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Silk is very luxurious and at the same time is a very delicate material. When it comes to washing your silk fabric, a lot of care is required. You won’t want to damage your material as a result of poor handling. There are two things to take note of before washing your silk.
The first thing to do before washing your silk is to read the care instruction. Most manufacturers put the care instruction on the label of the product. Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
When the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning, it is important to follow that instruction for the best care method. However, it is also important to understand that the recommended method might not be the only method. Most professionals will also recommend hand washing for silk material. Notwithstanding, where the manufacturer recommends only “dry cleaning” then it must strictly be adhered to.
It is important to check and ensure that the colors do not bleed. Often times, the elaborate colors of silk bleed. So in order to be on the safe side, it is important to test the material first. One way to do this is by dipping a cotton swab in mild laundry detergent and gently rubbing it on a hidden portion of the cloth. See if any color comes off with the cotton swab. If you notice that it bleeds then it will be best to dry clean your silk.
When washing the silk fabric, it is important to do this very gently. Silk fabrics do not require so much force to wash.
The things you need when hand washing your silk fabric are the following:
Fill up your bathtub or basin with cold or lukewarm water enough to ensure the material is properly submerged.
Add a few drops of liquid washing detergent to the water. It is important to use mild detergents on delicate fabrics like silk. This will protect the material from getting damaged. Mix the water and the soap gently together and then put it in your fabric. Allow the fabric to soak for up to three minutes.
Gently agitate the fabric in the water, move the fabric up and down to ensure enough water moves through the fabric. Wash gently to get rid of stains and dirt. When washing, it is important to do it gently, avoid twisting the fabric.
After washing, throw away the water and rinse with clean water. It is more advisable to rinse with flowing water as this will ensure the soap suds are completely washed off.
After rinsing the garment, remember do not squeeze or wring your silk fabric. Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place your silk garment on the towel and roll the towel from one end to the other. After rolling from one end to the other, unroll the towel and bring out your silk fabric. This will help get rid of excess moisture from your fabric. When rolling your towel, do not squeeze or wring towel as well, you don’t want to destroy your delicate fabric.
Spread out your silk fabric on the clothing line to dry. Do not expose to direct sunlight. Only air drying is required. Placing silk fabric in direct sunlight can damage the colors or weaken the silk fibers.
Like we mentioned earlier, it is important to ensure that a material can be machine washed before putting it into the washing machine. This information can be found on the product tag. Remember, using a machine to wash your silk fabric where it is not recommended can seriously damage your fabric or cause severe discoloration to the material.
When loading the washing machine, do not load your silk fabric together with other materials except if they are similar fabrics. You might want to use a mesh bag for your silk fabric to prevent snagging.
Avoid washing the silk garment with cloths like jeans and other clothing with metal parts that your silk can snag on.
Set your washing machine to a delicate cycle and set the spin to the minimum. This will ensure you get a gentle wash. Add a mild liquid soap or all-natural mild detergent. Stay away from detergents that contain brighteners. Avoid the use of bleaching agents as well to prevent premature damage to your delicate silk material.
Follow the previous step as we explained before with the towel to get rid of excess moisture from your fabric. Once this is done, use a clothes hanger to hang your cloth or spread it out in the open to dry.
Some people make the mistake of trying to treat spots on their silk fabric. This can lead to spot discoloration of your fabric. It is best that you skip the process of spot cleaning and wash your entire fabric instead.
There are different ways to get rid of wrinkles from your silk fabric. You can use the steamer. Before using a steamer, it is important to make use of the appropriate one designed for delicate materials. Ensure the material is completely dry before using a steamer on it. Be careful and don’t allow the steamer to get very hot. In case your steamer drips leaving visible spots of water stain on your fabric, do not panic. Dip your fabric inside cold water and spread it out for some time to dry. Once your garment dries up, the stains should automatically disappear.
You can also remove wrinkles by ironing your silk fabric. However, it is important to take the following steps when ironing your silk fabric. Ensure that the fabric is a bit damp. Turn the fabric inside out and iron the inside at a low temperature (set your iron to delicate).
The best way to store your silk material is by using a fuzzy hanger. Because of the nature of the silk, it might slip off your regular hanger. This is why we recommend a fuzzy hanger. Moths love to feed on natural fibers which include silk. Therefore it is very important to store your silk fabric in a neat, cool and dry cloth box if you will not be using it for a long time.