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Lady Sloth Silk-- real, or not? 
23rd-Feb-2014 10:00 pm
Hi guys, I was wondering if the dresses that Lady Sloth bills as "silk" are really silk?

She sold me one a while ago, and it's gorgeous but to be honest, she isn't really great at communication after money has exchanged hands so I haven't gotten a definitive answer (just a tip for any of you lolitas out there!) It doesn't feel exactly like the other real silk item I have, but I know there are different weaves/qualities of silk, and I honestly don't want to burn my relatively expensive (but cheap for silk) dress!

24th-Feb-2014 06:19 am (UTC)
Somebody who knows for sure will probably answer but just as a starter reply...if it's cheap it's probably not silk. Is it the cherubin dress? If I Googled right it's about 160 dollars...that seems really cheap for silk even if it's only the skirt part. It does say 100% silk, though....maybe the best thing would be to take it to a dry cleaners or seamstress and ask, they would know.
24th-Feb-2014 07:53 am (UTC)
It's not the cherubin dress, it's actually a dress that they never seemed to mass market (or it's an older dress) that I purchased from lady sloth on the comm sales. Would a seamstress be able to tell? There are good fakes out there, nowadays, though I guess people experienced in handling silk may be able to have a guess.
24th-Feb-2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
The cherubim fabric used for that skirt is 16 momme 100% silk and pretty easy to find for sale. The lighter weight Chinese silk prints are not expensive. Silk isn't necessarily more expensive that decent quality cotton, especially given that you get the benefit of exchange rates when buying out of China that you don't get buying out of Japan or US/Europe where a lot of the cotton prints retail.
24th-Feb-2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
Cool! Do you have a source for that? Or are you just able to tell by feel?
24th-Feb-2014 08:31 pm (UTC)
You mean the cherubim fabric? I know what it is because I've bought it. Retailers list the weight of their fabrics.
25th-Feb-2014 04:56 am (UTC)
I meant how do you know it's silk though? Does the weight tell you?
24th-Feb-2014 07:18 am (UTC)
I don't know but judging from other materials they use, it's not a real silk.
24th-Feb-2014 07:51 am (UTC)
But some of the other materials are not billed as silk anyway?
24th-Feb-2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I'd say it's artificial silk at most. My friend has a dress from LS and the material (non-silk) feels
cheap and it rolled into small balls all over.
24th-Feb-2014 07:39 am (UTC)
Real silk such as charmeuse, satin, and light crepe costs about 10-15$ a yard. Textured silks such as jacquard and brocades and range from 15$ a yard to hundreds of dollars. The highest quality silks such as duchesse satin will cost you about 100$ per yard and are only used in very fine evening gowns and, as you may imagine, used by designers. In short, I do believe that the dress is likely to be made with real silk of lower quality compared to the finest imported silks.
24th-Feb-2014 07:51 am (UTC)
Interesting! How did you come to that conclusion? I understand that you mean that it's expensive, but how does that prove it's silk?
24th-Feb-2014 08:00 am (UTC)
I'm just going on by the price of silk fabric per yard compared to her silk dresses and reviewing the photos of them. It's a best guess and theoretical. Based upon my knowledge as a seamstress and fashion design student I can guess that most likely the dress is made from real silk. Her photos and doing the math of price per yard of silk is the only evidence I have available.
24th-Feb-2014 08:21 am (UTC)
Going by your pricing (and I didn't know lower quality silk was that cheap) I guess it's possible but when you think about it the price doesn't really mean much, right? I mean brand dresses are usually made of nothing but cotton and some chemical lace yet cost 250 bucks so even with just cotton and lace an indies designer charging 150 bucks would sound about right. It's with that conclusion that I thought the dress was a bit cheap to be silk...I mean even with just cotton an indies designer can sell a dress for 150 bucks so if it were a more expensive fabric I feel like it would be a lot more...just my guess of course, I don't think anyone can know for sure since pricing of clothing is so subjective. Chanel and other designers clothes really don't mirror the cost to make them, either..
24th-Feb-2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm splitting hairs here, but would like to note not as any kind of corrective/ nit-picker but just for expanding general community understanding, that cotton comes in many, many different grades. There is extremely cheap t-shirt cotton and then there's super expensive bed sheet cotton (500+ thread count). I do not know what kind of cottons the brands use exactly, but having seen and felt the texture of the brand dresses in person I can say they are definitely of a "much-better-then-most" variety. The only element that has ever made me question the quality is that the better/more expensive the cotton, the more durable it's suppose to be and that's something we kind can't text/explore by the design and detailing nature of most Lolita clothes.
24th-Feb-2014 08:24 am (UTC)
Oh! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I was wondering, simply because brand dresses are über expensive but not made of silk.

