The different methods of washing silk

Silk is a material made from natural fibers with which the most beautiful fabrics that exist are designed.
Despite its resistance, silk fabric must be washed with particular care to maintain its softness and beautiful appearance.

We are therefore going to discuss some essential rules to keep in mind when washing, drying and ironing silk fabric:

First of all, you should check the label which will tell you the appropriate washing option for your silk textile, namely, if your fabric can be machine washed or if it must be hand washed or dry washed. . Failure to follow these instructions may permanently damage your fabric.

The different options for washing silk

Hand wash:

Washing silk by hand is the safest method to preserve the quality and beautiful appearance of your fabrics.

Start by sorting the items and make sure not to mix silk fabrics with fabrics of other materials.

2. Fill a bathtub with cold water. The water must be below 30 C° because silk does not tolerate hot temperatures well.

3. Add two teaspoons of mild detergent to the water, before soaking the textiles in it. It is recommended to use detergents specially formulated for washing silk. Harsh detergents can weaken the fabric.
You should never use detergents containing bleach to wash silk. Bleach will yellow fabrics.

4. Place the silk linen in the bathtub then stir it gently. Above all, do not rub or twist the laundry as this could damage it.
The fabrics should be completely soaked with water, but they should only be soaked for a few minutes (5 minutes maximum).

5. Put the tissues aside (in a bucket for example), while you empty the bathtub and fill it again with cold water.
Return the silk linen to the water then gently rinse the fabrics to remove excess soap.
Repeat this step as many times as necessary to remove all of the soap.

6. Once the soap has been removed, you will need to gently wring the laundry to remove excess water, while being, once again, very careful not to wring the fabrics.

Washing machine wash:

1. The first thing to do will be to check the type of washing machine. Front-loading machines are gentler than top-loading machines.
If silk laundry is put in a top-loading machine, you will need to use a laundry bag so that the fabrics do not fray.

2. Just like hand washing, you will need to make sure not to mix silk fabrics with other types of fabrics.
Fabrics should also be separated by color since silk releases dye when washed.

3. Use a mild detergent to wash silk fabrics and avoid those containing brighteners and enzymes. It is recommended to use detergents specially formulated for washing silk. Harsh detergents can weaken the fabric.

4. It is essential to ensure that the laundry is washed in cold water (less than 30 C°), for this, you must set the machine to the "delicate" or "hand wash" cycle and choose the shortest spin cycle. Excessive spinning may break down the silk fibers and damage the fabrics.

If the machine does not have a delicate cycle, you will have to wash your silk laundry by hand.

Dry cleaning:

To preserve the beauty of your silk fabric, it is essential to carefully read the instructions on the washing label. Indeed, it is these indications which will guide the choice of the washing option to choose.

If the label says "Dry Clean", this is generally just a recommendation, and it is still possible to wash your fabric by hand or in the machine on a delicate cycle.

On the other hand, if the label says “Dry clean only”, this means that the silk fabric is very delicate and it is safer to take it to a professional so as not to damage it.

If the fabrics are brightly colored or have patterns, dry cleaning is the best option to preserve their color and beautiful appearance.

When silk is entrusted to dry cleaners, ensure that they have experience in dry cleaning silk fabrics, and favor dry cleaners who use ecological or organic dry cleaning services. Toxic products can damage silk.

Drying and ironing silk

Drying silk:

To dry silk laundry, hang it in a place where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Such exposure can damage the silk fiber and cause the fabric to fade.
You should also be careful not to hang silk linen on a wooden support. Stains used on wood may stain fabric.

If it is complicated to hang the laundry under the conditions mentioned, it is possible to dry it by laying it flat on a towel.

Ironing silk:

Ironing is optional when it comes to silk bedding (sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, etc.). Once silk sheets and pillowcases are placed on the bed, they will naturally smooth out.
For other silk textiles, if they are very wrinkled after washing, you will need to iron them while they are slightly damp so that the creases are removed more easily.

It is important to have a spray bottle on hand when ironing silk as the fabric can burn quickly if it is completely dry.

1. Start by setting the iron to “silk” and turning the fabric over. The shiny side should be down and it is the duller, matte side that will be in contact with the iron.

2. Keep the iron moving to prevent the silk from burning. Do not repeat the same part for more than 5 seconds.

3. Allow silk fabrics to cool completely before folding and storing.

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