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You are in love with silk- the queen of all fabrics, and you would like to invest in some genuine pieces. Unfortunately, all the sarees out there with pricey tags that claim to be ‘silk’, might not really be. So how do we tell the real ones from the fake?
Let's check out some of the Wiki How methods:
1 TOUCH test
This is a quick spot test that one can do especially before buying a silk saree. The idea is to rub the silk with your hands. If you feel warmth on rubbing it, go buy it! It’s real. With artificial or synthetic silk, it is impossible to experience warmth on rubbing. One more thing, real silk sounds like walking on fresh snow. If you don’t know how that is supposed to sound like, go figure!
Our Conclusion: This does not work. Actually any material will get warm when rubbed. And how can you figure the sound of walking on fresh snow if you live in a tropical country like we do?
2 WEDDING RING Test
If the silk that you are planning to buy is not very heavy, this test is perfect! Genuine silk of lower ply can be easily threaded and pulled through a wedding ring because silk is naturally flexible and smooth. On the other hand, artificial silks would scrunch up and would be impossible to pull through.
We did this test ourselves: 90x90cm GISY silk twill (16 mommes) scarves actually quite easily pulled through a 16mm ring.
And here are the scarves made through the test (click on picture to see more details):
However, an artificial silk scarf small enough (i.e 50cm) may still pass this test.
Our conclusion: This test can be used as a reference, but not to determine genuine silk.
3 Consider PRICE
Of course, genuine silk is almost ten times costlier than the synthetic ones. With high quality printed silk, the price can even be 25-30 times different, Sometimes the synthetic silk is priced much higher and looks like silk to an untrained eye but mostly low price is a very good indication of its poor quality.
Our conclusion: Another reference.
4 Examine the LUSTRE of the material
Silk is especially known for its lustre. The lustre is usually because of the combination of threads which gives a particular sheen to the material. The colour on the surface appears to change as the angle of the light changes. Artificial silks, however, gives a white sheen no matter what the angle of light falling on it.
Our conclusion: For less experienced customers, this is quite difficult.
5 BURN Test
This is perhaps the best and most definitive test to find genuine silk.
You can take a few threads from the material and burn it with a flame. Genuine silk burns with smell of burnt hair. When you burn the edge of real silk fabric, the flame is invisible and it will stop burning as soon as the flame is removed. The ash produced hence, is black, crispy and brittle. It turns to powder when twisted in fingers.With the artificial silk, it is quite the opposite. When synthetic silk is burnt, there is a flame and smell of plastic. No ash is produced. Needless to say, you might need to exercise caution with this step. You don’t want to end up setting fire to the silk saree showroom. Right?
To make this test possible to our customer, at DK SANSAN & GISY every silk item will come with a piece of facbric attached with the tag like image below. As far as we know, we are the only brand in Vietnam who do this act.
6 If you really need to know, consider a CHEMICAL Test
If you have a lab with necessary chemicals on the standby, ready for some experimentation, what’s stopping you? For starters, you need:Mix all the below and dip a small piece of silk that you want to test into the solution. Real silk dissolves in a few minutes while artificial silk would not dissolve.
- 16 grams Copper Sulphate
- 8 grams Glycerine
- 1 tablespoon caustic soda
- 150 cc of water
7 Remember that Old is Gold
The older the silk gets, the more beautiful it becomes. With the fake silk, it is quite the opposite. The fake silk tends to fade with time. But again, it is a better idea to buy a genuine silk rather than end up with a fake one.
Now that you are armed with some really good tips for the next silk shopping spree, sleep easy. You are going to get the silk saree you so rightly deserve. And yeah… Don’t forget to take along that lighter as well. Who knows when it might come in handy!
8 Buying SILK online?
How do you know whether it is real or fake if you buy online? The answer is: Look at the description part of the product page. Any trustable online retailer will supply this information to its customers.
A 100% silk Gucci blouse on net-a-porter.com
A 100% silk GISY dress on dksansangisy.com
Be careful while shopping with online market places like Amazon or Aliexpress, many times we found them putting silk or even "100% silk" on the description but the product might be just silky touch, and remember "Satin" does not mean Silk. In order to know for sure, ask for confirmation from the seller before you buy.
If you already bought, check the proportion label attached on the product, it might be "100% silk" or "70% silk, 30% cotton" ...etc. If this label is nowhere to be found, which means this product is not guaranteed by the seller, you may consider return it.
Proportion label on a GISY scarf
If you have more questions for us, please comment below. We are very happy to hear what you think about this topic.
DK SANSAN & GISY Team
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