Different types of silk you'd like to know

  • by asilklife

You may be curious about the varieties of silk available and the way in which silk is measured for quality. In general, there are some types you'd better know:


Mulberry Silk

The highest quality of silk and the most sought-after for bedding. Most mulberry silk is actually charmeuse silk that was cultivated from a special type of silkworm which is fed a stringent diet. The Bombyx mori is the silkworm that produces mulberry silk and it prefers to eat the leaves of the mulberry tree. This particular type of silkworm has been bred in captivity for over 5,000 years! The careful breeding for quality and the strict diet of mulberry leaves are what make the end product, mulberry silk, the very finest silk available today.


Charmeuse Silk

The most commonly recognized type of silk, it is used in everything from bedding to dresses to shirts. This type of silk is lightweight and has a natural elasticity, which makes it the ideal fabric for use in sheets, pillowcases, and other kinds of bedding. The front of the fabric has a satin sheen to it while the back has a dull finish. Charmeuse is cultivated silk, meaning that the silkworms which produce it are farmed for their silk.


Tussah Silk

Made from wild silkworms which have not been bred. As the worms are not fed a strict diet or protected in the same way that cultivated silkworms are, this type of silk is not as soft or durable as cultivated silk. Most wild silk comes from India and not China.


Habotai Silk

Commonly used for making sheets and bedding. Habotai is less expensive but also less durable than charmeuse. Often this type of silk is “washed” with sand to make it feel as soft as charmeuse. However, this washing process also destroys the fibers in the silk, which means it doesn’t last as long.


Dupioni Silk

Strong, and lustrous but coarse and not ideal for sheets and most bedding. Sometimes it can be used in duvets, but because of its quality, it does not work as well in maintaining temperatures. The lower quality is due to the fact that this silk is made from irregular cocoons that are not of the same quality you would find in charmeuse silk.


Now that you know that mulberry silk is the very best silk.


If you have heard about something called “Momme Weight”, here will provide you with more info about it. Pronounced “mummy”, the momme weight is basically a measurement of the weight of the silk. This measurement was actually developed by the Japanese and is also used to measure things like pearls. To calculate the momme weight you need to measure a piece of fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. If this piece of fabric weighs 12 lbs then the momme weight of the fabric is 12. Obviously, this isn’t something you can do for yourself while out shopping, so be sure to check labels for the manufacturer’s listing.


The type of silk also helps determine the momme weight of the silk. For instance, habotai silk is usually only found with a momme weight of 5-15, while charmeuse silk can be anywhere from 12 to 30.


Ideally, here at Asilklife all of our beddings or pajamas are made with a momme weight of 19~22. You will barely see bedding/pajamas at a higher momme.


Hope you enjoy the knowledge of silk with us and hope the info will help you become a smart silk shopper.


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