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What is Silk "Momme"?

What is Silk "Momme"?

Some brands (like us!) choose to include the weight of the silk in their product descriptions to give a better idea to the customer how substantial the silk garment (or bedding) is. Originating in Japan, this unit of measurement is called "momme."

Momme (pronounced "moe-mee") is a standard measurement of silk weight that uses a length of silk fabric measuring 100 feet long by 45 inches wide (the width of most silk fabrics). As an example, if this 100 ft x 45 inch wide piece of fabric weighed 19 pounds, it would have a weight of 19 momme. 

Because silk threads are extremely fine, a low 6-8 momme silk chiffon that is very see-through will still have a high thread count, which is why we don't use thread count to determine silk weight. The higher the silk weight, the higher the price and the more opaque it will be. Dyed silk will also be more opaque as the dye will stop light from passing through the fabric. This is why we line some of our 19 momme white and ivory dresses and not our colored ones.

The standard weight of silk for most silk slip dresses on the market is anywhere from 16-22 momme, with 22 momme being the least commonly available. 19 momme silk is known to have a great balance of fluidity, durability, and cost. Most of our dresses are made from it for this reason.

If the silk weight isn't listed in the description, it's difficult to know how substantial it will be without feeling it first. While 3 momme doesn't seem like a big gap, you will be able to feel the difference between a 16 momme silk dress and a 19 momme silk dress. Each weight serves a different purpose and will give a slightly different look. 

Silk gets less fluid and drapey as the momme count increases. Jumping into heavier eveningwear and bridal silk weights, 30 momme is a very luxurious silk that is substantial enough that a lining isn't necessary even for lighter colors. 30 momme silk is our choice for bridal because its heavier weight lends a more formal finish while maintaining that effortless, drapey feeling that we love about the classic silk slip dress. 


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