Essential tips for mantaining the beauty and longevity of your silk fabrics

Silk is an investment. You have to plan to buy this fabric for long-term use. Picking timeless designs and avoiding quick trends can help keep your investment pieces relevant beyond seasons, but how do you wash silk clothing? How do you care for them to ensure longevity? Let’s talk about washing tips and other silk care instructions.

How to Care for Silk Fabric?

Silk is a delicate material, and you may feel nervous about washing silk fabric on your own. Bear these basic reminders in mind so you can give your luxurious items the care they deserve.

Never use chlorine bleach on silk fabrics. It will damage your clothes’ natural fibers.

Do not expose silk to direct sunlight. Long bursts of sun rays can cause discoloration or even damage the fabric.

Never tumble dry. The high temperature of the dryer will shrink or damage your fabric.

Use a mild detergent. Some brands are specifically designed for silk.

Due to losing the strength when wet, silk rigidity, as well as distinct molecule structure, washing and caring silk fabrics as if they were regular ones, will harm the material, causing silk garments to decrease shine and change texture properties or even damage the silk fabric completely by ripping it. 

Proper care of silk materials will elongate its lifetime along with preventing it from losing silks qualities. 

How Do You Hand-Wash Silk fabric?

This is probably the safest way to wash silk garments, and the steps are easy to follow.

Submerge your silk in a basin filled with cool water.

Add a few drops of mild detergent and use your hand to mix it into the solution. Let the item soak for at least 3 minutes.

Using your hands, plunge the garment up and down to remove dirt.

Rinse the silk under cold water until all the soap has been washed out.

Soak up the moisture using a towel. Never rub or agitate your silk.

Hang it on a drying (no wood) rack and keep it away from direct sunlight..

How Do You Wash Silk in a Machine?

Yes, you can wash silk in a machine. However, you must invest in a mesh bag to avoid tangling and damages.

Sort your laundry. Never wash silk with heavy pieces of clothing like jeans.

Use mesh bags to protect your silks from abrasion.

Add a detergent that is specifically designed to care for silk garments. Check the dosing instructions on the bottle.

Set your machine to a delicate wash option. Also, choose the shortest spin cycle and follow the recommended temperature in the label, if possible.

Soak up excess moisture using a towel.

Depending on the item, hang it up or lay it flat to dry. Again, avoid direct sunlight.

How to Dry your Silk fabric?

You won’t need a tumble dryer for this, as it is strongly discouraged to dry silk in a tumble dryer. Instead, silk should be dried by air for optimal effects.

The first step is to absorb any extra moisture by placing the item flat on a clean towel. Roll the silk-filled towel and apply gentle pressure. Repeat with another clean towel until the silk is no longer dripping wet.

After removing the silk garment from the towel, place it flat on a drying rack without using clothespins. Because direct sunshine might cause the silk’s colours to fade, it should be dried in the shade.

Silk tends to dry relatively rapidly, so your item should be dry within 30 to 60 minutes.

Because silk fibers burn easily, you should use the coolest temperature possible when ironing silk

Silk should really never be exposed to heat in any form, wet or dry

How to Iron Silk Fabric?

Iron your silk on a clean surface with a clean iron. Silk is uniquely vulnerable to staining, and any residual stain on these surfaces is likely to transfer to your fine silk. Cleaning an iron is relatively simple to do and well worth the effort.

We recommend using an ironing board, again with a clean cover. If you wish, you can lay a clean white sheet over the cover. If you don’t use an ironing board, make sure you are using a hard, flat surface that is heat-resistant and clean.

You may also want to use a press cloth, which is a piece of fabric you lay on top of the silk you are ironing.

Pass the iron quickly across the surface of the silk; do not use a back and forth motion which can cause scorch marks. 

DO NOT use a steam iron, as the moisture from the steam can leave water stains on silk 

How to Remove Stains from Silk Fabric

Ideally, stains should be treated as quickly as possible for the greatest chance of removal.

The best method for removing stains from silk is to combine silk detergent and water at a ratio of 50/50. Soak a cotton swab in the solution and massage it gently onto the soiled spot; never rub forcefully, as silk is delicate! Repeat the same procedure on the reverse side of the stained silk, and the pre-treatment will be complete.

Note: Always use detergents designed specifically for silk or delicate fabrics, and avoid all-purpose stain removers to avoid damage silk.

For oil stains best cleaner is talcum powder. A greasy stain can be cleaned with talcum powder. Baking soda, cornmeal, or cornstarch may be substituted for the talcum powder.

Do not use enzyme-based detergents or spot removers on silk  These cleaners work by dissolving proteins; over time, these products can break down the proteins in silk fibers. Products marketed as  "silk wash" are safe.

How to Remove Wrinkles from your Silk

Repairing silk wrinkles takes additional care, but it’s doable.

Ironing is a surefire way to repair wrinkled cloth. But with silk, you do it with extra steps to prevent burning the delicate fibers.

Step one, damp the entire surface of the sheet using a spray bottle.

Second, set your iron to the lowest or silk setting.

Lay the fabric flat on the ironing board and place a thin, clean towel on top.

Iron the silk with the towel on top until you cover all wrinkled areas.

After ironing the entire silk , hang it to dry. You can repeat the method if you notice any remaining crinkles.

How to Fix a Stiffened and Restore Shine

A mild vinegar bath should help recover a silk’s lost sheen. This sour but popular method will help restore glow and softness to your favorite piece of clothing.

The first step is to mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with one gallon of lukewarm water in a clean basin or wash bin.

Stir the mixture well before submerging your silk sheet.

Swirl the vinegar water with your silk sheet for a few minutes to ensure the mixture penetrates the fabric.

After soaking the silk, pour the vinegar mixture and rinse the sheet with cool water until the sour smell comes off.

Shake out excess water (don’t twist) and air dry the fabric in a well-ventilated area.

Drying is a crucial part when caring for silk material. And one thing to avoid after a vinegar bath is using wooden hangers or surfaces to prevent color contamination.

Updated on January 2024
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