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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » What is the 'normal' momme weight (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Genghis
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Regular user
Derby UK
180 Posts

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Is there a 'standard' momme weight for magician's silks? If I were to buy 'normal' silks from a magic supplier what momme are they likely to be?

Is anyone noted for selling thinner (or thicker?) silks than the norm?

Does all this make sense? Smile

Thanks
Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Hi Genghis:

I think that the majority of silks are 4 or 5 momme weight. This would generally include the silks you get from places like Lock Family and Japanese dealers. Silk King Studios and P&A Silks sell 8 momme weight, and Richard Hughes sells a number of weights, going even higher than 8 momme.

There are some experts here at the Café who'll be able to correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, but I'm pretty sure the information I'm giving is accurate.

Ron
Regan
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Inner circle
U.S.A.
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I use mostly 6 momme and 8 momme, but I have some 5 momme also.

I am sure Bob Sanders and/or Richard Hughes will see this and tell you exactly what is available. Either can tell you all you need to know about silk!

Regan
Mister Mystery
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Unfortunately, momme has nothing to do with "thicker or thinner". Nor is it related to opacity. Opacity would relate to thread count except that silk is not rated for thread count. Momme strickly relates to scale weight. It is also unrelated to quality. Sorry! (Example: a pair of socks and a t-shirt can have the same weight of materials in them but nothing else in common.)

From my information, most art silks (Silk King, P&A, etc.) are done on 6 momme silk. That has more to do with the source of the silk being Japan than anything else. Prior to Harold Rice's death, it was illegal to import Chinese silk. Today the better silk comes from China. (Currently I am working on a proposal to sell Chinese silk in Japan! The RFP or Request for Proposal came from Japanese investors.)

In my years in the import business (since 1969) the lightest weight I have ever seen for export was 3 momme. At the other end I have seen silk carpet. For printing purposes from Japan and only from Japan, artists like 6 momme. However, what they really want is uniformity which momme doesn't measure at all. (Uniformity helps keep colors consistant.)

Using momme to choose silk for magic is like using car tire size to choose your tooth paste. It's not much help.

Nearly all of the silk used today for magic is 5 momme from China or India. But there are very wide variations in the qualities of 5 momme silks. (Just like there are a lot of 15" automobile tires. But they can be very different from each other in quality and performance.)

The best method is still expert eyes. Today good hems often cost more than the silk cloth. Look for very small (2mm) straight hems on very square silks with good corners. Wide hems usually mean homemade on cheaper machines not suited to silk. Serger hems (look like the edges of a wash cloth) usually mean cheap is more important than quality.

For a point of reference, the difference in price of raw 5 momme and 6 momme silk is about $.20/ square foot. Again that is because it has nothing to do with quality or workmanship.

Look at the silk yourself and buy from people you trust.

Personal advice from a silk importer who is also a stage magician: if you aren't buying the silk for the characteristics of silk (float, color under lights, sheerness, compressibility, strength, long life, etc.), buy something cheaper. There is no reason to use real silk for a zombie cloth. By the time you make it not float, heavy and totally opaque, the benefits of silk are gone.

Is that over-kill?

Enjoy your silk magic.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
Genghis
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Regular user
Derby UK
180 Posts

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Thanks for the help Bob. I'd like to say that clears it all up - and to some extent it does but I'm still left with the problem of not knowing which silks to buy right now. My queries are aimed at finding the right silks for the first few effects I wish to do.

In particular, I'm practicing a colour change very similar to Martic Lewis' Sucker Silk. My Dye Tube won't comfortably take the 16" and 17" silks which I have so I'm having to use 12" silks which work beautifully. However, I have the impression that bigger silks look so much better (and also cover gimmicks easier!) Hence I'm looking for silks which compress better. I could use some Palmos which I have but find the Dye Tube very much easier to handle.

I was hoping someone would tell me where to buy the silks I need after considering my needs. Compressibility is my main requirement and longevity is bottom of the list. The U.S. is probably the best place to buy from right now with the exchange rate being very favourable at the moment. At least, providing the order is substantial, making the shipping costs of little consequence.

I can't really afford to buy from everyone and choose the best. If I were a professional, this would make most sense but I'm not - hence I'm looking to the experienced guys for advice. All this info is gradually sinking in

Anyway, thanks for the help and in the modern Engish parlance ... Big up dude! Smile

Cheers.
ChrisG
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Elite user
Batavia, Ohio
448 Posts

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Bob
Since you brought it up, is there a type of machine that you would recommend? What about the hemmer foot?
ChrisG
"Consensus is the negation of Leadership"

M. Thatcher
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20494 Posts

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Chris,

Asian technlogy has passed us by.

The closest we can get is to find someone who makes fine lingere by machine. The hems still won't be in the same league. American machines aren't setup to make the hot creases first. (Look at the crease down the fronts of good suit pants. That is the secret to tiny strong straight hems.)

Bob
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
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