About Momme and Hems

Posted on September 26 2018

About Momme and Hems

We want to let you in on a few silky secrets about our scarves, namely momme weight and hand rolled hems.

Why is thread count not used when talking about silk? Silk is an incredibly fine thread to begin with, and thread counts would be extremely high, regardless of the quality of the silk. So, for example, a low-quality silk may have a similarly high thread count to a high-quality silk. For this reason, silk uses an alternative system to measure quality, called momme weight.

What is momme weight? In simplest terms, momme weight describes the weight of 100 yards of silk, 45 inches wide, in pounds. So, if a fabric is listed with a momme weight of 8mm, it means that 100 yards of the fabric weighs 8 pounds. Many silk dresses and other silk clothing items will be around 8mm in weight. Higher quality silks tend to be 14, 15 or 16mm or higher. The best Silk bedding is 19mm or 19 pounds in weight per 100 yards.

What is the range of momme weight available? Silk generally falls into a range of 6 momme on the lower side to a maximum weight of 30 momme. For bedding, silk with a 19 momme weight is generally considered to provide the best balance of strength, aesthetics and affordability.

In comparison, we at Mantua only use 14 momme silk for our scarves. Anything below 10 mommies would be very thin and inferior.

Does momme weight affect the opacity of silk? While a higher momme weight silk will be more opaque than a lower momme weight silk, silk in general is a semi-transparent fabric. When deciding on colour, remember that dyed silk will be more opaque as the dye will stop light from passing through the fabric, while white silk will be less opaque.



Basic Rolled Hem

Our scarves are usually hand hemmed with a basic rolled hem: This type of hem is most often used on very lightweight and delicate fabrics, like chiffon, lightweight veils, especially silk, more often than anything else.




When hemming in this manner, several stitches are worked at one time and then gently pulled so the thread is straight. With very lightweight fabrics this will cause the fabric to naturally roll into position.

Here is a nice video to show you the technique:

Machine hemming is much faster but the hem is always visible.



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