How to Care for Silk Fabrics

Silk is one of the oldest and most luxurious of fabrics.

Silk is one of the oldest and most luxurious of fabrics. It is also considered one of the most expensive. Thanks to the drop in prices over the past years, almost everyone can afford beautiful silk clothing.

With proper care, silk garments will last a lifetime. Following are some tips on how to care for silks:

How to Wash

• Wash in cool or lukewarm water with a synthetic detergent.

• Rinse gently but thoroughly in cold to lukewarm water. Do not wring.

• Wrap garment in a towel to remove excess water. Dry on a padded hanger. (If you will iron the garment, leave it slightly damp.) Do not throw your garment in the dryer.

How to Iron

• Iron while fabric is still damp.

• Iron at the correct temperature -- 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Iron on the reverse side of the fabric.

• Do not use steam setting to remove wrinkles: the heat will damage the fabric.

The Do Not's

• Do not hang silk garments on wire hangers -- rust may stain the fabric.

• Do not return soiled garments to your closet

• Do not machine wash silks.

• Do not wear pins on the silk -- they will leave permanent holes.

• Do not expose silk to the sun, strong lighting, or dry heat for long periods of time. These will cause fading.

• Do not hang silk garments in plastic bags; the fabric needs to "breathe."

• Do not wear silk garments that are too tight; the fabric will stretch and weaken, causing pulls, and sagging.

• Do not apply deodorants, body lotions, colognes, or perfumes while wearing silk; these chemicals are harmful to the fabric.

• Do not iron silk dry.

• Do not soak in water for long durations.

• Do not stretch or pull silk.

• Do not use chlorine bleach

• Do not use starch on silk.

Spots and Stains

• Act quickly! If possible, rinse immediately in cool water.

• Grease stains can be removed with talcum powder: Sprinkle powder on stain. Put blotting paper above and beneath the stain. Iron the stain through the blotter.

• Remove deodorant stains by rinsing garment in cold water, then sponge on a solution of equal parts ammonia and water.

• Bloodstains should be soaked in cold water, then washed gently with a synthetic detergent in cool water, or removed with ammonia/ water solution.

• Remove lipstick stains by placing a piece of masking tape over the stain and quickly yanking it off. Dab any remaining color with talcum powder.

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Posted on Sep 13, 2009