Mulberry Silk vs. Charmeuse Silk: Which is Best for You?

The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed comparison of mulberry silk and charmeuse silk fabrics.

As someone who loves silk clothing and other luxury products made from silk, I understand the importance of choosing the right type of silk for your needs.

My goal is to outline the key characteristics of each silk variety below so you can determine which is best for your next purchase.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the differences between mulberry and charmeuse silks.

You’ll know how they compare in terms of texture, durability, drape, hair benefits, clothing properties, care requirements, and cost.

With this knowledge, you can select the silk fabric that aligns best with your budget, lifestyle, climate, and intended use. Let’s dive in!

blue and white mulberry silk fabric

What is Mulberry Silk?

Mulberry silk pieces come from the Bombyx mori silkworm, which feeds exclusively on the leaves of mulberry trees. Here are the basics:

  • Produced by cultivating silkworms and unraveling their fine cocoons
  • Shines with a natural golden tint
  • Known for its luxurious smoothness, luster, and elegant drape
  • Strong and durable fabric
  • Used in high-end clothing, bedding, upholstery, and accessories

Key Properties:

  • Smooth, soft, and flexible
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Excellent heat regulation
  • Subtle natural sheen
  • Long-lasting with proper care

Mulberry silk is most commonly found in:

  • Luxury clothing like dresses, blouses, and robes
  • High-thread count bed sheets and pillowcases
  • Blankets, duvets, and sleeping bags
  • Undergarments and loungewear
  • Scarves, ties, and other accessories
  • Upholstery and curtains

Now let’s explore charmeuse silk.

black mulberry silk fabric bundle

What is Charmeuse Silk?

Charmeuse silk has a luxurious satin-like finish and an extra lustrous shine. Here’s an overview:

  • Constructed from finely woven silk threads
  • Lightweight sheer fabric with a crepe back
  • Smooth and stretchy with a luminous drape
  • Used to make elegant flowing garments

Key Properties:

  • Delicate sheer appearance
  • Satin-like sheen on front, crepe back
  • Smooth and stretchy hand feel
  • Gorgeous drape and flow
  • Wrinkles easily

Typical uses for charmeuse silk include:

  • Flowing dresses and gowns
  • Lingerie like slips, robes, nightgowns
  • Blouses and tops
  • Evening clutches and handbags
  • Hair scarves and accessories
  • Decorative throw pillows

Now that we’ve covered the basics of each silk type, let’s compare them head-to-head.

green and white mulberry silk yardage

Comparing Mulberry Silk and Charmeuse Silk Fabric

Here’s how these two premium silk fabrics stack up against each other in key categories:

CategoryMulberry SilkCharmeuse Silk
Texture and FeelSmooth, soft, lightweight. Gentle on skin.Ultra-smooth with a supple drape. Stretches more than mulberry silk.
Durability and LongevityVery durable. Resists pilling, tearing. Lasts many years.More delicate. Shows wear sooner. Wrinkles easily.
Weight and DrapeLightweight with subtle drape. Holds shape well.Lightweight with gorgeous flowing drape. Moves beautifully.

Mulberry silk clearly excels when it comes to durability and resilience.

But charmeuse offers superior luxury aesthetics with its satiny sheen, liquid drape, and ability to skim gracefully over the body.

Understanding how mulberry silk differs from wild silk has been very helpful in my fabric choices.

green and beige mulberry silk fabric

Mulberry Silk vs. Charmeuse Silk for Hair

Both mulberry and charmeuse silk make wonderful fabrics for hair accessories and beauty products:

Mulberry Silk Benefits

  • Helps retain moisture in dry hair
  • Generates less friction and static
  • Minimizes hair breakage and damage
  • Leaves hair smooth and shiny

Charmeuse Silk Benefits

  • Lightweight for comfortable all-day wear
  • Adds luminous shine
  • Provides gentle compression to stimulate hair follicles
  • Smooth texture won’t snag hair

Recommendations by Hair Type

  • Dry/Damaged Hair: Mulberry silk is more hydrating and reparative
  • Fine Hair: Charmeuse won’t weigh hair down as much
  • Curly Hair: Mulberry minimizes frizz and friction
  • Thinning Hair: Charmeuse provides gentler scalp compression

Both perform well, but mulberry silk has more protective benefits for weak and damaged hair.

Now let’s explore using these luxurious silk fabrics in clothing.

green and beige mulberry silk textile

Mulberry Silk vs. Charmeuse Silk for Clothing

There are some key performance differences when it comes to wearing mulberry vs. charmeuse silk fabrics close to the skin:

Comfort and Breathability

  • Mulberry silk better regulates body temperature. More breathable.
  • Charmeuse silk can feel overly cool and clingy due to its delicate drape.

Aesthetic Appeal

  • Mulberry silk clothing drapes beautifully while maintaining structure.
  • Charmeuse silk has an ultra-feminine look with lots of movement.

Practicality and Care

  • Mulberry silk is easier to care for. Resilient to wrinkling and tearing.
  • Charmeuse silk requires delicate laundering and dries poorly on hangers.

