What is Momme in Silk Fabric?


Momme is the universal unit of measurement relating to the weight of a silk fabric and is commonly abbreviated as mm. Momme (mm) is calculated as the weight of a piece of silk fabric that is sized 100 yards long by 45 inches wide with 1 Momme being equal to 3.62 grams per square yard (4.33 grams per square meter).


This is: What is Momme in Silk Fabric?

article header image


Silk is as beautiful as it is comfortable and comes in a variety of different strains, weaves, colors, patterns and momme. These different kinds of silk fabrics each embody their own unique set of features and benefits and all end up becoming a variety of different products.


When buying silk fabrics or silk garments momme is an important aspect and is something that needs to be considered before making a purchase. 


Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Momme Silk. 


Contents:

Shop OUr
Silk Shirt Collection

mens silk shirts by 1000 kingdoms

What Is Momme Silk?

Momme is the universal unit of measurement relating to the weight of a silk fabric and is commonly abbreviated as mm. Momme (mm) is calculated as the weight of a piece of silk fabric that is sized 100 yards long by 45 inches wide with 1 Momme being equal to 3.62 grams per square yard (4.33 grams per square meter).


Momme is used to measure the density of silk fabrics as well as to provide an insight as to the quality of the silk fabric. If a roll of silk fabric 100 yards long by 45 inches wide weighed 9.7kg (22lbs), then the density of the silk fabric would be known as "22 momme."


What Does Momme Mean?

The word momme actually originated in Japan and was used to describe to weight of one "mon" coin. One of these 5 yen coins had a weight of 3.75 grams, which is equal to 1 momme; although the momme relating to silk is actually slightly less than 3.75 grams. The Japanese character used to write momme is "匁" (monme). 


Momme silk ranges from 4mm to 30mm, with a higher momme indicating a heavier and more dense silk fabric. A silk fabric with a low momme, 12mm for example, will have much different characteristics than a silk fabric that is 25mm, and will subsequently be used to make much different products. 


During the production of silk, factories will modify the yarn count and the density of silk threads in order to control the momme as required. 


Production of Different Momme

The production of silk begins naturally when silkworms grow to full size and begin to spin their cocoon. After 3 to 8 days the silkworm will have finished spinning their cocoon. Once completed, the cocoon will then be submerged a pot of boiling water where it will unravel and reveal its long silk fibers


Once these fibers are extracted they will ultimately be weaved together in order to produce a useful silk fabric. There are a variety of different weaves that can be applied to silk (discussed below) and the momme will depend on the weight and density of the weave, with a higher momme representing a more heavy and dense fabric. 


Continue reading: How is Silk Made?


Momme Ranges Of Different Products

Silk fabrics with different momme have vastly different features, qualities, and subsequent uses. A silk with a momme of 8 might be used for an overlay on a dress, while a 25mm silk may become a pillowcase. 

PRODUCT TYPE

MOMME (mm)

Dress Shirts (Men's and Women's)

19mm-25mm

Pajamas (Men's and Women's)

19mm-22mm

Womens Lingerie 

8mm-22mm

Scarfs and Ascots 

6mm-19mm

Shawls 

6mm-15mm

Women's Slip Dress 

12mm-22mm

Pants (Men's and Women's)

19mm-25mm

Shorts (Men's and Women's)

19mm-22mm

Men's Underwear/Boxer Shorts 

19mm-22mm

Pillowcase

22mm-30mm

Bedsheets 

22mm-30mm

Drapes

19mm-30mm

Women's Blouse

12mm-25mm

Overlays

4mm-15mm

When looking at silk momme it is generally accepted that a silk fabric with a higher momme will usually indicate a higher level of quality and strength. A silk fabric of 25mm will be glossy, strong, smooth and durable while a silk of 8mm may be dull, delicate, and coarse. 


