Till date, silk continues to be the most valuable fabric in the world. With the magical ability to fit and flatter all body types, silk has always been associated with luxury and royalty. But with more and more silk-like fabrics appearing in the market, it can get difficult to distinguish between real silk and artificial silk especially for the untrained eyes. So how would you determine if your silk fabric is genuine or artificial? Not to worry! Just as there are endless ways to flaunt your attractive silk saree, there are a number of ways to test the fabric. Certified agencies offering textile testing services conduct detailed analysis of a given fabric to educate the customer about its quality. Following are a few simple tips to discern the quality of silk.
Great things come at a great price
As we have said earlier, silk is a premium fabric which is associated with luxury and luxury can never be cheap! Just like the saying – All that glitters is not gold, similarly all that looks like real silk is not silk. Real silk is an expensive fabric and at least ten times the price as much as synthetics fabrics to produce. You would always find a ‘Silk Mark’ tag on the genuine silk fabric which is tested by a textile testing laboratory.
Luster of Genuine Silk is Second to None
Produced from the cocoons of silkworms, silk fabric is renowned for its lustre. Silk holds a special significance across the globe and pure silk sarees always stand out from the rest. Besides giving a captivating feel to the wearer, silk is known for its characteristic shine. The surface has a shine that appears to change its colour as the angle of light on it changes. Flattering isn’t it? Synthetic fabrics lack the silky shine and will always appear white in all kinds of lighting conditions.
Pattern Reflects on Both the Sides
Printing (not the same as woven pattern) on silk fabric is an art. You will always see an outline of the pattern on the reverse side with the real print on the outer side. Such an outline will be missing on synthetic fabrics as it would contain digital printing.
Irregular weave surface
Silk can be genuine and hand-woven or machine-woven. Both types of silk are different in its quality and make. If you closely observe the design pattern of genuine silk, you can find very minor variations and imperfections in weave. The real silk fabric will be slightly slubby than machine woven silk. The edges of weaving patterns in the machine-woven silk will be perfect and flawless.
Do a Burn Test
Another common method textile testing labs adopt to distinguish between raw silk and artificial silk is to do the burn test. Take a few threads of both types of fabric and subject them to flame using either a matchstick or a cigarette lighter.
Genuine silk will give out the smell of burning hair producing a black, powdery ash whereas a synthetic fabric will burn with a smell like burning plastic or burning paper. It will produce a blackish smoke and forms up a black ball of residue (not ash), produces black smoke.