Is Shantung Silk Expensive? The Truth About this Luxurious Fabric

If you’re looking for a luxurious fabric that will make you feel like a million bucks, shantung silk might be a perfect choice! This fabric is made from fine silk threads and has a beautiful sheen.

But is shantung silk expensive? Let’s take a closer look at this luxurious material and find out!

silkworm cocoons
Silkworm Cocoons. Credit: canva

Shantung Silk Fabric: What Is It?

It is a silk fabric with characteristic irregular ridges known as slubs. It’s a luxurious fabric made from high-quality silk threads and has a unique textured surface.

Like many silk fabrics, the texture is crisp, and its lightness causes it to drape elegantly. It is one of the thinnest forms of silk fabric on the market.

This fabric is often used to make high-end wedding dresses because it has a luxurious look and feels. It is also commonly used for making other garments, such as suits, blouses, and skirts.

Is Shantung Silk Real Silk?

Yes, it is an actual silk fabric. It is made from the same material as other types of silk, a protein fiber produced by certain silkworms to build their cocoons.

Shandong Silk

Shantung silk is a silk fabric originating in China’s Shandong province. This area was once known for its production of high-quality silk fabrics.

The first recorded use of the term “shantung” to describe a type of silk fabric dates back to the early 20th century. It became popular in the West during the 1920s when it was used to make fashionable garments.

What is Shantung Fabric Made of?

It is a unique type of silk made from fibers spun together from double cocoons. This gives the fabric a characteristic slubbed surface.

The fibers used to make are often thicker than those used to make other types of silk fabric, such as charmeuse or georgette. This makes it less smooth and more textured than different types of silk.

Is Shantung Silk Expensive?

shantung silk
Purple Shantung silk fabric. Credit: canva

Silk is One of the Most Expensive Fabrics in the World

High-quality silk fabric is one of the world’s most expensive textiles. This fabric can’t be speeded up or improved with pesticides or fertilizers, and industrial equipment can only enhance the efficiency of silk production to a minor extent.

Due to its unique texture, quality of silk, and limited availability, Shantung may be a bit more expensive than other types of silk fabric.

Shantung Silk is Not as Expensive as You Think

Many believe this fabric is pricey, but this isn’t the case. It turns out that the situation is precisely the opposite.

It is a kind of silk made from the cocoon’s fibers. As a result, it isn’t as pricey as you might believe. In reality, it’s one of the most often used and inexpensive silks available today.

JRB Silk Fabrics: Silk fabric price comparison

JRB Silk Fabrics is one of the largest silk suppliers in the silk industry. They have a large selection of beautiful and elegant silk fabrics, including dupioni silk, shantung silk, linen silk, and taffeta silk.

Let’s look at the pricing compared to other fabrics.

Price comparison

  • Silk Shantung solid: $52.95 per yard
  • Silk Dupioni solid: $49.95 per yard
  • Silk Taffeta solid: $99.95 per yard
  • Silk Linen solid: $89.95 per yard

So you can see here that it is expensive. But it is not the most expensive fabric compared to other silk fabrics.

What is the difference between taffeta and shantung?

Both taffeta and Shantung are made from silk, but there are some critical differences between them. Taffeta is a smooth, crisp fabric with a shiny surface.

Shantung is less smooth and has a more irregular texture due to the thicker fibers used to make it. It is often used for making garments such as wedding dresses and suits.

Heavy silk Taffeta is expensive silk. It is usually more costly because it is smoother and has a more consistent surface.

What is the difference between shantung and dupioni silk?

Shantung and dupioni silk are made from the fibers of two cocoons, giving them a distinct slubbed surface. However, there are some key differences between them.

Dupioni silk is heavier and more textured. It is also less expensive because it is not as smooth.

What’s the difference between shantung and linen silk?

Linen silk is made from the fibers of flax plants, while shantung is made from the fibers of two cocoons.

Linen silk is more expensive because it is made from natural materials. It is also softer and more breathable, so it tends to be better suited for summer clothing.

