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How to test a real silk Persian rug?

2011-05-29

1. Rub it
It is sometimes claimed that you can tell real silk from artificial silk by vigorously rubbing the pile with your open palm. The real persian silk rugfeels warm, the artificial silk carpets stays cool to the touch. We sometimes think we have felt this difference. Of course, it helps to have a real silk rug with you so that you can compare a known quantity!

2. Burn Test
Clip off a small piece of the fringe and burn it. Notice both the appearance of the ash, and the smell of the smoke. If the material is artificial, the ash should be smooth and powdery and the smell should be similar to that of burnt paper. On the other hand, if the sample is real oriental silk rugs the ash should be blackened and flaky, and the smell will be reminiscent to the smell of burning hair.3. Dissolve it!
Last step for test a persian silk rugs. The most accurate test is one that chemically differentiates protein from cellulose or petrochemicals. One such test: at room temperature, mix a solution of 16 g copper sulfate (CuSO4) in 150 cc of water. Add 8-10 g glycerin, then caustic soda (sodium hydroxide: Na OH) until a clear solution is obtained. This solution will dissolve a small sample of natural silk, but will leave cotton, rayon, and nylon unchanged.




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