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High quality vs low quality silk

Published: 07/08/14 04:21 AM

Silk has a reputation of being the premier luxury fabric. The fabric has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history and till this day remains the fabric of choice for high-end applications. Silk as a fabric is very versatile and encompasses every good trait that a truly high quality fabric should have. Silk Fabric’s high quality can be illustrated through its many uses including, but not limited to, high-end men’s suits and women’s dresses, breathtaking home décor, lavish drapes, posh upholstery, and more.

So what really defines a high quality silk? Since each silk fabric is known for its particular trait and no two types of silks are the same, the first distinction stems from the difference between a cultivated silk and a wild silk. Cultivated silk is produced from a domestic worm, normally bombyx mori, and due to its domestic roots, is very soft to touch and is of brilliant white color. Wild silk, on the other hand, can be a bit coarse and has its natural, usually beige, color. Cultivated silk also has a bright luster that is not present in the wild silk.

The second important factor that distinguishes high quality from low quality silk is that the momme count (pronounced "mummy" count) of a fabric. This number should not be less than 12. Momme is a special weight measurement used for high quality fabrics and is used to indicate the heft and weight of the fabric. Higher momme weight means that more silk was used in the production of the fabric.

The last important factor is the thread count of the fabric. The thread count should generally be greater than 400. Both higher momme weight and thread count show the durability of the silk fabric.

At JRB we carry only the highest quality silk fabrics. Some of our silks -- our brocades for example -- take a weaver almost 2 days to weave a single yard due to their high thread count and intricate details. We advise exercising caution when purchasing high-end textiles as not all fabric is the same.

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