All that shines is not silk'! what is commonly sold as ' art silk ' is not natural silk or pure silk. Pure silk is natural and eco-friendly, which emantes from the silk worm.
The scientific work for invention of cheap mitation of Natural silk may be in progress, but in the market place there are numerous other textile materials sold in the name of silk i.e. Art silk, Artificial silk and other glamorous names.
A layman's test for identifying pure silk is the 'Burning Test' which can be carried out at any place and at any time.
Hundres percent silk means both the warp and weft should be made from pure silk yarns.
To carry out the simple test, take out a small piece of thread from both directions and burn it.
Pure silk will give the smell of burning hair and will leave a black residue, which can be easily crushed to powder by the finger.
TAKING CARE OF SILK
Precautions during washing
Always wash silks in soft water.
Add a pinch of Borax or Ammonia, if water is hard.
Use a good neutral soap in the form of either flakes or solution.
Light detergent may also be used in the case of hard water.
Wash in lukewarm water by kneading & squeezing or suction.
Rinse in warm water 2-3 times to remove traces of soap.
Add a few drops of citric acid or acetic acid to the final rinse in cold water.
Silk with doubtful colour fastness may be steeped in cold water with a small amount of citric or acetic acid for 1-2 minutes before washing.
Squeeze lightly by hand to remove excess water.
Always dry flat, in shade.
Precautions during ironing
Use low to medium heat.
Never spray water to dampen silk before ironing.
This will cause water spot on the fabric.
Silk should be always ironed on the reverse side if still dampen.
Precautions during storing
Store your silks in a clean and dry environment.
If storage is prolonged, periodic airing and brushing is advisable.
Protect silk from insects, dust, excessive moisture and light.
Avoid direct contact with wood.
Wrap zari sarees in cotton cloth to avoid discolouring of zari.