Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Will the Real Silk Please Stand Up!

You know the drill. You tell yourself it's just a quick stop to the fabric store to pick up some thread and zipper for the latest project. That's all you'll get... until you wander around and start looking at the fabric and stumble upon something that's on sale that you simply can't pass by.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. During said latest fabric store excursion for thread and a zip, this particular fabric caught my eye. At first glance, I thought it was silk. When I picked it up, it felt like silk. In fact, it turned out to be 100% polyester. I was a bit disappointed because I really like natural fabrics and the recent Silk Only Contest at PR got me in the mood for this wonderful and diversified fabric.

Still, it was interesting. I liked the hand and since it was on sale, I dropped it into the cart. During my drive home, I thought about my new fabric and pondered what I might make out of it. Maybe another vintage party dress or even a suit.

Then it hit me like a brick wall. I know why I like this fabric so much! I actually own a RTW jacket/dress made out of a 100% GENUINE silk that is remarkably similar to the poly. Trying to remain focused on the remainder of the drive home, I came home and shot immediately up to my sewing room. (My husband thought I had gone on a spending frenzy at the fabric store and was trying to sneak stuff in. That's a story for another day.)

I put the fabric down and got the silk garment from my closet. Oh my! It wasn't identical, but it sure was similar. I held the new fabric, I held the silk jacket/dress. I ran the new fabric through my fingers, I ran the silk jacket/dress through my fingers. This polyester impostor was so like the silk! Even the hand was samey, from the texture to the drape.

I'm not an expert on fabrics. I've never even done a burn test. Can you tell which is which? I know it's a bit unfair, since you cannot handle them (and I need better lighting for sharper pics). Maybe I'm just inexperienced and naive in fabric fiber identification... but here they are:

Which fabric is the REAL SILK - "A" or "B" ? Stay tuned for the answer.


Bunny said...

I am going with B. It looks like dupioni to me with it's uneven slubs. It does seem to have a lot of slubs, though, so maybe I am wrong. Can't wait to find out!

Paula said...

The suspense is killing me!

goodworks1 said...

lol. I'd need to feel it, smell it, burn it...photos just don't give enough info!

PLEASE do a burn test on the new fabric! You'll know immediately whether it's a synthetic or silk. :D

What a neat find!

Marji said...

LOL, not happenin'. You are not going to get me to guess based on photos - especially since you need to hit Macro and get a real close up. Then I might want to guess weave structure - but I'm not guessing fiber content.
Question though, when you close your eyes and handle the fabrics, does one feel cool/cold to the touch?

When Ladies Dressed said...

Hee hee ladies - you're too much fun! I knew it was a tad bit unfair to guess without touching.

The real silk is "A"; poly imposter is "B".

I do need to start trying burn tests for the inevitable day that I stumble upon a mystery fabric at some garage sale that I just won't be able to pass up.

Marji, neither fabric felt cooler to the touch than the other. It's likely due to my very poor circulation which results in ice cold hands and feet (I've been to the docs before and they couldn't even draw blood from me...).

I've posted pics in a today's blog entry! Thanks for having some fun with me!

Bunny said...

Well, slap me upside the head! But I didn't get to feel it, you know! Or burn it, for that matter! Great post.