How tell if silk is real or artificial

There are some methods which you can use to test your carpet to find out whether it is made of real silk or artificial silk.

Carpet structure test

A real carpeting fiber should be tightly woven. A real silk silk carpeting product should be woven with more than 200 knots per square inch. It is not unusual to come accross a silk carpet with 500 or more knots per square inch. Artificial silk carpets often have only medium weaves which means less than 250 knots per square inch and often have cotton fringe. Quality real silk carpet always have real silk fringe.

Silk rub test

When you rub real silk vigorously, it should feel warm. An artificial silk stays cool to the touch. This is a very easy test that should be done automatically when buying a silk carpet.

Silk burn test

When you burn a little piece of an artificial silk, the ash will be smooth and powdery and the smell will be similar to that of burnt paper. When you burn a little piece of a real silk, the ash will be blackened and flaky, and the smell will be reminiscent to the smell of burning hair.

real silk test     artificial silk
                                           (real silk)         (artificial silk)

Silk chemistry test

Take a small piece of the silk and soak it in the following solution:
  • 16 g copper sulfate (CuSO4),
  • 150 cc of water,
  • 8-10 g glycerin,
  • sodium hydroxide (NaOH).
This test differentiates protein from cellulose or other man made materials. This solution will dissolve a small sample of natural silk, but it will leave cotton, nylon, and rayon unchanged.
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