When silk was invented, it must have created uproar in the society. It has been around for more than 5000 years and its beautiful threads have always been entangled with the legends. Without silk, the history of fabric will lose its shine. What diamond is to jewelers, silk is to the weavers! It is one of the most lustrous and luxurious fabrics in the whole world, which has been used by people for centuries. So, taking proper care of the silk fabrics is very essential and must be done very carefully. Although, dry cleaning is the best method to keep your silk intact and in good condition for long, it is always not possible, be it because of the cost or the time factor. In the following lines, we have listed the basic procedure of how to wash silk.Followthese steps thoroughly and you would not have to take your silk clothes to the dry cleaners every time.
Washing Silk Clothes
- Mild soap (avoid using detergents)
- Tub or Basin (large enough to hold water and clothes)
- Plastic Bag
- Check the colorfastness of the silk first, by treating a hidden part of clothing with water. If the color transfers, take a handful of rock salt and add it in a liter of water. Now, soak your garment in it overnight and let it dry. After doing this, when you wash the garment, it won’t leave the color.
- Soak the silk garment in lukewarm water, with a mild soap, for a maximum of 5 minutes. Make sure that the water is mildly warm (dip your finger in it and check for its mildness). If the water is excessively hot or cold, it can cause the garment to stretch or shrink.
- Rub the stains on your silk garment, if any, very lightly, under the soap-water. Don't rub too hard, as it can cause irreparable damage to the garment. Silk is protein and doesn’t shrink by itself. However, a twist and turn may make it shrink. So, make sure that it is not wringed or washed too hard.
- Now rinse the fabric with water, which contains 40 ml vinegar. This will remove the soap and restore the shine of the garment as well.
- For the final rinsing, use cold water only. Take the garment out of the water and wring out the excess water out, by spreading it on a towel and rolling it up. The towel will absorb the water, and the garment will get an effective, yet mild wringing.
- To keep your silk clothes shiny and lustrous for long, you can add a fabric conditioner to a bucket of cold water and give the garment a final rinsing in it. Leave the garment on a towel and let it dry partially.
- If you clean the garment in the kitchen or bathroom, make sure that the countertops clean, to avoid soiling the garment.
- If you are afraid of washing your precious silk, you can run a damp sponge across the fabric. However, it should be done only if the fabric is not very dirty.
- Perfume, cologne, or alcoholic beverages should not be allowed to touch silk during the washing process, as these liquids can disturb the dye and cause the garment to bleed.
- Iron only on the inner side of the garment. Use a very lightly hot iron, as excessive heat will damage any silk garment.
- Do not use detergents for washing your silk clothes. These are too abrasive and can cause damage.