I knew that if it were real silk it probably would not be the highest quality (I have a real silk jacket, the price was no where near her dresses), but I had nothing else really past that. Do you have any non-invasive ways of telling if something is silk? I mean, I know that one cannot tell 100% without chemical testing, but I was wondering if there is a quality silk usually has that defines it.
24th-Feb-2014 10:46 am (UTC)
I wouldn't be able to tell without seeing it, but I've always thought Lady Sloth undercharges for her work so it wouldn't surprise me if it was real silk.
24th-Feb-2014 12:14 pm (UTC)
Post a picture?
There's always the possibility that it could be a blend, or that the fabric was bought in bulk. I'm not too sure as to why you would be in doubt. Not all silks feel the same, just like polyester or cotton.

(Burn it? Really?)
25th-Feb-2014 04:28 am (UTC)
Burning a fabric allows you to tell if it's synthetic or natural fibers. Synthetics melt, while natural fibers do not. Someone who is experienced in textiles could even tell you the specific fibers or blends by the way it burns.
25th-Feb-2014 04:56 am (UTC)
I know this, and as stated in the post, "I honestly don't want to burn my relatively expensive (but cheap for silk) dress!" I don't want to damage it in anyway, regardless of it's origins, which is why I'm asking for alternate methods or if someone just knows the answer (because my research hasn't turned up anything).

(EDIT:, just read your comment in context, sorry if it was directed at the above poster--just a bit annoyed at everyone saying to do the burn test.)

Edited at 2014-02-25 04:57 am (UTC)
25th-Feb-2014 09:22 am (UTC)
Ah, yes it was (because it seemed they were confused why you would burn it). It seems like you've got it figured out, though!
26th-Feb-2014 12:32 am (UTC)
Sorry if I came off as rude--so many wrong comments on this post, LOL. I'm just a bit frustrated. Thanks!
26th-Feb-2014 06:26 am (UTC)
Oh, not at all!
24th-Feb-2014 12:36 pm (UTC)
If you have a thread or something similar of the fabric, you can tell by lighting it. If it smells like hair or horn it's silk (it doesn't say anything about the quality of that silk though).
24th-Feb-2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
if you buy fabrics at one normal shop it is expensive, but if you buy it in big's cheaper! Last year i bought some "crepe de chine" in pure silk at the place where my city hall buy fabrics for the annual medieval parade (i sewed some dresses) and i paid 6€ mt
24th-Feb-2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
Like you said there are different grades of silk which are created by both machine and by hand, which all range from expensive to cheap. It could also be artificial silk, which is still technically silk by many people, but there is also a good chance it is just a really cheap variety of machine made silk, which is not very expensive. Cheap silks are not as expensive as you'd think due to modernized silk cultivation methods. Also, burn how, by ironing? It's probably a good idea to just play it safe either way.
25th-Feb-2014 04:59 am (UTC)
Do people really bill art. silk as silk? That's terrible.

One of the simplest and most definitive ways of telling if something is real silk is through a burn test. However, there aren't any loose fibers and I'm not too keen on picking one loose!
1st-Mar-2014 11:44 pm (UTC)
Oh I know how testing is done, it just didn't occur to me that anyone would care enough to do something like that I guess. I wouldn't really care either way unless it was extra because of the price, but that's not really the case so it's not something that I would find important.
24th-Feb-2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
A single thread might be enough for the burn test, if you're willing to try it.
You could try dropping water on some of the fabric (carefully and on a hidden area; if it's real silk, water might damage it). Silk should absorb it and polyester won't.
You could try and compare the noise the fabric of your dress makes when you scratch it to the sound of poly and real silk.
Also, silk should keep you relatively cool in summer while synthetic fabrics are very hot.
Silk is a delicate fabric so maybe even the way you wash it can be a clue as to whether it's real silk or not.
Hope that helps, good luck~
24th-Feb-2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
i think a burn test is the best way to tell, but it might be hard getting a thread or fabric scrap you can use. if it burns and produces ash, it's a natural fiber. if it melts, it's synthetic.
24th-Feb-2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
what dress/skirt/print are you referring to for knowing?
25th-Feb-2014 05:01 am (UTC)
There is a roses print dress she (as in, the person who runs Lady Sloth) sold me on egl_comm_sales--I'm assuming it's never made it to production, as I haven't ever seen it in her shop.
25th-Feb-2014 09:28 am (UTC)
this one?
25th-Feb-2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
No, it's a different one, this.

