How to Identify Real Silk

Silk has always been associated with luxury because of how expensive it looks and how amazingly soft and smooth it is. A lot of silk products are being sold online and while they all look so similar in photos, not all silk products are the same.

Some retailers are quick to call their products "silk" because of how their products look & feel. If you are in a hunt for real and pure silk products, there are a few things you can do to tell if the silk product you are purchasing online is genuine or not. This is our handy guide to buying silk.

Check the MOMME:

The momme count is one of the basic and important metrics when buying silk because it determines the quality of pure silk. Higher momme count means thicker fabric and higher quality because more silk was used. Be cautious of sellers trying to trick you into buying "silk" without declaring the momme weight. Always ask for this measurement before you purchase silk online.


Mulberry silk is known for being the highest quality silk on the market. This type of silk originates from China and is being used for luxury items all over the world. Mulberry silk is a 100% natural silk with a softer and smoother feel compared to synthetic and silk blend varieties. Some retailers blend silk with other fiber content to produce silk fabrics that are not 100% silk. Others use less expensive short fiber silk, or wild silk, either of which reduce smoothness and durability. Before purchasing, confirm that the silk fabric content is 100% long-strand mulberry silk of the highest grade (6A).

Pick the right WEAVE of the fabric:

Look out for charmeuse weave. This technique allows the silk to be woven in such a way that it brings out a reflective, smooth, and lustrous quality on the front side while the back of the fabric retains a dull finish. Charmeuse emphasizes the already naturally smooth quality of pure mulberry silk. This results in a soft, fluid, and aesthetically pleasing fabric. It is tempting to shop for “silk satin” products because they are cheaper than pure silk. Satin is a type of weave (like charmeuse) and is not the material used. Most “silk” satin products on the market are synthetic fabrics made from polyesters. They may look a little like silk, but the similarities end there. Polyester feels like plastic (because it is plastic) and will look overly shiny, and slips around at night much more than silk. Polyester satins provide almost none of the health benefits of silk. Always ask for the material used (is it silk, cotton or polyester?) just to be sure.

Price is also an indicator if the silk is authentic but it's not completely definitive. Real silk, particularly mulberry, is expensive. However, some retailers might be taking advantage of this fact and pricing their products high to appear that they are selling real silk.

The Burn Test is one trick used and its conclusive way to check if silk is authentic. Pure mulberry silk will slowly burn with little or no smoke while it is exposed to an open flame. Its ashes are black and crispy and can be crushed easily into a powder. Fake silk is extremely flammable. It will continue to burn even when it is not exposed in an open flame. Fake silk will smell and look like burnt plastic. 

Disclaimer: This video was made for demo purposes only. Be VERY careful if you decide to do this test because fake silk can burn surprisingly fast when exposed to an open flame. Make sure you also take all the necessary precautions before doing the test.