Caring For Silk

Some silks are washable, for others dry-cleaning is recommended. If in doubt check with the store where you bought the fabric or garment. Do not wash Silk goods if the colours are not fast. Keep silk out of strong sunlight. Before washing test for colourfastness. Wet a small piece of the fabric in cool water and then lay it on a piece of white material. Press it with a warm iron. If it leaves no colour or hardly any mark on the white fabric, then you can safely wash it. Normally silk is best washed by hand with a mild detergent, such as Tenestar, Dreft or Lux in lukewarm water. Rinse well, squeeze out surplus moisture by rolling in a towel and hang to dry. Never soak, boil, bleach or wring Silk or leave it crumpled in a towel. Do not let Silk become too dirty before washing, as hard rubbing damages the fibres.
These days washing machines often have a programme for washing delicate articles at a temperature of 30 - 40. Provided great care is taken and the above recommendations are followed, many Silk articles can be successfully washed by machine.
Marks should be rubbed lightly with a sponge or brush. Dry Silk away from the sun or direct heat. Press on the wrong side with a warm iron. Slubbed fabrics and crepes and most wild Silks should be pressed when dry and others when slightly (and evenly) damp. Finish off lightly on the right side. When pressing Silk with a rib or slub, use a pressing cloth, otherwise the Silk may become fluffy. Do not press with steam or re-damp the Silk locally, as water staining may occur. If the Silk water-stains, then dip the garment in warm water for 2-3 minutes, dry and re-iron.
It is important to avoid soaking Silk if it has a flame resistant finish.
Badly stained garments should be dry-cleaned. Do not try to remove stains with a stain remover at home; tell the dry-cleaner what caused them. Choose your dry-cleaner carefully. Make sure that he can clean Silk properly. Use a dry-cleaner, whom you have used for Silk or who has been recommended to you. Silk that should be dry-cleaned includes taffetas, chiffons, brocades, many multi-coloured prints, dressing gown fabrics, ties and scarves.