Caring for Silk Clothing

Silk is a durable and beautiful fabric, yet some people shy away from purchasing silk clothing because they assume that the fabric is too difficult to care for. When it comes to caring for and washing silk clothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

While silk clothes need more attention than most of the items in your closet, taking proper care of them begins before you even put them on. Sunlight can weaken silk, and so can perspiration and even the chemicals in some detergents. If you use hair products such as hairspray, cover your silk clothing with a towel or other linen when you are applying it. Hairspray can cause spots on silk clothing.

You should always follow the washing directions on the label of clothing. Overall, silk can be dry cleaned, hand washed and machine washed. However, some silk clothing will need to be hand washed. By hand washing your silk clothing, you will help the clothing last longer. Any machine washable silks are washed at a warm temperature, on a delicate setting with mild detergents that you can find at any store. Be aware, though, that when dry cleaning silk clothes, too many trips to the cleaners can cause a dingy look and colors to fade. Dry cleaning should be used sparingly.

When it comes to drying, don't be tempted to throw your silk clothes in the dryer with the rest of your delicates. The heat from your dryer will actually break down the fibers in silk. It is always best to lay your silks flat to dry or to damp dry on a padded hanger to avoid lines and wrinkles. Even after your silk clothes are completely dry from washing, hanging them is best. If you do encounter lines or wrinkles in silk clothes, you can iron them, but silk is not always easy to iron. A dry setting without the mist option on the iron should be used. Accidentally misting silk clothes with water while you iron will create noticeable water spots.

A little extra effort and precautions are required when caring for silk clothes. If you take the time to read the manufacturer's instructions, your silk clothes can be kept looking like new for many years to come.

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