How to Tell Genuine Silk or Synthetic Silk (Satin)?

how to identify real silk

Here’s no fabric so loved and luxurious as silk. It has been popular for thousands years and is still favored by people in modern life. Silk fabric is the queen of fabric that has beautiful natural sheen and soft, smooth touch. Silk fabric is a kind of natural material with various benefits to beauty and health. Especially over the past couple of years, silk pillowcases made from beautiful charmeuse have exploded in popularity, embraced by the beauty and wellness industries and credited with delivering smooth, shiny hair and wrinkle-free, supple skin. Unfortunately, the popularity of silk has attracted far too many unscrupulous merchants to the marketplace. The average consumer likely doesn’t know how to tell if silk bedding or accessories are real; these bad-faith companies exploit that fact by passing off fake or low-quality silk as the real thing.

Real silk especially pure silk is expensive because of its limited availability and costly production. Silk fibre is nice natural fiber, the silk thread comes from sill cocoon. The production process of raw silk fabric is resource-heavy, labor intensive, and costly processes. Synthetic silk mainly polyester satin is much cheaper because it's mass-produced with chemical material from coal. Although with the improvement of the technology in textile industry, satin could looks and feels very close to silk material, genuine silk is still not replaceable because genuine pure silk fabric is protein fabric that has benefits that satin doesn’t have: skin friendly, hydrate skin & hair naturally, breathable and etc.

Here we’ll show you how to identify genuine pure silk from polyester satin by testing. The test ways are simple to apply and straightforward. No matter how technology improves, polyester satin can’t fake them.

1. The Silk Bleach Test

Bleach is used for killing gems because it breaks protein which is primarily composition of gems. Real pure silk is pure protein so it can be broken down by bleach and will have fully dissolved in bleach. If you soak a small piece of silk material or silk fiber to bleach, stay a couple minutes and stir, you’ll see the magic-silk is disappeared in bleach.

Satin is a kind of synthetic materials similar to plastic, no matter how long you soak it in bleach, it won’t disappear.

For silk blend material, the silk will dissolved in bleach and leave material that is not silk. But it’s hard to observe or measure if silk is blended in the material.

So we recommend you purchase pure silk made products not just because they’re better than silk blend but also straight forward to test and identify.

2. The Silk Burn Test

Silk burns slowly and self-extinguishes. It leaves a gritty ash that smells like burning hair. It gives out little, to no smoke. It’s pretty similar to burning your hair as both of them are pure protein.

However satin is a kind of polyester/plastic, it burns quickly and melts. A hard black bead forms and smells like sweet chemical. Use caution as the flame may flare up. It burns like plastic.

If you’re going to purchase silk made products, you need to consider product description and price point etc to make sure you can get genuine silk material. Wisely find a reliable merchant can lower the risk of cheating and get a reasonable price. Read on to learn more about how to tell if silk is real and make sure you’re getting only pure, genuine silk pillowcase, silk bedding, silk clothes, and silk accessories!

1. Read The Product Description Carefully

No matter you shop in store or online, read the description carefully. Dodge merchants use “silk” “silky” to describe satin. You should also be careful of other misleading words like “silk satin”, “satin silk”, “silky satin”, ”ice silk” or similar words. Make sure you are considering only items made from 100 percent pure silk or 100 percent pure mulberry silk fabric.

2. Pay Attention to Silk Price Points

When it comes to silk, you get what you pay. If the price is super cheap, you should double check the description or confirm with the seller if the material is 100% real silk. For silk pillowcases, check if the pillowcase is single side silk or two sides silk. A single side silk pillowcase definitely is cheaper than both side. But if you see a pillowcase is only $10 it’s unrealistic for real silk even for single side silk pillowcase.

Although silk is expensive, you should never overpay. The price of some big brand is high because you do not just pay the products but also pay their operations, branding and marketing. If you spend a bit time, you can find merchant which is reliable and provides reasonable price. Because once you tried silk, you will addict to this gorgeous natural fabric and want to replace everything to silk as much as you can. Besides silk pillowcase, there're so many other silk products really worht having like silk underwear, silk gloves, silk eye mask, silk tueban  etc.

3. Find a Reliable Merchant

Find a merchant that is specific in silk can make sure you get real silk as they know silk. Silk is their long term business, they must keep their reputation and take products seriously. Merchants that sell various categories looks after so many different products at the same time, they may don’t know what is real silk even they’re the seller.

Find a merchant that running for years. You may check how long their facebook page have been running. A business ran for years must be a serious business with reliable reputation.

Find a local merchant. You pay less on delivery, operation and it’s more convenient for communication and easier to deal with any issues.

  • Tip: About the texture of real silk

Generally real silk (mainly charmeuse) is softer and finer, not as slippery as satin. Real silk comes with natural lustrous but most satin is shiny. Real silk is breathable but satin makes you feel greasy. Also real silk has less static. But it’s really hard to identify real silk from satin just by looking and feeling the texture. Sometimes even textile expert can’t tell. The technology of textile industry is well developed, some satin looks and feels very close to real silk. And the texture of pure silk could also be various, some are harder, rougher than the soft, waxy feeling that normal people have impression. The only way you can tell silk is through test we mentioned above.



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