Silk, its type, and maintenance

Ultimate silk guide- Types of silk, how to identify and maintain silk

A woman’s love for silk is everlasting. This post describes everything you need to know about silk fabric, be it the variety of silks, identifying genuine silk, or maintaining silk garments. 

Silk is one of the richest fabrics. Its lustrous look and smooth feel adds grace to any kind of garment. However, you would find ample variety of fake silk in the market. Furthermore, silk is a very delicate fabric and requires extensive care. 

Well, no more shopping woes, here is the answer to all your queries. 

Types of silk in India 

Different types of silk fabric in India
Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

1. Muga silk 

It is one of the most expensive and rarest kinds of silk fabric. It is the specialty of Assam, India. Muga silk has a shimmery and glossy texture, it is widely known for its durability and longevity. It was traditionally used to make mekhla Chadar, a highly-coveted item for every Assamese woman. 

2. Eri or errandi silk 

This variety of silk is obtained without killing the silkworm, this is also known as Ahimsa or peace silk. Usually, it has a coarse texture and matte appearance. In comparison to other silks, it’s inexpensive. Due to its strength and thermal insulating properties, it is widely used to make shawls. 

Tussar silk is the most famous variation of eri silk. Furthermore, bhagalpuri and kosa silk sarees are made up of tussar silk. 

 3. Mulberry silk

It is the most common and popular kind of silk in India. Of the total silk produced in India, 80% is mulberry silk. The silk feeds exclusively on mulberry leaves, thus is known as mulberry silk. The texture of the fabric is very smooth and has a lustrous shine. 

Most of your favourite silk sarees such as banarasi, kanjeevaram, patola, baluchari sarees are all made up of mulberry silk. 

Also read- Pearl Guide- How to identify real Pearls and more?

How to identify genuine silk fabric while shopping

Methods to identify genuine silk
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
  1. Rub the silk fabric between your hands, if you feel warmth than its genuine. You would not feel the same warmth in the artificial fabric. 
  2. Pure silk is highly smooth and flexible, it can easily pass through a ring. This test is exclusively for plain or printed silk sarees. Hence, do not try this for silk sarees with zari and embroidery.  
  3. Original silk sarees are quite expensive, while artificial silk is cheap. So, while shopping considers the price as well. 
  4. Burn a few threads of the fabric, a pure silk thread would burn with invisible flame and smell like burnt hair. Additionally, the ash would be black, crisp, and brittle. 

Also read- Know the difference – Perfume, Toilette, Cologne and Fraiche

How to maintain silk sarees

How to care for your silk garments
Image by Deankez from Pixabay
  1. Silk sarees are too delicate for home wash. Thus, it is better to dry clean silk garments. 
  2. If you still want to homewash- use protein shampoo instead of detergent, do not brush, lash, twist, and wring. Dry them in shade away from direct sunlight. 
  3. Silk becomes weak in water. Therefore, if silk is continuously kept in water it may erode and lose its shine and luster.
  4. Wrap the saree in a muslin cloth and then store it. 
  5. If you wish to hang your saree, avoid metallic hangers as it may cause rust stain in your saree. 
  6. If you are not using silk sarees very often, take them out of almirah once a month. Refold the sarees, so that they do not tear from folding lines. 

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Kavya
A chemistry researcher by profession and a spontaneous and enthusiastic person at heart. She is pursuing her passion for beauty, fashion and shopping through her blog.
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