Silk is a textile raw material that is obtained in a specific way, so it is expensive. But those who have worn silk clothes at least once in their lives, know that it is a unique feeling. The problem arises when you realize that there are many synthetic imitations of this fabric, which can deceive even the most experienced user.
For years, this fabric has been the target of trade, due to its luxurious appearance, durability, elegance, and price. But since there is silk, there are scams associated with it.
In the market, you will find many products, robes, dresses, pillowcases, and fashion accessories that look like silk but are practically not silk. What’s worst is that fraudsters dare to set prices as if they were real precious material.
The difference is certainly the most obvious in the quality of the fabric and the feeling it evokes when you wear it. Since the imitations are synthetic, you may notice that you sweat more, that the piece itself smells like plastic, or that you have skin irritations at worst.
However, there are a few factors that will indicate that this may not be the real deal, and we will list a few of them:
1. The price
Experienced cheaters can inflate prices to the point where you feel like you are buying real silk. But average sellers work differently. They know that even the lowest price will bring them profit. So, if you see a silk product that is far cheaper than the average price, then you have every right to doubt its authenticity.
Keep in mind that real silk is really expensive and that even when it is on sale, it is not something that can be bought for a few dollars. Therefore, the extremely low price should be your first red flag when buying a silk robe.
2. Watch out for silk satin
You’ve probably heard of the term silk satin. But we must immediately disappoint you that satin is not a kind of silk. In fact, there is satin that has a similar quality and durability to silk. However, the term satin refers to the way weaving, so silky satin is misleading and many people are confused. Silk can only be silk and nothing else. Everything else is a mixture of threads or synthetic materials that can mimic silk but never have its preciousness.
3. Buy from authentic sellers
Silk sellers are usually big professionals, who cannot happen to sell something that is fake or imitation. Check it out here to see what we want to tell you. Having a reputable salesperson gives you a huge advantage over fraudsters. That’s why it’s important to have confidence in those you buy from, especially if you plan to spend more money on the product.
4. Perform the touch test
Experienced users of silk can assess at the first touch whether it is a real silk robe or an imitation. There is another interesting method that can be useful. If you rub your hand lightly on the silk, if you feel warmth, then it is genuine silk. Synthetic materials do not have that effect.
5. The sight test
If you look at silk from different angles, you can notice different shades of the base color. This is due to the reflective properties of the threads. Artificial silk will only give a glow, without the effect of tinting.
However, you should be careful with this as well, because counterfeiters are already skillfully using threads in different colors to achieve that effect. So, you need to combine several methods so that you can accurately assess the real condition of your new silk robe.
6. The burn test
This is a test that should be performed in a completely controlled environment, as burning and damage to environmental objects may occur. It is best to perform this test outdoors because you do not know what kind of textile you are dealing with. Cut a very small piece of material.
You should know that silk burns but does not melt. The residue is black and can be turned into dust under pressure. It smells like burnt meat and it does not cause a flame.
Because of this, it is not recommended to do this test at home, but to find an expert who will do it for you.
7. Judge by appearance
Experienced people can do it very accurately. Even from a distance, they can easily see if the product is silky or not. Silk has a unique luster that is impossible to copy. We explained it in more detail in the section on glare and shades.
8. Silk has an imperfect texture
Although this may seem impossible to you, in fact, if you look closely, you will see that the texture is imperfect and not smooth. This is due to the natural origin of silk threads. The smoothness of the fabric is achieved with the help of machine weaving, but in principle, any close inspection will reveal that there are imperfections. And that makes the material expensive and unique.
Nowadays copies of original products are brought to perfection. Because of this, even the most experienced people can be easily deceived by the sellers. When it comes to silk, it can be a real challenge to buy a new robe, as even replicas today are expensive. But you should not lose hope.
As you can see for yourself, we have described a few ways to test whether your new robe is made of genuine silk, a blend of yarn, or a completely synthetic material. Also, be careful with product descriptions and always read the declaration. That way you reduce the chances of being cheated. Real silk is an investment in yourself, a unique and unrepeatable experience and you should not let anyone take away that feeling of joy when you wear it.
Follow the tips in this guide and on the next purchase you will have more knowledge and experience on how to act accordingly.