Silk momme can be categorized into 3 groups:

MOMME (mm)

CATEGORY

4mm to 20mm silk 

Lightweight Silk Fabric

20mm to 28mm silk

Medium weight Silk Fabric

28mm+

Heavyweight Silk Fabric


Momme Ranges With Various Silk Weaves

A variety of different weaves can be employed when using silk. Each of these weaves creates a unique product that fills a different need. Lower momme silk fabrics are used for decorative purposes, while the thicker fabrics are used for making bedsheets and drapes.


To learn more about range of different silk fabrics and weaves please refer to our Glossary of Silk Fabrics and Weaves.

WEAVE TYPE

MOMME (mm)

QUALITIES

USED FOR

Gauze

3-4 momme

sheer, see through

Embroidery, doll house toys

Organza

5-6 momme

decorative, sheer

sheer curtains, aisle or table runners

Chiffon

6-8 momme

sheer, slippery, floaty

overlays on a gown or wedding dress, ribbons, scarves, lingerie

Broadcloth

23-25 momme

opaque, crisp, tightly weaved

drapes, skirts, blouses

Shantung

35 momme

thick, crispy, heavy

bridal gowns

Crepe De Chine

16 momme

airy, lightweight, breathable

shirts, summer blouse, lingerie, shawls, scarves

Charmeuse

12-30 momme

sheen, durable, light

shirts, blouses, pillowcases, bedsheets

22-30 momme

breathable, strong, shiny

lingerie, pajamas, shirts, evening gowns, bedsheets, pillowcases


Why Momme Is Important

It is important to be aware of the momme when buying silk because it has an effect on a number of different variables. 


Style Preference

Buying a silk fabric with the correct momme is important as it relates to your style. If you are buying a silk dress shirt you will probably prefer a momme of 19 or 22. If you are buying a shirt meant for a top layer or overlay, you would likely prefer to have a 12 or 15 momme silk. 


A higher momme is indicative of a fabric that has a more luxurious touch and vibrant sheen.


For gowns and wedding dresses a seamstress will likely seek to employ silk that is 4-8 momme for the overlay, and silk that is 22-30 momme for the body. 


Comfort Preference

Silk pajamas and clothing are at their absolute best when they are made with a 22 momme silk. A 19 momme silk garment will still be extremely luxurious and rich, however a 22 momme garment will reach an even greater level of comfort. 


For me personally, I like both 19 and 22 momme silk, and will even wear 15 momme silk from time to time. All the fabrics feel incredible but 22 momme is definitely the finest of them all. 


When it comes to bedding and pillowcases, buyers can find options in the range from 22 to 30 momme. Again, all bedding products made from 22 momme silk and above will be absolutely luxurious and satisfying, however when it comes to bedding, 30 momme silk will give you the most opulent experience night in and night out. 


Budget

Generally, the price of silk will increase as the momme count increases, which will be discussed further below. Buyers should be aware of these cost increases and choose a fabric or garment that is in line with your budget requirements. 


No matter how much you are willing to spend, you are promised to have a remarkable experience anytime you get to interact with the exceptional textile known as silk.


The Benefits of Silk With a Higher Momme

Silk is a fabric that is pleasing to all the senses. Putting on a silk garment has the ability to change your mood, your energy, your vibe, and your life! It may sound like hyperbole to say that silk can change your life, but ask a silk lover and they will tell you the same! There really isn't any other fabric that offers the feel, look, and experience that comes with silk. 


Read: What Does Silk Feel Like?


Silk generally increases in cost as the momme gets higher; this happens for a number of reasons. 


Firstly, a high momme requires a dense and heavy weave, which means more raw silk is needed during production. The volume of raw silk that is necessary when making a 25mm silk will be much greater than that of a 12mm silk, which naturally increases the final cost. 


For example, a silk satin that is 22 momme will carry roughly 20% more silk per square inch than a 19 momme silk satin fabric. 


