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How to Safely Wash & Care for your Silk Products at Home

There is something so special and luxuriant about silk, it’s incredible sheen, enduring softness and fabulous properties. We can’t get enough of this fabric, the way it shimmers as it catches the light and its lustrous hand-feel, a naturally hypoallergenic material perfect for sensitive skins. Silk is often misrepresented as ‘Silk’ or ‘Satin’, but if the price is too low then there is a reason it is too good to be true, it isn’t really 100% Silk.
How to Safely Wash & Care for your Silk Products at Home

When dealing with real pure Silk, the look and feel is a different story and taking care of this fabric requires a certain kind of attention. Special care for a very special textile, but you may be surprised to find that dry cleaning does not have to be your only option for washing them. In this article, we have rounded up 4 simple tips to safely wash and take care of your silk at home. Whether you have a Silk Bed Cover or a Silk Eye Mask you treasure and want to keep for years to come, then this blog post is the perfect read. Follow these basic guidelines to help keep the beauty and guarantee more durability in the life of your favorite silk products!

Check the care label before washing silk

1. Check the Label

For any textile related product, we would always recommend to check the label first before washing anything. This is even more important when it comes to such delicate fabric like silk, carefully reading the care label and strictly following its instructions is a must if you want to keep your silk for years! When a label says “Dry Clean” that is the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning method, but it may not be the only method available, hand washing silk clothing is often an acceptable alternative. “Dry Clean Only,” however, should be strictly adhered to. If the fabric care labels says that your silk piece can be ironed, then you should use a low setting on your iron. And iron while garments are still slightly damp to prevent overheating. Hang to dry on a padded hanger or on flat surface. Should the care label instruct otherwise, do not iron the item. We really do not recommend machine washing when dealing with a pure Silk item as it will damage it.

2. Tips for Handwashing

Once again, always follow the manufacturer’s care label instructions before trying hand washing. If not done properly, hand washing silk at home may result in shrinkage, limpness, and considerable fading. So before you get started here are some fundamental rules to live by and simple steps to follow:

  • Never use chlorine bleach or products containing chlorine on silk, this will permanently change your silk color and may even fray the fabric’s fibre
  • When hand washing silk, choose a mild detergent, suitable for delicate fabrics
    • Start by adding a small amount of detergent to a bowl or basin filled with lukewarm water and swoosh it lightly so that the detergent starts to break down
  • Do not use hot water to scald stains away, If the water temperature is too warm it can cause the dyes to run on some silks and there is also the risk of damaging the fabric’s natural lustre
  • Then, soak your silk for up to five minutes before rinsing in a new bowl of clean, cool water. Don’t rub your silk when it is still wet as the fabric will chafe easily or develop light areas if rubbed while wet
  • Finally, give the item one last rinse before laying it flat and dabbing with a clean towel to absorb any excess water. Don’t try to wring or twist out the water as this can damage the shape of fabric and your pieces. Silk dries quickly, you may hang it up or lay it flat to dry naturally.

Follow these easy do’s and dont’s for the best results for taking care of your silk pieces at home. Typically, we would recommend the hand washing option for smaller items, such as, silk scarves, silk pillow case, silk nightdress and so on.

3. Get Rid of Wrinkles

Though you may have found the way to wash and dry your silk properly, you may find silk pieces have some stubborn wrinkles after a couple of washes. To get out these annoying creases, you can iron your silk. The first rule to making sure you iron safely, and it is very important, is that you should always check the surface of your iron to make sure it is clean. Lay a white cotton sheet (or any other light, natural color one) on the ironing board to make sure there is no leaking of colour from the ironing board cover which could cause permanent staining by the heat from the iron.

Safely store your silk

Most irons come with either a delicate or silk function but if yours doesn’t, simply put it on the lowest setting. Silk is best ironed when damp. Iron your silk on the duller back side to ensure no iron marks on the glossier side. Alternatively, you can steam your silk pieces by one quick hack. Hang your silk in your bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam will help smoothen out the simple wrinkles on your clothing!

4. Safely store your silk

After cleaning your silk, it’s time to put it back in the closet. However, storing silk pieces requires more attention than your other fabrics. Make sure to keep the fabric in a dry, dark place because silk is sensitive to light. Long exposure to sunlight or even strong lights can cause your piece to streak and fade. For everyday storage, hang silk items in your closet on fuzzy hangers to prevent silky items from slipping. For bigger items like bed covers or plaids we would suggest storing them in breathable fabric bags or baskets folded neatly and placed in a cupboard. Store silk in a breathable bag back if you’re planning to put it away for a long time. Do not put your silk items in plastics, as its protein fibers need to breathe. Remember to use moth repellent when storing silk. Tip: Your silk items in a big size like duvet or throw should be aired for a few hours outside (out of direct sunlight) about twice a year. This allows the duvet to ‘breathe’ and helps the silk fibers that may have slightly compacted during use to rejuvenate.

Pro Tip:

With years of experience using Silk to create our wonderful Bed Covers & Bed Throws along with our collection of silk Homewear, we found that finding a reliable and quality dry cleaners is a great way to ensure your Silk favourites are treated properly. Careful handling and washing techniques will ensure that these cherished pieces bring you comfort and joy always.

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