How to Care for Silk Fabrics

Silk is quite possibly one of the most comfortable and elegant types of fabrics you can choose when it comes to clothing and soft furnishings. Incredibly fine and with a gorgeous lustre that few other materials come close to, silk has a decadence all of its own.

Let’s face it though: it doesn’t come cheap. So if you want to improve the lifespan and feel of your silk items it’s important to know how to care for it! To be honest, the best way to make sure that your silk is properly cared for is to enlist the help of a professional dry cleaner like Thirty Degrees and make sure that you get your items regularly dry cleaned. Here are some quick tips that you can use in the times between these visits though!

Careful hand washing - where possible

If you need to urgently wash a silk item you do it by hand washing. First of all, check the garment's label - some might say Dry Clean only - and for that you have us! Otherwise, you’ll need to separate your colours to be sure that nothing will run and spoil your silk!

You also need to do a bit of quick research into the type of detergent that it’s best to use with your garment— all you need to do is just scan the detergent label that you’ll find on the item itself. If you can’t see one, do a bit of digging on the internet. 

Choose a mild detergent (the milder, the better), avoiding anything with bleach in it, and mix it with cold water in your basin or sink. Put your item in to soak for around five minutes, and then very gently move the silk item around in the water, waving it slowly around in the mixture. After another five minutes or so follow this through with a cold water rinse and remove the water by wrapping the silk in a towel. Try not to wring the item dry because this can damage the silk’s delicate fibres. Put it on a flat surface to dry, avoiding direct heat and sunlight, and there you have it! Your silk should be clean as a whistle.

Ironing your silk

We’re not going to lie, ironing your silk can seem like a scary task but it doesn’t have to be when you know how. The key is to try and get the worst of the wrinkles out before you even pick up an iron. You can do this by steaming the item! If you don’t have a professional steamer, a simple hack is to just hang the item up in the bathroom the next time you have a hot shower— this usually gets the worst of the creases and wrinkles out.

If stubborn spots still remain, you’ll have to fire up your iron. Wait until the silk is dry and choose a low heat, turning your item inside out and wrong side up. Put a cloth between the silk itself and the hot part of the iron and gently smooth it until the wrinkles have disappeared!

Storing your silk

It’s best to keep your silk items in a cool, dry place that isn’t near too much warmth or sunlight. Long-term exposure to these things can cause the silk to fade and lose its lustre, so storing it properly will keep it looking its best. A nice, dark wardrobe is the best home for it.

If you own a silk item, you’ll know how much it can crease if you don’t store it in the right way! Always hang your silk item up if you’re storing it in a wardrobe and, if you have to fold it, try not to keep it so for too long.

Silk is also obviously a natural, organic protein, so it can attract hungry insects like moths, looking for their next easy meal. Put some mothballs or an organic repellent in the wardrobe where you’re storing it to deter these little critters from wreaking havoc.

If you don’t have to time to hand wash or iron your silk garments or soft furnishings, don’t worry— we can help! Thirty Degrees have been helping homes across Stirling and Inverness keep their silk items looking great and feeling fresh for over a decade. Get in contact with our team today!