Secondly, silk with a higher momme will also be awarded more value because of its elevated qualities and characteristics. The higher momme is thicker and thus more durable than a lower momme, which means it will last longer and be more washable. A denser weave (and subsequent higher momme) will be more effective at protecting the shine of the silk, and will also yield a much longer lifespan. 


Silk with a high momme will also have a brighter sheen than a lower momme silk. A 6mm chiffon silk overlay will look incredibly dull next to a 22mm charmeuse silk dress shirt. Higher momme silk is much more appealing to the eye and much more satisfying to the skin. 


Thirdly, as the silk fabric increases in momme, so does its useful applications. For example, silk that is 4 to 12 momme have a limited range of uses and will mostly be used for overlays or decorative embroidery. 19 to 25 momme silk can be used to make shirts, shorts, lingerie, dresses, bedding, drapes, and a number of other items. 


The Benefits of Silk

Silk is an incredibly special fabric and offers a unique set of benefits and advantages, no matter what the momme. 


When we are looking at finest silk clothing, pajamas, and other garments you will most commonly find 19 to 22 momme mulberry silk fabric being used. For bedding or drapes we will most frequently see a 22 to 30 momme mulberry silk fabric being used. 


Mulberry silk is considered to be the finest type of silk and offers a range of benefits. 


Mulberry silk is hypoallergenic, odorless, and is resistant to undesirable guests such as dust, mold and mites. This natural and hypoallergenic fabric is gentle on all skin, especially those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Other fabrics such as polyester or nylon that are made from synthetic fibers contain harmful chemicals and irritants that can trigger an allergic reaction or harm the skin. 


Silk's hypoallergenic qualities make it an ideal fabric for creating sleepwear and bedding. Mulberry silk used for pillowcases and sleep masks allow your skin to heal and replenish during your sleeping hours as silk reduces sleep wrinkles that can have an awful effect on your skin. Silk pillowcases are wonderful for your hair, as the smooth seamless fabric does not snag, pull, or put friction on your hair as you sleep. Mulberry silk sleep masks help reduce wrinkles around your eyes and forehead, as well as block light and allow you to sleep better. 


Mulberry silk is extremely strong and durable which gives garments a long life span, especially silk at 22 momme and above. When considering the strength-to-density ratio, silk is stronger than steel, which means at the same size strand of silk is stronger than a thin beam of steel. 


Although mulberry silk is strong and durable, it offers an unparalleled level of comfort, feel, and breathability. The long and uniform strands of mulberry silk used to make clothing and pajamas feel cool, airy, smooth, and seamless on the skin.


19-25 momme silk has the magical ability to govern and regulate the temperature of our bodies. Silk absorbs moisture and gives you a breezy cool feeling in the spring and summer months. During the colder months silk provides you with a thin layer of insulation which helps to retain heat and provide that perfect level of warmth. Learn more about silk's ability to regulate body temperature by reading: Are Silk Pajamas Too Hot?


What is Momme in Silk Fabric FAQ

Is 19 or 22 momme silk better?

The momme you prefer will likely depend on the type of garment you are wearing, however, it is generally accepted that a silk fabric with a higher momme will usually indicate a higher level of quality and strength. 22 momme will carry roughly 20% more silk per square inch than a 19 momme silk satin fabric

What is the highest grade momme for silk?

If you are wearing a silk dress, blouse, shirt, or pajamas, the highest grade momme is typically considered to be 22 momme, however 19 momme is also very luxurious. 

What does momme mean in silk?

Momme is the universal unit of measurement relating to the weight of a silk fabric and is commonly abbreviated as mm. Momme (mm) is calculated as the weight of a piece of silk fabric that is sized 100 yards long by 45 inches wide with 1 Momme being equal to 3.62 grams per square yard (4.33 grams per square meter).

Is 22 momme silk the best?

Different types of silk fabric are ideal for different types of garments, however in most cases as it relates to silk shirts, blouses, dresses, pajamas, and pillowcases, 22 momme silk is considered to be one of the best, if not the best type of silk.