Tips for Caring for Silk
Silk is a very luxurious fabric which is a true investment to last a lifetime and we love it! This fabric needs special care and tips in order for it to look as amazing as it should! Some silks may be washable, whereas others it is recommended to dry clean only. Here are some of our tips and tricks to the best ways to care for your silk fabrics!
For some silk fabrics, you are able to hand wash them at home instead of taking them to be dry cleaned. Here is the best way to hand wash silk to get the best results.
Before hand washing silk, make sure to test a small area of fabric first. This is through wetting a small area in a little bit of water and gently pressing with a cotton bud to see if any colour residue is picked up. If there is colour residue present, this silk will need to go to the dry cleaners and not be hand washed. If there is no colour residue then it is safe to be hand washed.
It is best to wash silk fabrics by hand with a mild detergent in cool water. Gently agitate and continuously swirl the fabric in the water to remove any stains (try not to scrub too hard as this can damage the fibres of the silk). Do not leave the fabric in the water for too long, approximately 4-5 minutes for small lengths of fabric and up to 30 minutes for larger pieces. Afterwards, make sure to rinse the fabric well with fresh, cool water until the water runs clear. Carefully squeeze out any excess water by rolling in a towel and then hang or lie flat to air dry in a shady place. It is not recommended to soak, boil, bleach or wring out silk fabrics or to leave it crumpled as this affects the fibres in the silk. The fabric shouldn’t take too long to dry and then you are able to wear again!
Brushing Off Stains
For silk fabrics, it is recommended to brush off any small marks instead of fully washing the fabric. This should be done with a sponge or brush. Carefully remove any marks off the cloth in gentle, circular motions to ensure there is limited damage done to the fibres. This can only be done with small, light stains as any harsh ‘scrubbing’ action will damage the cloth.
Storage for Silk
Silk fabrics should not be stored in direct sunlight as this can cause the fabric to fade overtime ruining the cloth. It is recommended instead to store silk in a cool, dry place, out of sunlight. Avoid packing away your fabric in tightly sealed plastic bags, instead opt for breathable cotton bags as silk is a natural fibre so needs to be able to breath. When storing your silk fabrics or garments, make sure to always store your silk clean as any stains or natural oils can degrade the fabric over time and lead to damage or marks.
Ironing Your Silk
If you have hand washed your fabric and are air drying, it is best to try and do it lay the fabric as flat as possible to avoid many creases or wrinkles afterwards. Steaming is usually the safest option but avoid getting any watermarks on the fabric. However, you are able to iron some silk fabrics too, as long as you do it carefully! Make sure to iron the backside of the fabric (where there is no pattern) and on a low, gentle heat. Avoid getting any water droplets on the fabric as this will mark it. If the fabric you are ironing is double-sided, use a pressing cloth to avoid applying heat directly to the pattern.
Some silk fabrics such as taffetas, chiffons and brocades may be dry clean only and thus should only be sent to the dry cleaners for cleaning. This is also true for badly stained silks as hard rubbing through hand washing will damage the fibres. Make sure the dry cleaner is aware of the cause of the stains and therefore will be able to care for your fabric correctly.
This is a general guideline for washing silk and certain qualities may vary. Always check with each individual fabric.
Take a look at our new amazing range of silk fabrics - we have a range of plain fabrics with our Catherine Silks and Pearl Bliss to our more colourful printed silks such as Borealis Blue, Halle, Silk Stripes, Bohemian Silk and Liberty Silks! We have a fabulous range and we're sure you'll find something you love!
Liberty Silk - Whispering Stars