Many people shy away from buying silk because of the difficulty in maintaining it. Silk is a natural occurring fibre made from the cocoon of the silkworm. Therefore, it stands to reason that while silk fabric is mostly durable, it will require extra care to stay fresh and beautiful for longer.
How to Wash Silk
Before you wash your silk garment, check your fabric care label. Most silk garments labels say that you should dry clean, however you can hand wash as well. The following tips will ensure that you do not ruin your silk while handwashing:
- Use a mild non-biologic detergent. Silk fabric will be damaged when your detergent is too strong. Also, the detergent can counteract the hypoallergenic properties of silk, causing allergic reactions to the wearer.
- When you stain your silk garment, do not try to rub the stain off on that spot as it will fade the colour in the spot. What you should do instead is wash your entire garment.
- Soak your silk fabric in cold water with detergent for 5 minutes then swish gently from side to side instead of rubbing.
- Add a fabric conditioner after washing and rinsing to refresh your silk fabric and rinse.
- For DIY care, use a spoon of vinegar in the final rinse.
- Do not wring your silk fabric as it will damage the fibres. Ball the fabric up and squeeze to remove extra moisture.
- Roll your garment in a towel then lay your garment flat to dry. Don’t leave your silk out in the sun.
- It is important to note that when you are washing silk in the washing machine, avoid putting it in together with other heavier fabric like jeans. If you want to wash your silk alongside other fabric, put your silk in a wash bag first.
Ironing your garment
You do not necessarily need to iron your silk garment. The following tips will help you get the best experience with ironing your silk.
- Small creases will disappear when your garment is hung overnight. If you must iron , however, use a steam iron or steamer if available.
- Turn your garment inside out before ironing
- Iron on the silk setting, on low heat if you don’t have a steam iron to remove creases.
- Ensure that your fabric is slightly damp so that your garment will not burn.
- It is also advisable to place a cotton towel over your garment rather than ironing directly.
- To avoid creasing, you should store your silk garment by hanging in a cool, dry place.
- For scarves or smaller garments, you can purchase a pochette for storage.
- For long term storage, store your silk in a breathable fabric and away from the sun. You should add a moth repellent to this bag as silk attracts moths.
Silk is beautiful and soft and luxurious. Care properly for your silk and you will get the best and longest use from it.
Paula London is a creator and distributor of beautifully printed silk scarves. Explore our collection of 100% mulberry silk collection here