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Your guide to silk care

Silk clothes and scarves are notoriously difficult to keep looking and feeling their best. Because silk is such a delicate fabric, it has to be cared for properly so as not to damage or fade the garment. This guide to silk care will show you how to wash, dry and store silk garments.

Silk care when washing clothes

Always follow the manufacturers instructions. If a garment says that it should be dry cleaned only, it's best to stick to those instructions. Contrary to popular belief, many silk items are machine washable. Use a delicate setting and a mild detergent.

When hand washing silk, use the following method to keep your clothes looking fresh:

  • Fill your sink with lukewarm water and a mild detergent
  • Leave the silk item to soak for around ten minutes. Do not rub or scrub it
  • Rinse the fabric with one third of a cup of vinegar. This will help to restore the silk's shine
  • Rinse thoroughly under cool water under the vinegar smell is gone adn the water runs clear

It's a good idea to conduct a colour-fastness test on a silk garment before you wash it with another item.

Silk care when drying clothes

Never wring out silk - place the item between two towels and press firmly to remove any excess water. Silk is difficult to iron, so it's best to dry flat or hang on a padded hanger. If you do need to iron the item, use the lowest heat setting and don't use any mist or spray.

Silk care when storing clothes

If you don't wear the item frequently, it's best to hang it in a garment bag. This will keep the garment crease free and stop the colour from fading. As well as fading colours, sunlight can weaken the silk fabric, so store items in wardrobes or drawers. Use cedar chips or blocks to deter moths.

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