Shantung Material Types

embroidered silk
Embossed Shantung silk. Credit: canva

Based on Origin

There are a few different types and similar fabrics you should know about:


It is the actual silk fabric. As the traditional form of shantung fabric, it is still the most popular because of its hefty price tag and unusual appearance.


With the same woven appearance as traditional material, this fabric is synthetic fibers made of polyester or nylon.


This is a blend of natural fibers, including cotton and silk. The final product has the same woven appearance but is not as delicate.


Dupioni is also made from two cocoon fibers, giving it a distinct slubbed surface. It is a pretty stiff fabric, heavier, and more textured.

This Italian silk fabric has more distinct slubs, providing an even more irregular appearance.

Based on Weight

The density of the yarn determines the weight of the fabric. The Lightweight weighs around 180 grams per square meter; the heavy-weight comes in weights ranging from 250 to 600 grams per square meter.

Because they can endure dirt accumulation and scrub without losing their original look, lightweight is used in typical apparel, and heavier fabrics are used for upholstery and curtains.

Based on Design


It is the most basic form of Shantung. This primary yet beautiful material is ideal for formal and semi-formal events. It’s perfect for creating a sophisticated look worn with any outfit.


The embossed design gives it a distinct look from other types of silks. This style is ideal for any occasion because it combines elegance and comfort.

What Makes Silk Very Special?

shantung wedding dress
Silk wedding dress. Credit: canva

Silk is undeniably luxurious, yet it is also the most fragile textile. As a result, it’s critical to have something to protect your precious silk items from the weather.

The Natures of Silk

  1. Silk is hypoallergenic, so it doesn’t trigger allergies or skin irritation.
  2. It is luxurious-looking and durable and lasts a long time.
  3. Silk has a natural sheen that reflects light and makes the fabric shimmery; this offers another dimension to wearing silk.
  4. Silk is excellent in the summer and warm in the winter; it regulates your body temperature by absorbing heat when you are hot and releasing heat when you are cold, making it an ideal choice for all seasons of the year.
  5. The fabric is lightweight, so it’s not too heavy to wear; silk doesn’t wrinkle easily, so you don’t need to worry about ironing!

It’s All About the Silk Fabric’s Durability and Longevity

Silk as a fabric is not only luxurious but also durable. The durability of silk fabric comes from the material’s ability to withstand natural and artificial elements.

If you have a dress made out of silk, it will last for many years without any signs of wear and tear because there are many ways that silk is less likely to be damaged.

For example, it will not fade or yellow in the sun like other fabrics would when they get exposed to UV rays for long periods.

Silk is The Good Choice for Daytime Wear and Evening Activities

Silk is a fabric that is made from silkworm pupae. Silk is comfortable and light, and it has the capacity to feel great on the skin. It can be boiled to produce an inelastic material.

Silk can be worn for both daytime events and evening activities. Wearing silk during the daytime will make you feel fresh, comfortable, and elegant at the same time. Wearing silk for evening events will make you feel sleek, clean-cut, and stylish because of its lightweight material.

Silk attracts less dirt than other fabrics, so most of it is dry clean only. Silk doesn’t wrinkle easily; there are ways to dry and clean it without shrinking or damaging its texture or color. And that is a good choice for travelers who want something sophisticated yet easy to manage.

Silk is the Fabric of Wealth & Status in Ancient China & Japan

Silk fabrics were reserved for the rich and royalty because they were costly and time-consuming. In China, silk was a symbol of nobility and wealth with power. In Japan, silk was an expression of love from the Emperor to his subjects.

In ancient China, only those who could afford it wore silk robes. It was impossible to produce silk on a large scale like we do today. It had to be made painstakingly by hand, which took many months or even years to complete one garment.

The result was a fabric that cost more than its weight in gold – so much so that only the rich would wear it!

Care Instructions

How to Care

You can use the following steps:

  • Hang in direct sunlight to fade colors
  • Machine wash on a gentle, cold cycle
  • Bleach as needed
  • Iron while damp or dry with low heat
  • Dry clean as needed

How to Store

Silk fabric is delicate and needs careful handling. It should be stored away from sunlight, heat, and humidity.

