What is Momme?

What is Momme?Momme (often abbreviated to mm) is a way of measuring the weight of silk. Coming from the Japanese word and pronounced like ‘mommy’, t

What is Momme?

Momme [mom-ee] (often abbreviated to mm) is a way of measuring the weight of silk. Coming from the Japanese word and pronounced like ‘mommy’, this is a much more efficient way than using thread count. Since a single silk thread is only 1/10th the thickness of a human hair, thread count is not the best way to identify the quality of silk. This makes measuring the weight a much more reliable method. 

Measuring the weight of silk in momme is a traditional method based on the imperial system, which weighs a piece of silk fabric 45 inches wide and 100 yards long (Roughly 114 centimetres x 90 metres). If this piece of fabric weighs 19lb, then the momme would be 19. 

The higher the momme grade, the more silk is used due to the threads being tightly woven together. This is why lower momme silk appears more transparent, whereas higher momme silk appears more dense and opaque. 

The higher the momme, the heavier and denser the weave will be. During the process of silk production, the silk factory will adjust the density and yarn count of the silk thread to control the weight -- or momme -- of the fabric. With 30 momme charmeuse pillowcase, for example, the weft and warp of the silk fibers are woven closer together than they would be for a 19 momme charmeuse pillowcase. Higher momme silk fabrics are also made with thicker yarn. In this way, momme is similar to thread count, which is commonly used to measure the weave of cotton sheets.

Which Quality of Momme Should I Buy?

It's common to assume that the highest momme grade is the best, as it has the highest silk content. This is a false assumption, as the quality of momme depends on the silk product being purchased. 

For example, if you’re looking for a silk pillowcase, a momme count between 19-22 is ideal. Anything higher may feel stiffer and less comfortable for delicate facial skin, whereas anything lower will increase friction which is detrimental to skin and hair health.

This range of momme is also ideal for silk pyjamas, eye masks, and hairbands.

Higher momme count is great for throws and blankets, as the heavier silk is extremely soft and able to keep you warm. Some people may also prefer this weightier and softer feel on their bedding.

Alternatively, lower momme count silk such as chiffon makes for a beautiful and flowing material that can be used in scarves, hair scrunchies, toddler blankets and more. 

Why Is Momme So Important In Silk?

The silk's momme count gives you an idea of how durable the silk is. The higher the momme silk weight, the thicker the fabric, the better the quality of the silk pillowcase. This means that your silk pillowcase can deal with heavy-duty washing, letting you enjoy your silk products for years to come.

How Do You Weigh Momme? 

You can determine the momme weight of silk per 100 yards. A piece of silk material will normally be 45 inches at 100 yards, with the entire calculation commonly identified in pounds. Let’s say we have a piece of silk that measures 45 inches at 100 yards. If it weighs 22 pounds, the momme weight would be 22 momme.

Does a Higher Momme Require Higher Maintenance?

Silk is a naturally durable fabric, though to keep it in good condition it is important to follow the care instructions provided. Higher momme silk is more durable and resilient to washing due to its density and tighter weaving. 

The good news is that it doesn’t require any extra maintenance. Although to ensure that you keep your silk in pristine condition, you can always take high quality silks to professional dry cleaners. You can read our full guide to caring for your silk if you are unsure. 

What are the Common Ranges of Momme Measurements?

To gain a further understanding of this opulent material, it’s good to know what ranges to look out for. If the momme is not listed but a name is given, you can typically assume that the momme should be within the following ranges. 

Gauze silk - a very lightweight silk between 3 and 5 momme. It is extremely delicate and often used in scarves.

Organza - this is usually between 4-6 momme. Often used similarly to gauze silk to form part of a garment.

Habotai - used in clothing such as shirts and blouses, the range is usually between 8-16 momme.

Chiffon - this is a common form of silk and a familiar word in the fashion industry. Seen in many types of clothing, chiffon is usually between 6-8 momme.

Crepe de Chine - usually between 12-16 momme, this is often found in clothing.

Charmeuse - between 12-30 momme, this material is smooth and soft. Commonly found in bedding and some types of clothing.

Raw Silk - between 35-40 momme, this is a very heavy silk often used in blankets and throws.


Please contact us via [email protected] if you have any suggestions on this page.

You may also like

Leave a message
Leave a message