Silk, a natural, beautiful, and delicate protein fiber, is commonly used in silk clothing. Many people like silk since its soft and shiny texture. But, it is a very delicate material. Thus, we should be careful when washing it. Otherwise, the silk will shrink.
If silk is pre-washed for more than approximately five minutes, it will shrink. Letting silk in the water for a long time before washing will cause the fiber to tighten and twist, resulting in contraction. Washing silk in hot water will also shrink it. Silk garment will also decrease its size if it dried in a hot dryer.
Washing by Hand
Hand washing is the best way to clean a silk garment, unless it is specifically marked as “Dry Clean Only”. Soak the silk product in warm water for 2 or 3 minutes, and then use a mild soap instead of detergent to clean it for detergent could damage the material. Next, gently swirl silk product in the soapy water and rinse it in cold water. And, add a few teaspoons of vinegar to remove the soap. Put hair conditioner in the last tub of cold water, giving it a soft feel.
Hand washing is a recommended way for silk cleaning, but some users may prefer to use the washing machine. In this situation, it is recommended to use the “Delicate” cycle and the quickest spin cycle. Never use detergents containing brighteners or bleaches. You can use mild soap, like Woolite. Place silk item into a meh bag for extra protection.
Do not wring or twist the silk item when rinsing and drying it. Otherwise, the silk garment will lose its form. Instead, put the silk in a clean towel, and roll it evenly. Then, place it on a hanger to dry, and stay out the sun since that can cause the silk item to damage or yellow. If in a hurry, place the silk garment in a dryer should only contain on a heat-less air fluff setting. It is recommended to turn the garment inside out and iron while damp using the “silk” setting on your iron.
Also available in: French