Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How to recognise a real silk rug

1.      A real silk rug will have a high knot count.  It should have at least     200 KPSI (Knots Per Square Inch) and most will have more than 500 KPSI.  Because it has a high knot count, it should have a very intricate design pattern.

2.      A real silk rug will have real silk fringes that can be clearly seen to be an extension of the rug, not sewn on.  Since you may not be as       familiar as we are with the differences between silk, cotton, and           rayon, it may not help you to know that a real silk rug will have silk       fringes.  Therefore, if you can snip a small piece of the fringe and         put it quickly through a flame and then out again, the burnt piece         should be a crisp, black ball and the smoke should smell like burning       hair.  (Rayon will have a smell like burning paper and the ash will be       soft and chalky).
 This image above illustrates how difficult it is to discern a real fringe or not, this is actually a cotton edge with silk threads pulled through - easy to miss on a quick once over!
In this image you can see the folded fringe base - a common characteristic of an artificial rug.  The fringe has been attached post rug making.

 Here is a great example of a genuine silk rug fringe, you can easily see the fringe is part of the foundation of the rug
3.      Another possible way to discern real from artificial silk is that if the   rug is rubbed vigorously. Real silk will feel warm; artificial silk will feel     cold.

4.      The most positive way to determine if a rug is really silk is to do a     specialized chemical test. Something a bit impossible to do while on a rug buying journey and one that is best left to experts.

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If you have a rug that you are not sure of, feel free to bring it along to our rug cleaning studio in Chittering, Cambridge and our team will be happy to help you decipher if your rug is real silk or not.  We will be happy to give you guidance on how to best maintain your rug.

We are proud to be the only Master Rug Cleaners in Cambridge.  For more information on our services contact our friendly team on 01223 863632 or email us at

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Working for domestic or commercial clients throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.