Ethanediyl-N-hexadecyl-tri(sodium α-glycinate) (N-hexadecyl ED3A), which belongs to the chelating surfactants, was synthesized by three-step reactions in this study. The structure of the product was characterized by IR. The surface activity and the properties of N-hexadecyl ED3A as degumming agent were investigated. The IR spectra showed the characteristic bands corresponding to the stretching vibration of C-N, -COONa, and C-H groups. The critical micelle concentration (cmc) of N-hexadecyl ED3A was 0.249mmol•L-1, and the surface tension at the cmc (γcmc) of it was 33.03mN•m-1. This revealed that the surfactant had fairly low cmc and excellent surface activity. Lower dosage of N-hexadecyl ED3A showed as good result as the conventional soap in silk degumming process, and the degumming result was also excellent without adding the chelating dispersant.