Mulberry silk edges out charmeuse in clothing for its durability, care requirements, and breathability through warm weather.

But charmeuse makes a sensational special occasion fabric.

Next let’s talk budget.

blue and beige mulberry silk textile

Cost Considerations: Is Silk Charmeuse More Expensive?

When it comes to investment pieces, cost often matters. So which of these fine silks will drain your wallet faster?

Price Range Comparison

  • Mulberry Silk: $80−300 per yard
  • Charmeuse Silk: $40−150 per yard

Value Comparison

  • Mulberry Silk offers better cost per wear over time. More durable.
  • Charmeuse Silk is the more affordable option up front. Won’t last as long.

If you can afford quality mulberry silk, it represents far better long-term value with greater longevity and resilience per dollar spent.

But charmeuse offers an attractive entry point for lower budgets.

blue and beige mulberry silk texture

Which is Better: Charmeuse or Mulberry Silk?

After going through all the details, which of these fabulous silk fabrics should you choose? Here are some key conclusions:

  • Best Durability: Mulberry silk lasts significantly longer.
  • Best Luxury Look: Charmeuse silk provides gorgeous aesthetic appeal.
  • Best Hair Benefits: Mulberry silk protects and repairs hair better.
  • Best Clothing Comfort: Mulberry silk breathes better and resists wrinkles in garments.
  • Best Affordability: Charmeuse silk costs less up front.
  • Best Investment: Mulberry silk offers better long-term value and cost per use.

In summary: Mulberry silk excels on durability, comfort, hair benefits, and value. Charmeuse offers superior luxury aesthetics and drape at a more affordable price point.

I recommend mulberry silk for most apparel, bedding, and hair accessories because it lasts longer and provides more functionality per dollar.

Charmeuse makes an excellent choice for delicate lingerie, evening wear, and decorative items where its gorgeous look and movement take center stage.

I’ve found why mulberry silk is often preferred over cotton, and it might surprise you.

black mulberry silk fabric yard

Is mulberry or charmeuse silk better for sensitive skin?

Great question! Both mulberry and charmeuse silk tend to be quite gentle on sensitive skin. 

However, mulberry silk’s smooth and more breathable weave may be more comfortable for all-day wear.

I’d recommend trying both, but mulberry silk bedsheets and underlayers often prove ideal for those with sensitive skin thanks to the fabric’s softness, moisture-wicking properties, and reduced friction.

What is the price difference for a typical mulberry silk vs. charmeuse silk dress?

That depends on the designer and quality, but to compare apples to apples: a typical high-end mulberry silk cocktail dress retails for $500−$800, while a similar charmeuse silk style often ranges from $200−$400.

The price gap reflects mulberry silk’s higher-grade raw materials and increased labor involved in working with that exceptionally delicate fiber. But both offer gorgeous movement!

white mulberry silk cloth

Which silk fabric works better for curvy figures – mulberry or charmeuse?

Great question! While charmeuse silk’s gorgeous drape is certainly flattering, mulberry silk’s subtly heavier weight makes it better at holding structure in fitted silhouettes.

Charmeuse can pull and stretch across curves over time. And mulberry silk’s matte sheen and ability to skim body contours makes it more smoothing.

So if choosing between them, I’d go with mulberry silk to both flatter and durably dress curvier figures. That fiber has enough natural stretch for comfort, too!

Is mulberry or charmeuse silk more ethical and sustainable?

Excellent question! When it comes to ethical production, mulberry silk tends to have an advantage.

The traditional process allows silkworms to live full lifecycles and the cocoons are harvested once they are complete and vacant.

Charmeuse production is harder to regulate, with some unethical boiling of cocoons before metamorphosis.

Both fibers can be produced sustainably, but mulberry silk cultivation supports livelihoods without sacrificing silkworms.

I’d check for certifications from ethical mulberry silk suppliers. With mindful sourcing, both offer gorgeous sustainable luxury!

white mulberry silk textile

Which silk fabric – mulberry or charmeuse – is easier to sew at home?

When sewing garments at home, mulberry silk is generally easier to work with than delicate charmeuse.

Mulberry silk has a bit more body and stability, making it simpler to cut and handle.

The fabric doesn’t slip or wrinkle excessively during handling and retains structure well after sewing.

Charmeuse silk requires more precision and patience as its slippery, flowing drape makes it trickier to control through cutting and construction.

beige mulberry silk material


I hope this detailed side-by-side comparison empowers you to decide whether mulberry or charmeuse silk best fits your individual needs and budget.

Both create stunning fabrics for clothing, self-care, and home décor.

Mulberry silk represents a sound long-term investment while charmeuse offers an affordable entry point to experience silk’s sensual decadence.

As you begin exploring the world of silk products, consider trying both varieties to determine your personal preferences.

With proper care, you’ll enjoy your silk pieces for many years to come. And be sure to check my blog for more in-depth silk comparisons in the future!

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