Momme is a weight measurement in silk fabric, similar to thread count in cotton sheeting. Higher momme count silk is heavier with a denser weave and thicker individual silk fibers than lower momme count silk. Higher momme count silk is also more costly.
Here at Mulberry Park Silks, we believe it's a privilege to educate our clients about the many health and beauty benefits of sleeping on silk sheets and pillowcases. We love discussing tall things silk-related: why a silk pillowcase can be great for skin and hair; how silk bed linen can regulate body temperature; the different types of silk and what makes silk fibers special; various silk weaves, including charmeuse, and how they are used in bedsheets, pillowcases, and other silk products; and how to understand and interpret silk-specific terminology, such as the universal unit of silk measurement known as "momme." We consider it absolutely essential to our mission that our clients obtain the very best value for their dollar; and that means understanding what momme means in terms of both the quality and cost of silk fabric.
What is Momme in Silk?
Momme [mom-ee] is a Japanese word used as a unit of weight measurement for real silk. Momme, often abbreviated as mm, is defined as the weight in pounds of a piece of fabric sized 45 inches x 100 yards. That is an incredibly long piece of fabric -- about the length of a football field! To put it terms closer to the size of sheets: one momme equates to about 4.340 grams per square meter. Eight momme fabric weighs about 1 ounce per square yard or 35 grams per square meter.
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.
Momme (Weight) Ranges for Different Types of Silk Weaves
A quick look at the typical momme (mm) range for common weaves of pure silk can further clarify the meaning:
3 to 5 momme
4 to 6 momme
6 to 8 momme
Crepe de Chine
12 to 16 momme
12 to 30 momme (typically used in a silk pillowcase or sheets)
35 to 40 momme (this is very heavy silk with texture)
Anything under 20 momme is considered lightweight silk. 20 momme to 28 momme is considered midweight, with anything above 28 momme is categorized as heavy. When considering a specific weave or type of silk, higher momme is generally considered to be of better quality. Most silk sheets and bedding are made with charmeuse silk, a particular type of weave that allows extra luster and shine on the "front" of the fabric with a dull finish on the back. It is often used for items that don't require showcasing both front and back of the fabric, such as pillowcases, sheets, and duvet covers. Silk Charmeuse bedding made of 30 momme silk will be stronger, smoother, and have a richer luster than that made of 19 momme.
Momme Is Important: The Importance of Knowing the Weight of Your Silk Sheets and Pillowcases
Most silk bed linen -- sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers -- are made from mid-weight silk ranging between 18 momme and 30 momme. Knowing the momme of your silk sheets can help you choose the fabric weight to suit your style, comfort, and budget.
At Mulberry Park Silks, our silk pillowcases and sheets are made from 100% pure mulberry silk charmeuse in weights 19 momme, 22 momme, and 30 momme. The lighter 19 momme weight products include silk pillowcases and sheets; traveler/toddler pillowcases, crib sheets, and an extensive collection of pure silk head scarves, and scrunchies. This Charmeuse silk is soft, comfortable, and affordable.
At a heavier 22 momme weight, you will find pillowcases, silk sheets sold individually and in sets, duvet covers, and accessories such as a silk sleep mask and lavender aromatherapy eye pillow. These Charmeuse sheet sets are soft and lustrous, delivering indulgent comfort and a good night's sleep. For the ultimate in luxury, consider moving up to 30 momme weight pillowcases and sheets. Remember that as the momme count increases, the silk threads are woven more tightly; this makes the sheets more durable and luxurious to the touch. However, all our silk pillowcases and bedding can easily be machine washed (but please follow the washing instructions). In fact, you can even iron your silk sheets if need be!
Higher Momme Count Silk: The Advantages
As we mentioned, a 100% pure silk pillowcase or silk bed sheets with higher momme are likely to be of superior quality. As with higher thread count cotton sheets, silk bedding with higher momme will be heavier, softer, and more durable. As the table below illustrates, higher momme means MORE silk is used.
