How do I know if my silk saree is of good quality?

How to know silk saree quality

The Silk Sarees are one of the most pampered outfits for all occasions and festivals. It is not only extremely loved in India but also Indian silk is also celebrated all around the globe for its elegance. Today, while looking high and low to get an aesthetic silk saree with vivid colors and bright borders, I stumbled upon fake silk saree sellers. Yes, it might occur to you as a blue from the bolt but it is true. The essence of our favorite cloth material with intricate designs has been tried to replicate many times. 

How do I know if my silk saree is of good quality? We can make out by considering it’s brand, type of saree, shop purchased, and some testing of the saree. One can test quality using different methods such as by touch, ring test, shimmer check, and in case we have time, then a lab test.

If you are a newbie in the silk world or a first-time silk saree buyer, I would suggest going for Kanchipuram sarees on the first try. They are the best! However, Banrasi Katan is not far behind in the race. If you do not know what is Banarasi Katan, you surely don’t want to miss it before we move ahead. Banarasi Katan silk sarees or widely known as Banarasi silk are originally made in Varanasi, India. 

Which type of Silk Saree is best?

There are more than 30 types of silk saree available in India, so it’s all up to you. Like every state has its own tradition, similarly, every state has its own variety of silk saree. As mentioned above, the Banarasi saree is the most popular silk saree. Kanjeevaram silk sarees, Muga silk sarees, and Baluchari silk sarees are also a well known ethnic choice for ladies. 

You might be wondering; What are the top 5 silk saree types?

  • Banarasi Silk Saree (Varanasi)
  • Kanjeevaram Silk Saree (Tamil Nadu)
  • Patola Silk Saree (Patan, Gujrat)
  • Chanderi Silk Saree (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Muga Silk Saree (Assam)

These sarees are special ones for the fine fabric and pure silk threads. If you are a picky one, then you will be satisfied with the wide variety and styles of Banarasi silk sarees.

So how to tell if the fabric is silk or polyester? The Burn Test would have surely helped you if you were willing to sacrifice a bewitching silk saree without wearing it. Since I could not tear even a thread from the graceful saree, I found a way around. As it is never going to be a case with you too, simpler ways can be a saviour (for both you and the saree!). Testing the luster, weave, touch, and price may do the trick but you have to look with an expert eye. 

We often go for fancy motifs and appealing golden zari borders while discovering how to choose silk saree. However, to find the difference between real and artificial silk, I went a step ahead and dug out the answers. Today I am going to reveal some easy ways for you to know the saree you are buying is real silk or fake silk. Read on to get your answers!

How To Identify Your Silk Saree For Good Quality

  • Touch the Saree

The touch test can be the easiest one to find the difference between real silk vs fake silk. But for this, I am going to tell you what silk feels like. First of all, silk is soft (don’t confuse it with Satin) and when you take it in your hands it will make a sound like walking on fresh snow. Another thing to keep in mind is to rub the silk. If it changes the temperature and becomes warm, be assured that you are buying the right one. 

P.S- To find authentic Kanchipuram Sarees, check if they are slightly heavier. Also, look for the red color when you scratch the zari. 

  • Don’t fall for the appearance, do the test

Although to do the appearance test and identify synthetic silk vs natural silk on online shopping may not be a cakewalk, but you can go ahead with this while window shopping. I bought a silk saree and it perfectly fits my body shape and shimmers, fake silk on the other hand shines. 

If you are doing window shopping, then take advantage of flashy lights in the shop to test genuine silk saree. Silk has its own subtle pearlescent sheen so if you examine the cloth in the bright lights you will see there is a shimmer of its own. Depending on how you hold the saree against the light, the color of the shimmer will appear to vary.

Another important thing to notice is the fake silk tends to stiffen on the body, real silk on the other hand is flowy and smooth, just like it is made for you! Take one more experienced advice, notice that the silk threads are triangular whereas fake silk will have usual threads and weaving. The pure silk will also be covered in a special protein called sericin. 

  • Got a ring? Use it for testing

Your ring is not just decorative jewelry, but you can use it for better purposes. Testing the silk cloth with a ring is one of the trivial yet effective ways. 

If you are planning to buy a lightweight silk dress, you may take a ring and try to pull the fabric through it. 

Natural silk is light and flexible and easily gets through whereas artificial ones are heavier and wouldn’t pass this test. 

  • Expensive MAY be silk

You may often find sellers describing a fabric as silk while its price being cheaper as compared to others. Keep in mind, buying silk is never easy on the pocket. You may fall for artificial silk or some other cheap imitation of it just to save some money. Original silk needs tough labor to be extracted and prepared to become a cloth in itself which makes it more expensive than others. 

When it comes to silk, the Kanchipuram sarees are put on a throne and considered to be the superior of all types of silk. The bewitching splendor of these can be witnessed in the first look, and this resplendence costs you a fortune. The market is not as innocent as we think, so there’s no guarantee for this method. Expensive may or may not be silk. But the cheap one is never going to be!

  • Go for a Lab Test

If you are still not satisfied with those informal tests suggested above, here’s one that you may formally do in a science lab. As this test is not feasible, I neglected it, though it is always better to have some extra knowledge. Put on your Einstein goggles and get started! For conducting this one, you will need the following items:

  1. 10 g of copper sulphate (blue crystals) 
  2. 5 g glycerine (thick transparent liquid) 
  3. 1 tbsp. Caustic soda
  4. 100 Cc Water 

Mix all of these in a beaker. The prepared solution will be aqueous blue in color due to the presence of copper sulphate crystals. Then dip a small piece of fabric that you want to test in the prepared solution. Natural fibers dissolve in acidic and basic solutions due to their high corrosive nature. If your silk is genuine, it will dissolve within minutes. If it doesn’t,  it’s not what you are looking for. 

  •  Burn test 

This test, I would prefer the least as it includes damaging the cloth due to burning. Still, if you can afford to do it or the showroom doesn’t mind it, you may test the cloth for its genuineness by burning a part of it. Be very cautious while performing this. It can be dangerous!

Real silk burns with the smell of burning hair and leaves brittle ash after burning. As soon as you remove the lighter, it stops burning. Artificial silk will smell like plastic and may not stop burning even if you remove the flame. Polyester clothes, on the other hand, shine white if you watch them in the lights. Irrespective of the position of cloth and lights. 

Final Tidbits

Silk Sarees are adorned by all the women around the world, whether it a traditional occasion or an office party, you can rock it with a silk saree. But, you won’t want to get fooled by buying a cheap fake silk saree claimed as a high standard silk saree. 

There are a dime and dozen silk saree sellers offline or online and picking the best one based only on the saree design is like aiming to catch a whale in a fishbowl. Being extra cautious is the key. Test the silk saree in no time and get the clarity of artificial silk vs natural silk. I used small tips and tricks and can now boast of the splendor of my silk saree, and so you can!