It is best to store silk fabric in the following ways:

  • Please keep it in a drawer or cupboard with no direct sunlight.
  • Hang it up when not in use to stay flat and avoid creases.
  • Roll up the fabric loosely or fold it over itself while avoiding sharp folds.

Common Uses


It is often used for evening gowns, wedding dresses, and other special occasion garments.

The garment is an excellent choice that flows and subtly accentuates the curvature of the female body because of its lightweight and perfect drape.

Shantung is a sought-after fabric for silk shirts, vests, tailored pants, and even suit jackets in the field of menswear.

This type of silk was initially considered a type of raw material that professionals only used to make clothing like ties or evening gowns. However, now everyone can use it for everything.

Wedding Dress

Shantung has established a niche in the broader silk market by becoming popular among wedding gowns and certain types of formal menswear.

Its unique weave and slubbed texture create a delicate fabric that is dressy and informal, making it perfect for weddings, evening dresses, and other special occasions.

Create a Home Decor Item

When you want to sew a silk home decor item, such as a throw pillow cover, it is best to use a material that is lightweight, breathable and has a crisp feel.

This material has a somewhat rough texture. It comes in many colors and patterns, so it should not be difficult to find one that will match your décor. You can make silk pillows, bedding, curtains, and tablecloths.


What is polyester shantung?

It is a fabric made of polyester fibers woven into a shantung-style fabric. This fabric is often used in dresses, skirts, and blouses.

What does silk shantung look like?

It is a crisp, lightweight fabric with a slubbed texture. It often has a nubby appearance and is available in many colors and patterns.

What fabric is like silk but cheaper?

Rayon is a synthetic fabric that is made from wood pulp. It is often used as a cheaper alternative to silk because it has a similar feel and appearance. However, rayon is not as durable as silk and tends to wrinkle more easily.

Is Silk Expensive?

Silk is one of the more expensive types of fabric. The price varies depending on the quality of the silk, but it can be several times more expensive than other fabrics.

Shantung Fabric Characteristics

It usually has a rustic or homespun look and feels, with a noticeable texture and slubby yarns. It’s sometimes called “poor man’s silk” because of its similarity to silk but at a lower price point.

It is perfect for fall and winter garments, as it has a nice weight and can provide warmth. It drapes well and has a bit of a sheen, making it ideal for dresses, suits, skirts, and blouses.

Are Silk Shirts Expensive?

It depends on the quality of the silk and the brand. A good quality, 100% silk shirt can range in price from $100 to $300. Factors that Play into Price:

  • The weight, or thickness, of the silk fabric. The heavier the fabric, the more expensive it will be.
  • The type of silk fiber used. Some fibers are stronger and more durable than others so that they will be more expensive.
  • The design and details of the shirt. More intricate designs or details will increase the cost.
  • Where do you buy it? Department stores and high-end boutiques will charge more for their shirts than lower-priced retailers.

Chantung Silk

Chantung silk is a traditional Chinese fabric renowned for its beauty and durability. The fabric is made from the protein fibers of the bombyx mori caterpillar, and it has a distinctive glossy sheen.

Chantung silk has been used in China for centuries and remains an important part of today’s textile industry. The fabric is often used for garments, home furnishings, and other items that require a high-quality textile.

Where is Shantung?

Shantung is a province located in China. It’s known for its production of silk and its beautiful scenery and historic sites. It is a great place to visit if you’re interested in exploring Chinese culture and history.

What Is Shantung Material?

It is a silk fabric, typically made from a blend of silk and cotton. It has a soft, lustrous finish and is often used for making dresses, blouses, and suits. Shantung is durable and wrinkle-resistant, making it a popular choice for everyday wear.

Is Silk Fabric Expensive?

Yes, silk fabric is definitely on the more expensive side of fabrics. But there’s a good reason for that! Silk is one of the most luxurious and elegant fabrics you can use. It has a beautiful sheen and is incredibly soft to the touch.

Not to mention, it’s also very strong and durable – meaning it’ll last you a long time if you take care of it properly. Trust us; silk is definitely worth the investment!

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