Amount of silk used in pillowcase
vs. 19 momme
+16% more silk
+32% more silk
+58% more silk
Pure Silk: Many Benefits for Hair and Skin
It's important to note, however, that pure mulberry silk sheets and pillowcases have wonderful benefits for skin, hair, and health regardless of momme. Along with being the ultimate in luxury, silk redefines the term "beauty sleep" for hair and skin as well as overall wellness:
- Silk tames "bed head." If you wake with a head full of tangles, it's likely due to friction from your cotton pillowcase. Silk pillowcases let your hair glide across their surface instead of snagging, no matter how much you toss and turn. You'll get a new morning look: smoother, silkier, and tangle-free. Silk also protects fragile or newly regrown hair from breakage.
- Silk keeps hair and skin moisturized. Cotton is absorbent and pulls moisture from hair and skin while you sleep. Silk is protein-based and helps hair and skin retain precious moisture.
- Silk minimizes "sleep wrinkles." Cotton pillowcases tug and pull at delicate facial skin, leaving it creased and wrinkled. Over time, those lines can become permanent. Silk greatly reduces that friction; minimizes the incidence of sleep wrinkles; and slows the damage they cause.
- Silk helps regulate body temperature. When you sweat, silk wicks away moisture and keeps you cool. In cold weather, silk creates a thin insulated layer that maintains warmth. It's the ideal fabric for year-round comfort.
- Silk is healthful. Silk is hypoallergenic and non-irritating. It's gentle on even the most sensitive or acne-prone skin. Silk is also naturally resistant to mold, dust, and mites.
- Silk is luxurious. No fabric on earth can compare to the look, comfort, and indulgent feel of silk. This has been the case with silk for centuries. Sleeping on silk is a luxury like no other.
With that said, higher momme sheets are more densely woven, which means a greater concentration of silk thread; a richer luster; and an overall softer feel. We believe they are a worthwhile investment in your health, beauty, and sleep!
Does High Momme Silk Bedding Require Special Care?
With silk being a luxury fabric, you may be wondering whether silk bedding requires special care. The good news is this: Mulberry Park Silks charmeuse bedding--even items in our heaviest momme weight--can easily be washed at home with just a little additional care.
Follow these recommendations for machine washing your momme silk sheets and pillowcases:
- Use a special silk-only detergent like this one from Heritage Park. Wash your bedding in a silk-only load.
- Turn your silk pillowcase inside out, and place it in a fine mesh laundry bag. Your flat sheet and fitted sheet should also be placed in their own individual mesh laundry bags to protect against damage from inside your machine.
- Add the proper amount of detergent and run your machine on a delicate or silk cycle. Learn more about washing machine cycles here. Never use fabric softener on pure silk.
- Hang your silk to dry indoors or outside away from direct sunlight (which can cause your silk items to fade).
- You do not need to iron silk bedding; simply put it on the bed and smooth it by hand and the wrinkles will release over a day or two. However, you can iron silk if you would like, using the lowest setting on your iron and taking extra care not to burn the fabric. Follow these guidelines for ironing silk without ruining it.
Find the Best Quality and Value at Mulberry Park Silks
When it comes to silk, quality is everything. At Mulberry Park Silks, we believe that while fine silk is costly, you never need to overpay. We welcome the opportunity to share why our silk products are the best in the marketplace and a wonderful value:
- You get the finest silk. All of our products are made from 100 percent, long-strand mulberry silk, which is widely recognized as the finest on Earth. Our Grade 6A silk from cocoons of a specific species of silkworm -- Bombyx mori -- whose diet consists of mulberry leaves. The environment of these silkworms is carefully controlled and monitored to allow the larvae to spin threads finer, smoother, and more consistently colored than any other.
- You get the safest silk. While silk is naturally hypoallergenic, we have taken an extra step toward trust and safety. All fabric used for our sheets, pillowcases, and accessories has been OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) to be free of chemicals. This global testing and accreditation program sets the standards for the screening of harmful substances in consumer textiles and ensures that the silk products that you bring into your home are safe, natural and healthy.
- You work with a reputable company. Mulberry Park Silks is a luxury silk bedding and accessory company, Our showroom is open to the public and we are located in Branford, Connecticut. Our design and quality control teams are on site and available to answer customer questions, offer recommendations, and resolve issues in real time.