25th-Feb-2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
auw yes... this one... If you want, I could ask her what the exact composition of this fabric is :)
25th-Feb-2014 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, would you do that for me? Thank you so much! It's a lovely dress, but I've been wondering (so I know if I have to get it dry cleaned or not). I've sent her a few messages but never got any reply.
26th-Feb-2014 10:14 am (UTC)
I'll email her later of, when I see her online. That's no problem.
26th-Feb-2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
That's awesome, thank you! Tell me when you find out what happens!
24th-Feb-2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
A lot of the time, decent satin costs as much as cheap but decent silk, so I don't think you can just go by the price.
25th-Feb-2014 05:03 am (UTC)
I agree! Price really isn't a good indicator, since different companies have different degrees of markup, providers, etc. There are just too many variables that go into pricing for a definitive marker of material, though one would hope that quality comes along with price.
25th-Feb-2014 02:01 am (UTC)
Even if they are made from manmade silk, it is still very fine material nowadays and definitely allowed to be listed as simply "silk". You could be able to tell the difference also by electricity, chemical fabrics generate more sparkles that will hit you than natural fibers do. On other hand, any real silk should keep you cool in summer and izolate in winter. Single sheet of silk scarf should be enough to keep you wind-proof if it is spread wide under your jacket. Real silk also tends to get permanently wrinkled if not even more seriously damaged when you spread water on it, what is the reason why you should never ever go in anything from silk into rain. It has to do with the texture of fibers.
25th-Feb-2014 07:23 am (UTC)
Artificial "silk" (could be rayon, cupro or even polyamide) can not be called silk at least in EU or US. All fabric names should reflect the actual fiber content. Can't stop anyone calling fabrics they sell calling them "silky", though.
25th-Feb-2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
Are the rules different for fabric and yarn then, because last time I checked all animal fibers could be labeled as wool in the US, but they usually aren't due to ability to charge more for the blends.
26th-Feb-2014 12:29 am (UTC)
? Reputable stores in the US label what type of wool it is, and just 'wool' usually = sheep fur. TBH I've no idea why you're even bringing this up.
26th-Feb-2014 12:47 am (UTC)
There are different types of silk as well, Bombyx silk is from silk worms that have only eaten mulberry leaves and produces the traditional bright white silk, it's also more expensive. Tussah silk is from the same silk worms but without dietary limits which results in tannin from the leaves entering the silk strands and is naturally ivory to honey brown. Tussah silk is less expensive but it tends to be duller in appearance.
26th-Feb-2014 12:30 am (UTC)
^this. The 'silky' trick happens, as does the name 'art silk' that gets thrown around, but sellers are not allowed to market non-silk items as actually being made of silk, as that would be fraud/misinformation in marketing.
26th-Feb-2014 05:42 am (UTC)
Are you absolutely sure of this? I am confused as even big brand names like Dior or Versace use the "silk" tag for their artificial fabrics. O_o I always thought it is just signal of the type of used fabric (I mean which way are the fabric's fibers bound together and what is the surface of fabric), because content is written under it on "Silk: 100% polyester".
26th-Feb-2014 07:27 am (UTC)
I am absolutely sure that by regulations fabrics can't be called by names that are misleading. But of course it is possible that some companies are at times breaking these regulations. I haven't had the chance to look at the labels of many Dior or Versace clothes, unfortunately... But I'm thinking, is it possible that the tag said "satin: 100% polyester"? Silk is a fiber but satin is a weave type, which can be made of almost any fiber.
26th-Feb-2014 11:23 am (UTC)
It's a polyester faux silk from what I understand. Here's an ebay listing for it. It does feel very much like the real stuff though, doesn't it?
26th-Feb-2014 10:53 pm (UTC)
This isn't my dress material. Thank you.
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