A fabric often associated with luxury, silk has been around for centuries. Made by silkworms, this natural protein fiber is soft, lightweight, and flowing. It offers a fashionable look of various colors depending on the light it’s seen in, thanks to its ability to refract incoming light because of the fabric’s triangular prism-like structure.
Whether you have a favorite silk blouse, scarf, robe, or a set of bed linens made of this incredible fabric, caring for it delicately can be tedious. Many garments say “dry clean only”, but if you really want to avoid the expense or harsh chemicals used in dry cleaning, here are some suggestions you might want to consider for cleaning silk fabrics.
While every garment is different, typically most silks can be gently hand washed in cool water, using a mild soap. You can fill a large bowl or basin with the water, then add a few drops of all-natural soap. Gently move the water around with your hand to mix it in well.
Submerge the garment and allow the item to soak for about three minutes. Then use your hands to “agitate” the garment—gently imitating the motion of a washing machine—moving it around in the soapy water.
Rinse the silk fabric in cold water to wash out the soap and finish the laundering process.
Lay a clean cotton towel out on the counter or tabletop to begin drying. You’ll want to lay the silk garment on the towel and roll the towel up with the silk inside. Do not wring or squeeze the silk or the towel, as this can cause damage to the dainty fabric.
Unroll the towel, remove the garment, and hang it up to finish air drying naturally.
While you’ll want to consider each silk item’s care instructions and whether or not to try the hand washing process yourself, this easy at home technique offers a way to naturally care for silk clothing and enjoy this elegant fabric in your stylish life.