With more and more silk fabrics appearing on the market, doubts about its purity are natural and should be addressed. There are a number of ways for reference which can be used together to try to determine if a fabric is genuine silk or a synthetic man-made fabric that looks like silk. Here at Diya Boutique, we take quality very seriously and provide some of the best 100% silk products. So how do we tell the real silk from the fake? Take a look at the following methods and test some out on your own!
It is the easiest way to tell pure silk from others. Genuine and high-quality silk will always be relatively expensive. Synthetic fibers, like polyester, can be made to look like real silk to the untrained eye. Although synthetic fabrics can be deliberately priced high, low prices are usually a good indicator of low quality. Real silk usually costs at least ten times as much as synthetics to produce.
Silk luster is different from other fabrics. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors. This “shot” effect gives a surface that shines and appears to change color as the angle of light on it changes. Synthetic fabrics shine white, no matter what the angle of the light.
Silk can be hand-woven or machine-woven. Hand-woven silk is unique. Look for slight, very minor variations in the evenness of the weave. These are natural and to be expected. Machine-woven silk will have a perfectly even weave with no flaws and very little character. Synthetic fabrics will also look perfect, although some artificial fabrics are made to look very realistic, including slight imperfections.
Genuine silk, with a printed pattern (not the same as a woven pattern) will have the pattern visible on one side and an outline of the pattern on the reverse side. Genuine silk with a woven pattern will have the pattern visible on both sides but the pattern on the reverse side may appear slightly fuzzy. Synthetic fabrics with a printed pattern will have the pattern visible on one side and a plain color on the reverse side.
5. Burn Test
Burning a few threads from the material in question is perhaps the best and most definitive test to find genuine silk. Genuine silk burns with a smell of burned hair and will produce a black ash. With the artificial silk, it is quite the opposite. When synthetic silk is burned, there is a flame and a smell of plastic, yet no ash is produced.
Check out the following video to see how it's done!