Love Silk? Follow These Easy Steps to Enjoy your Silk Garments for Years.
Silk is made from the secretions of silkworms and was first discovered in China thousands of years ago. The Chinese kept the secret of silk to themselves until the 13th century. Silk has always been a luxurious fabric, but it does require special care. Though it is a strong fabric it is sensitive to light, to chemicals such as hairspray and bodily fluids such as perspiration.
Silk is a luxurious and delicate fabric that requires special care to keep it looking its best. Following a few simple guidelines will help your silk items remain beautiful for years to come.
And if you have a Hermès Scarf, remember, it is an investment for you to protect.
The first step in caring for silk is proper storage. Silk is very sensitive to light, so it should always be stored in a dark, dry place. Direct sunlight will cause silk to fade and develop discolored patches over time. High humidity can also damage silk and cause mildew or mold growth.
Store silk clothing folded in breathable garment bags or archival storage boxes. Plastic containers and garment bags should be avoided, as silk needs airflow to prevent damage. For long-term storage, add acid-free tissue paper between folds to prevent creasing.
Silk curtains should be gently folded lengthwise on a flat surface or hung to minimize wrinkling. Add a lightweight cotton lining to silk curtains to protect from sunlight damage. If hanging silk curtains, close blinds or add sheer curtains to filter direct sun exposure.
Silk bedding can be stored folded in breathable archival boxes. Refolding and periodically airing out the linens will help prevent permanent creases.
Stain Removal and Washing
Silk stains easily, so spills should be addressed as soon as possible. For fresh stains, blot gently with a clean, soft cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can spread the stain and damage the delicate fibers.
For food, oil or grease stains, sprinkle corn starch or talcum powder on the spot to absorb the moisture. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before brushing off the powder.
For ink or makeup stains, dab gently with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol or hairspray. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals which may discolor the fabric.
Check the garment’s care label before attempting to hand or machine wash. Use a gentle silk detergent and wash in cool water on the most delicate cycle. Lay flat to dry, away from direct sunlight.
If dry cleaning is recommended, take items to a reputable cleaner who has experience with silk. Inform them of any fragile embellishments or especially delicate areas that need special attention.
- Apply perfume, hairspray and makeup before getting dressed to avoid spills.
- Remove jewelry before putting on silk blouses to prevent snagging.
- Wash hands before handling to prevent transfer of dirt and oils.
- Spot clean spills and stains immediately with an appropriate cleaning method.
- Steam or gently press with an iron on low heat as needed to smooth out wrinkles. Use a press cloth.
- Check seams and embellishments carefully before each wear to catch any loose threads or damage.
By following proper storage methods and care instructions, lovely silk items can stay beautiful for many years of regular use. With a little extra attention, silk’s delicate beauty and elegant drape can be enjoyed for decades to come.
NYC fashion writer blogging about all things lux. Attending New York University, future Fashionista.