What is a Momme (mm)?
The weight, and therefore thickness, of silk fabrics is classified by the Chinese system of mommes, pronounced mummy (mom-ee), and normally shortened to ‘mm’. The metric equivalent of 1 momme is 4.3g per square metre. A small Pongee scarf (10 mommmes) 28cm by 28cm (10in by 10in) weighs just under 13g. The higher the momme, the heavier the silk.
Types of Silk Fabric
We offer a range of undyed 100% silk fabrics, plus a number of silk mix fabrics. The lightest silk fabric is Gauze Chiffon 3.5mm and the heaviest is Noil Poplin 36mm. There is a silk based Velvet with viscose pile which lends itself well to devore, as does the silk/viscose Satin.
The two most popular silk fabrics for silk painting are Pongee silk and Habotai silk. They are both finely woven and have a high sheen. These silks are often referred to as plain silk or China silk. The silks are similar, Pongee silk being slightly more lightweight and translucent than the Habotai silk fabric. The silk paint is instantly absorbed into the smooth surface of the fabric and this can be controlled by first priming the fabric so that water colour on paper effects can be achieved.
The Chiffon silk fabric is light and airy and takes the colours from Acid dyes well. It is excellent for building layers in embroidery and can be used as a base in Nuno feltmaking.
Crepe de Chine silk fabric is woven using high twist yarns with a ‘Z’ twist on the warp and an ‘S’ twist on the weft. It has a high sheen and an excellent drape and is probably the most luxurious fabric for making wedding dresses and other special items of clothing.
The fabrics are sold by the metre and there are also a range of ready-hemmed scarves, ties and cushion covers. The Habotai silk, Chiffon and Velvet are also available in black. Black silks can be effective when used with discharge pastes and discharge acid dyes.
The print-on, paper backed silk can be used with images from scanned photos, digital cameras, web pages, clip art, paint and draw programs and photo CDs. The prints are hand washable, very light fast and retain suppleness. If you prefer to prepare your own fabrics for printing, use Bubble Jet Set 2000. This product can used for any finely woven natural fabric, such as cotton and silk.