced luster. They are typically well-suited for formal occasions or when durability is desired.

Fabrics with high momme weights are more durable, but that doesn’t mean they can be treated casually. It is widely known that silk is prone to snagging and requires special care. So it is crucial to handle them delicately to preserve their long-lasting beauty.

What is the Highest Momme for Silk?

The highest momme weight silk available in the market generally falls within the range of 40 to 50 momme. It is primarily in crepe or Xiangyunsha Silk. There are also silk fabrics with momme exceeding 50, although they are less commonly encountered. These fabrics provide added durability and thickness, but they also tend to carry a higher price tag.

When it comes to the highest momme silk, there may be instances of counterfeit products from certain merchants. It is important for you to collaborate with trustworthy producers for a more reliable experience.

Is a Higher Momme Always Better?

The answer is not necessarily. As mentioned earlier, we learned that higher momme weight silk is thicker and contains more silk per unit of fabric. This results in a luxurious appearance, smooth drape, improved insulation, and durability.

However, this does not imply that it is always superior. The best choice is the one that meets your specific needs. Different uses and settings call for the most suitable momme weight to maximize utility and deliver the most comfortable experience.

Which Momme Silk Should I Buy?

With a wide variety of momme weights available in the market, it may be easy to find the highest momme weight, but finding the one that best suits your needs can be more challenging.

Today, we are here to assist you in resolving this dilemma. As experts in the silk industry with decades of experience, we provide professional advice for your consideration.

  • Silk Scarf – 10 to 16 momme. Elegant and stylish with a graceful drape.
  • Silk Tie – 12 to 16 momme. High-quality and sophisticated with inherent charm.
  • Silk Sleep Mask – 14 to 22 momme. Achieves a blackout effect without exerting excessive pressure on the eyes.
  • Silk Scrunchie – 16 to 30 momme. Smooth and soft, ensuring both beauty and hair protection.
  • Silk Pajamas – 16 to 30 momme. Provides a skin-friendly and reassuring experience.
  • Silk Bedding – 16 to 30 momme. Ensures a peaceful sleep, combating issues like night sweats and bedhead.
  • Silk Clothing – 14 to 50 momme. Creates various clothing styles, ranging from light and flowing to luxurious and high-end.

The above recommendations are based on the applications of silk. However, when making your actual choice, you should also consider factors such as different climates, seasons, desired outcomes, and budget.

19 Momme Silk vs 22 Momme Silk

Quick Comparison:

Properties 19 momme silk 22 momme silk
Weight Lighter Slightly heavier
Feel Softer  Smoother and opulent
Drape Graceful drape Luxurious drape
Durable Prone to wear and tear More durable
Price Affordable More expensive
Application Lightweight clothing; lingerie; scarves; accessories Dresses; blouses; skirts; bedding; home decor

22 momme silk indicates that it contains a higher amount of silk per unit weight and area compared to 19 momme silk. Since both are made of silk, there isn’t much disparity in their texture and appearance.

However, 19 momme silk, with its lower momme weight, possesses a greater delicacy and softness. It is also more affordable, making it well-suited for lightweight applications.

22 momme silk is thicker and denser. With proper care, it tends to have a longer lifespan compared to 19 momme silk. Due to its luxurious characteristics, it comes with a relatively higher price and is suitable for applications that require structural integrity.

Momme vs Thread Count

Momme weight is a unit of measurement used to indicate the weight of silk fabric, and it is closely tied to the thickness and density of the silk. The higher momme weight indicates denser, heavier fabric.

Thread count is utilized to describe the density of cotton fabric, specifically referring to the number of warp and weft threads per square inch. Thread count is associated with the perceived quality and smoothness of cotton fabric, with a higher count resulting in finer and softer fabric.

Why Not Use Thread Count?

In the case of cotton fabrics, a higher thread count signifies a tighter weave and a softer texture, serving as a standard for assessing fabric quality. 

However, silk fibers are finer, and due to different weaving structures, it becomes challenging to gauge silk fabric quality solely based on thread count. In contrast, momme weight accurately reflects density and weight, making it a more precise measurement for evaluating silk fabric.

Does High Momme Silk Require Special Care?

Silk fabrics with a higher momme weight are denser and thicker, making them more durable. Generally, they do not require any special care beyond following the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Treating them the same way as regular silk is sufficient.

Sinosilk – Your Reliable Silk Supplier

With this guide, you can now confidently purchase your desired silk products. We have our factory, ensuring competitive prices and genuine momme weight. Additionally, we offer comprehensive customization services. 

Whether you’re interested in silk scarves, silk fabrics, or any other silk items, we can provide you with the most professional advice and the highest quality products. Contact us now to get started!

More Resources:

What is Silk – Source: Sinosilk

What is Mulberry Silk – Source: Sinosilk

Grades of Silk – Source: Sinosilk

Uses of Silk – Source: Sinosilk

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