How do I know if the silk I have is real silk?
Not to worry, there are easy methods with which you would determine if the material you have is Silk.
It is relatively easy for most of us to differentiate between cotton and synthetic fibres. But the properties of Polyester and Nylon make it possible for them to be passed off as Silk not to mention there is Art Silk as well which is a lower cost fiber looking like Silk.
One Fairly Simple and Distinctive test to determine Silk is the BURN TEST.
Cut a small piece of fabric about 1 to 2 cms, or if your situation does not permit, take some threads from any one of the corners (Even 2 threads of 1 inch length is sufficient). With a matchstick or a lighter make a flame and slowly bring the threads in contact with the flame. (Be careful not the burn your fingers).
Do not burn the entire threads, just a little on the edges. Observe the thread as it burns.
If the sample is pure Silk the threads will burn and turn to black ash. It will stop burning as soon as the threads are taken away from the flame. Genuine silk will burn with a smell like burnt hair and will produce a black, powdery ash.
If instead, the threads burn, and when the thread is taken away from the flame it continues to burn a little. Just observe the ends of the thread remaining after the burning. If there is a formation of small glass like(plastic like) beads at the ends of the threads, the said sample is not Silk but Polyester or Nylon.
Now you Know your Silks