Tips on Buying Thai Silk

Thai silk has distinct characteristics which distinguish it from silk made from other countries. The style of silk production in Thailand is called mud mee, wherein every process is systematically and patiently done by hand.
Thai Silk, photo from wikipedia
From taking care of the silk worms to spinning, dying and weaving, the silk undergoes a genuine heartfelt process. Hence, each silk fabric is unique; one is entirely different from another.

When buying Thai silk, you must consider the following tips to get the most out of your purchase.

Feel the texture of the silk

The silk made in Thailand is perfect being imperfect. Handmade, not made by machines, you can expect that there are small faults in the weaving.

This imperfectness creates a quality of rough texture compared to the smooth silk made by machines. This imperfect texture makes the silk produce colors when struck by light thereby making it perfect.

Look closely at the print

Spread the silk and see if one side shows the print and the other side shows its outline.  Real silk made in Thailand has only one side with print which changes colors when held up to the light.

The other side will not change color. The changing in color when viewed from different angles proves whether it is 100% silk.

Thai Silk Vendor at Chatuchak Market, photo by wharman

Test the shine of the silk 

Authentic Thai silk creates a distinct luster due to the one color used in the lengthwise threads. The width on the other hand, is made up of variety of colors. Hold up the silk to the light and compare the shine produced by other silk fabrics.

Silk from Thailand is hand dyed

Hand dyeing creates different levels of hues in the material. This gives it a entirely unique appearance unlike the commercially processed silk which has no uniqueness to it.

Burn test

A burn test can be made if you are still in doubt. Burn a loose thread and it will smell like hair and the ashes are fine. The burn immediately stops when the flame is removed. Fake silk drips when burning and it gives off black smoke. It burns even the flame is out.

Buying silk in Thailand is reasonably priced but not cheap. The price ranges from 600 Baht and up. Be careful of 100% Thai silk labels that do not pass your test.

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