Friday, August 23, 2019




The silk fibres has very good strength due to presence of many hydrogen bonds to be formed in a more regular pattern. When it comes into contact of water( wetting conditions) , it gets weakened due to hydrolization of a large numbers of hydrogen bonds present in it by water molecules. Tenacity of silk fibre ranges between 3 to 6 grams/ denier.


Silk fibre shows very good elongation properties. Silk fibre has an elongation at break of 20-25% under standard conditions. It's elongation at break gets increased upto 33% at 100% R.H.


Silk is considered to be more plastic than elastic fibre. If the silk material is stretched excessively, the silk polymers will slide past each other. This happens due to Betaconfiguration present in the silk polymers.  A large number of hydrogen bonds get ruptured due to application of stretching force. Thus the silk behaves like a more plastic nature than elastic. 


The silk fibres have slightly stiffness in feel due very crystalline polymer. Surface of the silk feels smooth. 

Resistance to Abrasion:

Silk fabric possess good abrasion resistance as well as resistance to pilling.


It has more absorbency than cotton. The moisture regain of silk is 11%. It absorbs moisture more quickly than cotton but it gets dried fairly quickly too. 

Specific gravity:

The specific gravity of silk is 1.25( degummed silk) It is lighter than cotton. 

Thermal conductivity:

Silk is more sensitive to heat than wool. The silk fibre starts to burn at 175°c ( begins to fuse) 

Electrical conductivity:

The silk is a poor conductor of electricity. it  has a tendency to form static charge, when it is handled during different kinds of processes like weaving etc. This causes difficulties during processing in dry atmosphere.


Silk fibre sows good flexibility. The silk fabric poses good drapping properties.

Exposure to sunlight: 

The silk fibre is more sensitive to light than any other natural fibre. When this comes for long time exposure to sunlight, it's colour gets spotted partially. Fabric also gets yellowish due to degradation occurred by sunlight.

The chemical properties of silk fibre are given below:

Effect of water

When silk fibre is kept in boiled water for a short period of  time, it does not show any type of effect of boiled water. Silk  fibre tends to loss its strength to some extent when it is kept in boiling water for long time. This strength loss occurs due to hydrolysis action of water. Silk fibre withstands, however, the effect of boiling better than wool.

Effect of acids:

Silk fibre reacts with acids more quickly. Silk fibre is soluble in hot and concentrated sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid. It gets yellowish when it comes into contact of Nitric acid. It is slightly affected by diluted organic acids at room temperature. The concentrated organic acids dissolve the silk fibres.

Effect of alkalis:

When silk fibre comes into contact of  Alkaline solutions, it begins to  swell. It dissolves completely after some time. It is treated with 16%-18% solution of sodium hydroxide at low temperature to creat crepe effect blended fabric  having cotton.

Effect of oxidizing agent: 

The fibroin present in the silk doesn't get affected badly by hydrogen peroxide solution. The weight loss occurs when it is treated in hydrogen peroxide solution. Chlorine solution affects more badly than Hypochlorite. Low concentration of chlorine solution does damage to fibroin present in the silk. 

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