Special Correspondent

Bangalore: Karnataka may be the land known for pure silk, but a great deal of silk sold in its capital is far from pure, according to a survey conducted by Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI) of the Central Silk Board.

SMOI conducted a random survey during the festival season in Bangalore, Delhi and some cities in Tamil Nadu and found plenty of fakes being passed off as genuine silk, according to Silk Mark Officer T. Sivakumar.

In Bangalore, more than half the material tested by the survey turned out to be "art silk," or cheap imitation of silk. SMOI was planning to conduct similar surveys in cities across the country, he said.

Mr. Sivakumar, however, said that there was greater awareness on the quality of silk after SMOI initiated campaigns two years ago.

"There are instances of consumers demanding to be sold material with Silk Mark label.

Also, more dealers are showing interest in becoming members of SMOI," he said.

In the meanwhile, extensive awareness programmes are being held across the country on Silk Mark.

The concept of Silk Mark was introduced in 2004 to protect consumers from being duped into buying fake silk products. Silk Mark comes with a printed card and a hologram.