How to Test Silk

Real silk is made from silk worm cocoon and is acquired by boiling the cocoons, as a result of which, the silkworm is killed. Once the silkworms are killed, the fiber is spun into a silk yarn. Artificial silk, on the other hand, is not made from silkworm cocoons. Rather, it is artificially prepared through chemical fibers. Artificial silks are not bad – the only thing is that the knock offs are sold on the price of real silks. Silk is used to make different things like clothes, carpets, bed sheets etc. and is high in tensile, even more than nylon. The trick is to distinguish real silk from the fake one through some tests that can be carried out. This will prove to be beneficial the next time you’re shopping for silks – you won’t end up paying a lot for fake silk.


  • 1

    Rub the silk:

    This is a very quick test and requires some information about the traits of real silk to spot it in the first place.

    Rub the silk with your hands and if it’s a real one then you will feel warmth on your hands after rubbing it. If you do not feel any warmth then it is artificial.

  • 2

    Burn the silk:

    This test will guide you how to know about real silk by burning it with flame. Of course you wont be burning the entire silk! Here is how you will do it

    Pull a thread from one corner of the silk fabric and burn it with flame.

    If after burning it smells like a burning hair and the ashes are brittle then it means that the silk is made from silk worm cocoon.

  • 3

    Chemical Test:

    This test will rightly tell you whether the silk is real or not. You will need the following chemicals in order to conduct this test.

    - 16 grams Copper Sulphate
    - 8 grams Glycerin
    - 1 tablespoon Caustic Soda

    Mix the above chemicals in a jar filled with 150 cc of water. Now take a small piece of silk that you want to test and then dip it into this solution. You will see that real silk will dissolve in this solution after a few minutes but if it is artificial silk, it will not dissolve.

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