Silk care tips
1. Dry Clean Your Silk
The best way to maintain the softness and gloss of your silk is to dry clean it after use. Dry cleaning helps dissolve oil and grease from your silk in a more effective way than water. Moreover, by using precautions to prevent the loss of color, shrinkage, and change of the finish of the silk garment, dry cleaning imparts an almost new appearance.
2. Hand Wash Your Silk
You have to hand wash silk clothes rather than flinging them along with your other clothes in the washing machine. Also, colored silk needs to be hand washed separately from white silk. Hand washing silk allows you to wash it delicately, which a machine wash does not permit. Silk does not have as much a risk of shrinking like other fabrics and therefore, a careful hand washing can help keep it clean and new.
3. Rinse in Cold Water
While washing your silk garment, remember to rinse it in cold water as opposed to hot water. This will help extend the life of the fabric, which is delicate in nature. Warm water tends to be rough on the material and consequently, cause damage to it. In contrast, cold water helps the colours on the silk material to last longer as well as the garment to retain its original shape and size. All of these enable the silk garment to look as good as new.
4. Use an Appropriate Detergent
It is important to read the detergent label carefully before you use it on silk. Since this material is extremely delicate, mild detergents with phrases such as “suitable for silk” and “delicates” are ideal for use. Laundry blues and bleaches are abrasive and therefore, should be strictly avoided by all means.
5. Do Not Spot-Treat
Spot-treating your silk can seriously hamper the quality of your fabric. If you have accidentally dropped something on your silk garment, do not try to wash off the soiled portion in isolation as that portion will then appear light and faded. Hence, it is better if you wash off the silk piece as a whole rather than any particular part separately. This will help your silk garment to maintain its original look.
6. Do Not Wring
Unlike stronger fabrics such as cotton and polyester, silk cannot withstand wringing or twisting. Indeed, the act of wringing can cause creases on this soft fabric and damage it in the long run. If you want to get rid of the extra water from your silk, roll it in a towel or a cotton cloth and keep it until it dries. This will enable better absorption of water, thereby enabling the silk to maintain its flexibility and elasticity.
Consequently, the silk will appear to be good and new.
7. Smoothen Out the Wrinkles
Wrinkles and creases in your silk garments post wash can make them look worn out and reduce their longevity as well. Hence, it is important to steam out wrinkles from your silk. In case you do not own a steamer, it is a good idea to hang your silk in the bathroom and eventually expose it to hot steam when you take a shower.
Another way to smoothen out the wrinkles on your silk is to iron them on low heat with the garment turned inside out. Remember to iron the silk once it is completely dry. As a precaution, you can insert a piece of cloth between the silk and the iron so that the cloth is not exposed to extra heat and therefore, damage.
8. Dry in a Shaded Place
Hanging your silk fabric directly under sunlight will make it appear dull and faded. As silk is extremely soft and delicate, after washing it should be dried in a place well-protected from direct heat. Hence, a cool, shady area is the ideal place to dry your silk. It will keep the material bright and shiny.
9. Avoid Exposure to Alcohol
While applying items such as perfume and hairspray on yourself, be cautious to avoid any spillage onto your silk garment. The alcohol contained in these liquids can be damaging for silk, causing discoloration and weakening of the fabric. This can make the silk appear to be somewhat old sooner than expected. However, the careful avoidance of hairspray, body spray and perfume on the material can keep the silk looking new as ever.
10. Store in a Fabric Bag
To store your silk for a long duration, it is best to keep your silk garment in a porous fabric bag, which allows for coverage from dust as well as sufficient circulation of air. As silk tends to form creases easily, you want to avoid leaving it crumpled up or folded for a very long time. This can cause your silk to look somewhat frayed the next time you wear it. As silk is a protein, it can attract moths. Therefore, adding a natural moth repellent such as a sachet of dried lavender or mint leaves in the bag in storage will prevent damage by moths, thereby keeping the garment as good as new.
Thus, with adequate care, silk garments can appear bright and new as well as last for a long time. You don’t need to make frequent expensive purchases of silk to get that luxurious feel. However, it’s highly recommended that you dry clean your silk clothing rather than washing them, as it can be an intricate process. The right application and handling of the material can work wonders in giving it that new look!