Silk holds an important place in Indian culture. It plays a role in many religious ceremonies, weddings, and special occasions in general. Once reserved exclusively for the more affluent members of society, silk has now become more affordable and accessible to the common man. Unfortunately, as I have learned from personal experience, the common man is an easy target for counterfeiters. As a result of advances in textile processing, synthetic silk can be near identical in appearance to natural silk, and often, consumers like ourselves are not able to tell one from the other.
So how can we ensure that we aren’t being cheated? How can we easily identify genuine silk products? The burn test (which involves pulling up threads from both warp and weft directions and burning them) comes to mind, but it’s not an entirely feasible option. There is an easier way to guarantee product authenticity – simply look for the Silk Mark tag attached to the product. The Silk Mark is an initiative undertaken by the Central Silk Board of India, which assures that all products affixed with the Silk Mark tag are made of pure and authentic silk. All Silk Mark tags are affixed with a coded and numbered hologram, which can be used to identify the authorised and registered user of the Silk Mark.
As consumers, if we require further assurance of the authenticity of Silk Mark products, all that needs to be done is to go to the nearest Silk Mark chapter and request a confirmatory test. The chapter will conduct a free lab test to ascertain the fibre purity of the product, and issue a test certificate. In the event that the test identifies any impurities, Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI) will initiate action against the authorised user under the user agreement. SMOI will also facilitate the redressal of the complaint. In case of repeated misuse of the Silk Mark label by an authorised user, they would be deregistered, and their user license terminated forthwith.
Thanks to this initiative by the Central Silk Board of India, consumers like you and I are no longer easy targets for counterfeiters looking to make a quick buck at our expense. We can buy Silk Mark tagged products with peace of mind, knowing that the product is genuine, and that we are getting our money’s worth. Silk Mark is our assurance of pure silk.