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How to identify natural silk

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Silk was invented in China, where it was considered the fabric of emperors and was worth its weight in gold. Products from this luxurious material are not only pleasing to the eye and pleasant to the touch – they are also incredibly practical: they are durable, strong, soft and almost do not wrinkle. All this is true provided that the silk is natural and not artificial, because so far no technology has been able to reproduce all the qualities of this amazing matter.

When buying a silk product, always ask the seller to show the quality certificate. But it is better to play it safe and check the naturalness of silk in several more ways.

1 Take a closer look at the structure of the fabric – if its surface is perfectly flat, in this case this is not an advantage, but a disadvantage. You may have come across polyester, because real silk usually has small bumps.

2 Pay attention to the color and sheen of the fabric. Real silk is not completely white, its threads should have a light creamy tint. Natural silk has a noble, soft sheen, shimmers but the sun, playing with shades. The luster of artificial fabric is poorer, the glow is white.

3 Silk of natural origin acquires body temperature, so in the cold it warms, and in the heat it does not overheat. If you press the fabric against your hand and feel cool, the fabric is artificial. Crumple the fabric into a ball – there should not be clear creases on it.

4 Carefully pull some threads out of the fabric and light them. Natural silk burns, releasing a pungent smell of burnt wool or feathers. The threads roll into charred balls and turn to ash when rubbed with your fingers. Rayon will melt when burned, emitting a smell of scorched plastic or burnt cellulose.

5 Please note that natural silk will not be sold in vacuum packaging. Otherwise, it will “suffocate" and begin to exude a musty smell.

6 The quality of silk can be determined by trying to tear it. It is almost impossible to damage natural silk in this way: its threads have the strength of steel wire, but artificial fabric may not withstand it.

7 Please note that the price of natural silk cannot be low. If the merchant is easily persuaded to reduce the cost of the product by half, most likely you are dealing with a fake.

8 There is another way to check the naturalness of silk. Dip it in a 7-10% alkali solution and heat it up. Silk fabric is of natural origin (the threads for it are produced by silkworms), so it will dissolve without a trace. Artificial fabrics will pass this test. Despite the accuracy of the method, unfortunately, it will not be possible to apply it in a store or on the market – if only to intimidate a seller who does not want to reveal the truth about the origin of the fabric.

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