What is Art Silk?
Art Silk, art Cylk, German Silk, Kaseri Silk, and Floss Silk are all trade names for Mercerized Cotton. Art silk is short for artificial silk. There is nothing wrong with Mercerized Cotton except when it is misrepresented to trick people into paying silk prices for cotton rugs
John Mercer, 1791-1866, a calico printer, developed a process using caustic soda to render cotton in a very silky-like finish. This enhanced its appearance and its ability to absorb dye stuffs. Some Caeserea rugs are made using rayon or mercerized cotton as the “silk” fiber. Oriental Rugs Technical Analyses and Recordation
Test Method: Burn a small amount of the fiber. Art silk (cotton) smells like burning paper and real silk smells like hair. Petroleum based man-made fibers can have a variety of odors when burnt but the key to identification is that they melt and burn leaving a hard bead residue. Silk beads but it is ash and can be crushed easily. Nylon, acrylic, olefin etc… have a hard bead.