Are My Black Stitches Dissolvable?

Written, Edited, and Reviewed by Dr David Chen.

Unfortunately, black stitches are NOT dissolvable because they’re made of an organic and natural material called silk. The silk sutures are non-dissolving and non-absorbable which means you will need to have them removed by your doctor who placed them.

Black stitches - unwound
Silk – black braided sutures

We will explain in greater detail about why that is the case and what it means for you.

Are black stitches dissolvable?

The black stitches or rather silk sutures, are made of a natural material that does not dissolve. If you have any doubts about it, simply look at the box label of any of the black sutures and see what it has to say about its dissolvability.

The images above are from three different brands and manufacturers of the black sutures and they are ALL made of silk. As you can clearly see, they are dyed a dark black color.

Dolphin suturesnon-dissolvable
Vital suturesnon-dissolvable
LOOK suturesnon-dissolvable
Dissolvability of different brands of silk sutures

The table above provides a list of the various brands and a reference to what they specifically have to say about whether or not their black sutures are resorbable.

FOSmedic - silk suture specifications
FOSmedic – silk suture specifications

In summary, black dissolvable stitches do not exist. They are all non-dissolving and non-absorbable, which means they will need to be removed.

Black stitches - silk

Why black sutures don’t dissolve

Black stitches don’t dissolve because they’re made of an organic material called silk. Yes, it is the same exact silk as what your clothing are made of.

silk scarfs
Credit: GoodSoftGoods

Items made of silk:

  • Shirts
  • Suits
  • Blouses
  • Scarfs
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Tapestry

From your own personal experience as well as ours, we all know that these silk items will NOT break down on their own. That means there is a zero percent chance that your body will be able to dissolve it and absorb it.

It would be terrible if the silk clothing you were wearing started to dissolve throughout the day. That would be a shame but fortunately, they don’t do that so you can rest assured.

Black stitches unboxing video

If you wanted definitive proof, we’ve created an unboxing video of black stitches. We’ll read the labels to you and show you what these sutures looks like.

Key points:

  • These black colored stitches are made of silk.
  • Label specifically says they are non-absorbable.

How it compares to dissolvable stitches

The primary reason why the black ones don’t dissolve is due to the material that they’re made of. You can compare them to chromic gut sutures which are a commonly used dissolvable stitch for wisdom teeth.

The chromic gut sutures come in a yellow/gold color and they’re made of an all natural organic material. The gut sutures are mainly composed of collagen but they’re made from the guts of ruminant animals (cows, sheeps, goats). Since they’re basically made of food, our body can break it down, dissolve it and absorb it.

Black stitchesYellow/Gold stitches
Material TypeNatural/OrganicCollagen
Fast Absorbing Surgical Gut Suture (Plain)
Chromic Gut

The same principles hold for all of the other non-absorbable sutures vs other absorbable ones.

Does the color affect it’s dissolvability?

The color of the sutures technically do not affect whether or not they can dissolve. However, Most of the sutures are dyed to be a certain color for ease of identification.

It seems like manufacturers have an agreed upon color scheme for different suture materials and their dye color. We do have a full guide on what the color of dissolvable stitches tend to be as well as the color of non-dissolvable stitches.

But to answer your question, if you see black it most likely will stay there until your doctor removes them.


If you currently have black stitches somewhere on your body, they will not dissolve. They are most likely made of an organic material called silk which is the same as your expensive clothing. As we all know, they don’t melt while we wear them.

Ultimately, black dissolvable stitches do not exist so if you have them, you should give your doctor a call and ask them when your suture removal appointment is. You’re going to need them to be removed once they’ve served their purpose of closing up your wound after whatever surgical procedure you had done.

Not to throw a wrench in all of this but everything that we’ve said is kind of a white lie… For all intents and purposes black silk stitches are labeled as non-dissolvable but its a story for another day.


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Our purpose at afterva, is to encourage you to seek in person care with a doctor. It's not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. Each situation is unique and that makes it impossible to diagnose and treat without a clinical exam.

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