Whether you’re accident prone as I am tending to spill things like SALAD DRESSING or your silk just needs some freshening up, the question of how to clean and care for your silk is bound to come up. Do we dry-clean, hand wash, treat stains or hide them — how do we take care of our silkies?
We’re here for you.
Silk is a natural fiber and actually in most cases prefers to be gently hand washed rather than dry cleaned. Dry cleaning can shrink silk. Add to that the fact that dry cleaning is generally bad for the environment and uses chemicals on your fine delicates, it’s a no go for us. Plus - bonus - you’ll save money. The reality is most fabrics labeled “dry clean only” are generally launderable. Disclaimer: Do your research. When in doubt, test a small inconspicuous area.
Stains:Always pretreat stains. There are a number of great products out there and you can make your own with a few tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with a similar amount of lukewarm water. Dab the stain with a clean white cloth. You can also pretreat with a dab of delicate detergent before you wash. Side Note: Never spray your perfume directly on your silk scarf as tempting as it is. Alcohol and oils in fragrance can stain the silk.
Always use a gentle washing detergent specifically designed for washing silks. This is important as many detergents are not suitable for silk and can damage them. Dissolve a small amount of detergent in a sink of cool to lukewarm water- no warmer than your skin. Gently swish your scarf around in the bath, very lightly rubbing any stains. Do not wring, twist or beat the poor thing up. Rinse the scarf in cool to lukewarm water until all soap residue has been removed. You can add a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutrlize alkali traces and dissolve soap residue thus adding back a luster to the fabric. The rinse again in cool water to remove vinegar.
Lay your scarf on a clean dry towel and gently roll it up to remove excess water. Do not put your silk in the dryer. Ever. Seriously. Unroll the scarf and hang across a plastic round hanger to air dry out of sunlight. Finger press it smooth to reduce any wrinkles.
If your scarf needs a little touch up it’s best to use a hand steamer and not linger in any one place too long as extreme heat can damage the fibers.