Different Silk Fabrics Hand Feel - Tips To Choose Silk (2024)

Published In March 4th, 2024 by Caitlyn

Silk, a textile made from cocoon, has fascinated people for centuries. There are many different silk fabrics hand feels. Most of them are soft and breathable. More than two thousand years ago, as Rome entered an era of peace and abundance under the reign of Emperor Augustus, silk, a symbol of wealth and prestige, found its market in all the cities of the Roman Empire. In this article, we will discuss the feel of various silk fabrics, so stay tuned!

Table of Contents

The fascination with silk textiles - Brief Introduction of Silk Fabrics Hand Feel

Silkworms and the silk production process

The fascination with silk comes from the humble silkworm pupa, which is 100% natural. These tiny creatures spin exquisite cocoons with consummate skill, laying the foundation for producing luxurious fabrics. From cocoon to loom, the silk production process forms the basis for the unique characteristics of this fiber.

The impact of silk feel: Factors Affecting feel

The environment and eating habits of the silkworm play an essential role in the texture of silk. Factors such as climate, feeding habits, and harvesting methods influence the feel of the fiber, creating a sensation that varies across different types of silk.

At the same time, different weaving methods also determine the feel of silk. Other weaving methods can turn silk into different fabrics, including silk satin, silk twill, silk habotai, silk twill, silk chiffon, etc.

silk-twill-hand-feels

Explore the different types of silk

Overview of popular silk varieties

Silk Satin

  • Thickness: 12/14/16/19/22 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: 94cm/114cm/140cm (37"/45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk satin, or silk charmeuse, is a smooth, shiny, densely woven fabric with a glossy satin texture on the front and a matte texture on the back. Silk satin has a pleasing drape, soft hand feels, smooth surface, wrinkle resistance, and durability. However, silk satin also has disadvantages; its shrinkage rate is relatively high, and the gloss will not be so shiny after washing. It is mainly used in pillowcases, scrunchies, headbands, and scarves.

Silk Twill

  • Thickness: 12/14/16/18 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: 94cm/114cm/140cm (37"/45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk twill is 100% silk and manufactured in a uniform twill or wales weave. Silk twill may vary in hand feels, from soft and drapey to heavy. Printing on silk twill is a great option to show a bright and clean picture. That's why Hermès chooses heavy silk twill as the fabric for silk scarves.

Silk Crepe De Chine

  • Thickness: 12/14/16 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: 114cm/140cm (45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk crepe de chine is a crepe-like silk fabric. During weaving, the silk is woven with highly twisted yarns, so the surface of the fabric is slightly uneven after being printed. Silk crepe de chine has a lightweight, dense, breathable, and anti-wrinkle performance, which makes it relaxed and comfortable to wear. Silk CDC is used for evening or bridal dresses, scrunchies, shawls, and scarves.

Silk Chiffon

  • Thickness: 8/10 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: Fabric Width: 114cm/140cm (45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk chiffon is a dignified, semi-transparent fabric with a gauze-like texture. Chiffon has the features of lightness, softness, and brightness. Silk chiffon is widely used for bridesmaids' covers and scarves; it is also a popular fabric for painting or dyeing.

Satin-Silk-Fabrics-Hand-Feel

Silk Habotai

  • Thickness: 8 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: Fabric Width: 114cm/140cm (45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk habotai is a thin fabric whose surface is crepe-free and light. Two sides of the silk habotai are the same: no strong reflection, just a faint hazy luster, a little like the luster of silk satin. The shrinkage rate is around 5% — the silk habotai suits make linings, worship flags, and scarves.

Silk Georgette

  • Thickness: 8/10 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: Fabric Width: 114cm/140cm (45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk georgette is a crepe-style fabric with a semi-sheer appearance and a matte finish. The silk surface is densely covered with some tiny holes. The texture is light and thin, elegant and transparent, soft to the touch, and breathable. The shrinkage rate is generally 10 to 12%. It is widely used in evening dresses, scarves, and headwraps.

Silk Stretch Satin

  • Thickness: 16/19 Momme (What is Momme?)

  • Fabric Width: Fabric Width: 114cm/140cm (45"/55")

  • Hand-Feeling: Silk stretch satin is perfect for pajamas, robes, and dresses. It is a smooth, shiny, densely woven fabric with a glossy satin texture on the front and a matte texture on the back. Silk satin has a pleasing drape, soft hand feels, a smooth surface, wrinkle resistance, and, what's essential, stretchability. However, silk stretch satin also has weaknesses; its shrinkage rate is relatively high, and the gloss will not be so shiny after machine washing.

Silk is a texturally versatile fiber that presents itself in different guises. From the luxurious sheen of silk satin to the lightness of silk chiffon, each type of silk reveals an extra dimension of feel.

cocoon-for-silk-fabric

Consumer guide: choosing silk based on feel

How to evaluate and select silk fabrics based on feel

Become a silk connoisseur as we guide you through choosing the perfect silk. Learning to recognize the nuances of touch will enable you to select a silk fabric that matches your tactile preferences.

  • Silk Scarf: UR Silk recommends 12,14, or 16-momme silk satin, 14, 16, or 18-momme silk twill for silk scarves. Luxury brand Hermès uses 18 momme silk twill for their scarves - because it feels so good!

 

  • Silk Pillowcases: UR Silk recommends using silk satin for silk pillowcases, and at least 16 momme or thicker, as the fabric needs to be soft and smooth against the skin. If you need an embroidered pillowcase, please use 19 momme and above.

 

  • Silk Sleepwear: silk stretch satin and silk satin are the perfect fabrics for silk pajamas, and to make silk pajamas even more durable, UR Silk recommends using a 19 momme thick or thicker fabric. Using satin fabrics will make you more comfortable to wear, and you won't want to take them off!

 

The feel of silk compared to cotton, polyester, and other fabrics

Different fabrics have different feels, and the feel of silk stands out as unrivaled compared to cotton, polyester, and other fabrics. Contrasting the soft, relaxed feel of silk with the firmness of cotton and the synthetic feel of polyester reveals the unparalleled luxury woven into silk fibers.

silk-woven-machine

Technological advances to enhance the touch of silk

Technology has enabled a more diverse range of silks in the age of innovation. Advances in fabric processing and weaving techniques have enhanced the tactile properties of silk, making it even more luxurious.

Caring for silk: maintaining the feel

Maintaining the tactile integrity of silk requires a great deal of care during the washing process. From hand washing in cool water to avoiding strong detergents, we reveal best practices to ensure your silk retains its original appeal.

You can also read the following articles to see more details on silk care:

How to Care for Silk

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