August 13, 2013

A Lady Never Wears A Fake! Introducing The Latest Technology To Spot Counterfeit Products

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You think you know how to tell apart a fake product from the real thing? You need to closely examine the label, check the quality of the stitching and finishing touches and minutely analyse the fabric…but sometimes, even this is not enough. Even the eye of an expert can be fooled by the pretend- high-quality of some counterfeit goods. Synthetic silk or merino wool, for instance, are difficult to detect when they replace real silk or cashmere, given that the differences are very subtle.

Throughout the latest years, the underground economy of fake luxury goods has vastly flourished, covering more and more areas of products. France is, as of this moment, the only country to punish the simple act of owning counterfeit goods with a fine of €300,000 and 3 years of imprisonment, according to the Longuet Law, adopted in 1994, but the rest of the countries are also doing the best they can to eradicate the phenomenon, Customs officers have the right to confiscate and destroy counterfeit products presented at Customs, but for this to happen, they must first spot the fakes.

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An innovative technique, developed in the UK by NPL, The National Physical Laboratory, promises to provide valuable help for this cause. The ”terahertz time-domain spectroscopy” method consists of utilising a beam of terahertz radiation, more precisely, a beam of electromagnetic radiation which falls between microwaves and infrared light, which can penetrate the structure of textile fiber and plastic fiber. When the terahertz beam is passed through fabric, the level of absorption can be measured to identify the nature of the material.

Given that just during the last year, the black market of counterfeit products has generated more than €200 billion at a global level, a number similar to that generated by the market of illegal drugs, out of which 54% were luxury goods and 1/3 were deemed dangerous to use for various reasons, the new and innovative technology developed within the UK comes as a Godsend, right in due time.

Remember: A lady never wears a fake!

 

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