How to tell if silk is real or fake?

Silk is a luxury fabric that is often replicated because of its natural properties and serious beauty benefits. The online marketplace is currently flooded with fake silk and we previously shared some tips on how to identify real silk which you can read here. We did a few more experiments and we are now sharing how real and fake silk will react when put to the test.

For the following tests that we made, we used our pure mulberry silk and a fake silk we bought online. 


The Ring Test


Pure mulberry silk can easily be threaded and pulled through a ring because silk is fine, naturally flexible and smooth. Synthetic or artificial silk would bunch up and will be impossible to pull through.

The ring test is a good technique that you can use to identify real silk. It is not as definitive as the burn and bleach test because the thickness of the silk and ring size can affect the test. For instance, thicker silk on a relatively small ring will be difficult to pull through. Nonetheless, the ring test can still help you separate real silk from a fake silk specially when the silk you are testing is not heavy.

For this video, we used a size 10 ring and 2 queen size silk pillowcases: our 19momme pure mulberry silk pillowcase and a local “silk” pillowcase.


The Bleach Test


Another way to tell if silk is real is to do the bleach test. Pure mulberry silk dissolves in bleach, while fake or synthetic silk does not. This is the primary reason why we ask you to avoid bleach when washing your silk. Bleach will completely ruin the fabric. The worst case that could happen when you soak synthetic silk in bleach is just fabric discoloration.


The Burn Test



This is the most definitive way to identify real silk. Pure mulberry silk burns in a very specific way. It will smell like burning hair and it will produce brittle ash. It also produces very little smoke. Fake synthetic silk on the other hand will smell and look like burnt plastic and will produce no ash.

🚨 Be very careful if you decide to do this test because fake silk is extremely flammable and can burn surprisingly fast when exposed to an open flame. Make sure you also take all the necessary precautions before doing the test.