Nothing comes close to the gorgeous satiny feeling of the silk slipping on our skin like a like a glossy, lightweight cocoon.
It's luxurious, classic and chic, but when it comes to cleaning, silk is something we all fear of taking care of. Don't worry; while silk does require special attention, it doesn't mean that it's impossible to preserve.
When it comes to washing silk, you have three options. Leaving things to the expert cleaners is one way of extending the life of the material; after all, the fabric often comes with a “Dry Clean” label. However, it’s good to know that you too can maintain your silk items at home. When there's a stain emergency and you need a quick fix, here's what you should do:
- Silk garments, especially those with bright, vivid colours, have the tendency to bleed. Check your garment for colour fastness. Dab a small amount of water and detergent on a cotton ball and test it on a small corner inside.
- If the colour stays, use mild water paired with high-pH soaps (7 or less) as detergent. Stir the detergent into the basin before leaving your silk garment for a good soak.
- Gently swish the garment in places where there are stains.
- For the final rinse, use fabric conditioner to keep your silk garment smooth and supple. An insider tip? Hair conditioner will work just as nicely.
Giving machine wash a pass? You might be surprised how this could make caring for your silk clothes easier.
- Separate your delicates from the rest of your clothing.
- Check if your washing machine has a delicate cycle. This is made to wash softer items, like chiffon and silk. If this is not available, select cool cycle.
- Make sure to wash your silk garments with a temperature within 30 degrees. Why? This fabric is sensitive to heat; when washed on warmer cycles your silk clothing may decompose.
- To avoid the weakening of silk fibres, make sure that you put it on the shortest spin cycle. Use a mild detergent.
- Place your silk garment in mesh bags to help avoid snags and tears. Snagging occurs when the thread of the fabric is pulled, scratched or tugged during a machine cycle.
Now that your silk is spiffy clean, it’s time to dry it. But hold on; do not wring or tumble-dry your silk. Instead, remove the moisture by rolling the fabric in an absorbent towel and lay the item to dry. Avoid direct sunlight and heat as the warm temperature affects the composition of the fabric. Instead, dry it indoors.
- Check your iron’s surface and make sure it is clean. If it is stained, remove it with water and baking soda solution. Ironing silk with metal stains will permanently ruin your garment.
- Find your iron’s delicate or silk setting. If there’s none, use the lowest heat.
- Prep your iron board with a clean, undyed cotton cover to prevent stains from leaching into your silk clothing.
- Silk is best ironed when damp. Iron the clothing on the duller back side to ensure no iron marks on the glossier side. Do this part by part.
- If you have to iron directly on the front side, use a press cotton cloth to protect the area.
- Keep the iron moving to avoid deformation and discoloration.
Alternatively, you can steam your silk garments. One quick hack? Hang your silk in your bathroom when you take a hot shower. The steam will help smoothen out the wrinkles on the garment.
After cleaning your silk clothing, it’s time to put it back in the closet. But wait; storing this item requires more attention than your other garments.
- Make sure to keep the fabric in a dry, dark place; silk is sensitive to light and will discolor when exposed to it.
- Your silk might crease when folded with other items for a long time. To preserve its shape, hide it in a breathable bag and store it in a special corner.
- Do not put your silk items in plastics, as its protein fibres need to breathe.
- Since this fabric is made up of protein and can attract insects, add a natural moth repellent