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Washing and ironing silk correctly – the best care tips

Silk is perfect for hot summer days – it cools, is comfortable to wear and always looks great. However, the noble fabric is quite demanding in terms of care. Tikbow reveals what to consider when washing and ironing silk.

How to wash silk?

Dry cleaning

Shortly not paying attention and there is a stain on the silk blouse. But you can’t throw the precious fabric in the washing machine as easily as a T-shirt. So how can you wash silk properly? Dry cleaning is particularly gentle, the fine fabric is not affected during washing. Particularly delicate silk fabrics such as chiffon or crepe should only be treated in this way. Instructions for this can always be found on the washing label in the garment.


However, many silk garments can also be cleaned with water. Particularly gentle is the hand wash, for which a special detergent for silk is recommended. Simply fill a bucket with cold water, add detergent and let the garment soak for 30 minutes. Caution: mild detergents for wool contain greasy substances that make the material look greasy. It is also particularly important that the detergent does not contain bleaching agents, otherwise the colored silk could be damaged. A mild shampoo without greasy substances, perfumes or dyes is also suitable for cleaning. Then rinse in cold water, gently dry with towels and then spread out to air dry. Never put silk in the dryer. If you decide to wash the material in the washing machine, always ensure a suitable program and set the temperature to 0 degrees or cold program.

How to iron silk correctly?

If a silk garment needs to be particularly wrinkle-free, it can be ironed. For this purpose, a low temperature should be selected on the iron. If the iron does not have a separate silk setting, select the lowest possible setting. Also important: Silk fabrics should always be ironed inside out. If the garment is still a little damp, creases will not form so easily. For this purpose, you can also place a slightly moistened cotton cloth on the silk. In the meantime, another cotton cloth between the cotton board and the silk cloth can prevent any color stains.

Store silk pieces properly

Since silk is a delicate natural material, certain storage instructions should be followed. For example, silk fabrics can fade quickly when exposed to direct sunlight. For this reason, the material should always be stored in a dark place – and of course not dried in the sun. In addition, silk can be attacked by clothes moths. To protect the clothes from them, you can, for example, place bags with strongly scented herbs such as lavender or thyme in the closet. But there are also chemical attractants that help against clothes moths. If you want to store a piece of clothing because it is only worn in winter, for example, you should also pack it well beforehand.

How is silk made?

Silk is an animal material, which consists mainly of proteins. The material is produced in small drills in the mouth of the silk moth caterpillar. The caterpillar wraps itself in the material to form a protective cocoon in which it develops into a butterfly. To obtain the silk, the cocoons are usually boiled in hot water – this kills most of the animals. From an animal ethics perspective, this process is highly questionable. Those who do not support this procedure but still do not want to do without silk can use so-called wild silk. This is obtained from the cocoons of the free-living tussah moth in an animal-friendly way. This means that the silk is harvested after the butterfly has left the cocoon.