Colourful silk ties.

How to wash silk

How to wash and dry silk clothes.

Cleaning silk

Please refer to the care label on your garment to determine how it should be cleaned. Many silk garments are dry clean only, but some can be washed by hand. Unless the tag on your silk fabric recommends dry cleaning, it should be avoided, as dry cleaning will shrink certain types of silk. However, silk dupioni must be dry cleaned as washing it changes the texture and crispness of the fabric and can cause it to become dull.

Tip: Do not let hairspray or perfume to get onto silk as the alcohol will damage the fabric.

Washing silk

If the garment care label says it is safe to wash and the silk fabric was pre-shrunk before your garment was made, it should be possible to wash it. However, proceed with caution. Do a small patch test in an inconspicuous area of your garment to check for shrinkage and colour fastness before washing.

Important: Always use a gentle washing detergent specifically designed for washing wools, silks or delicate fabrics. Biological and non-biological detergents (including colour detergents) are not suitable for washing silk.

Hand washing silk

  • Dissolve the washing detergent in lukewarm water (max 30°C).
  • Add the garment and gently agitate it, very lightly rubbing any stains.
  • Gently squeeze the excess washing water out (do not wring or twist as this will damage the fabric).
  • Rinse the item in changes of lukewarm water until all soap residue has been removed. You can add a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralise alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue.
  • Lay the garment on a clean dry towel and gently press the water out of the fabric by rolling it up in the towel.

Machine washing silk

We recommend that you hand wash silk, even for those garments labelled safe for machine washing. However, if you do wish to machine wash your silk garment:

  • Always use the delicate wash cycle (many machines have a silk programme).
  • Never mix the colours you are washing in case the dye runs.
  • Put the silk garment in a loose fitting mesh bag to provide extra protection.
  • Use the shortest spin cycle and a slow spin speed.

To restore the sheen in silk

Washable silk can lose its sheen and become dull. You can restore some of the sheen by following these steps:

  • In a large bowl, add ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar to each 3.5 litres of lukewarm water.
  • Completely submerge the garment and swish around to completely soak.
  • Remove from the vinegar water and rinse several times in clean lukewarm water.
  • Lay the garment on a clean dry towel and gently press the water out of the fabric by rolling it up in the towel.
  • Dry as detailed below.

Drying silk

Hang silk garments to air dry but do not allow them to be in direct sunlight as this can damage the silk fibre and fade the colour. If possible dry on a clothes hanger, as clothes pegs can mark the silk.

If the garment needs ironing, do not allow it to dry out completely – it is best left slightly damp.

When drying silk, avoid:

  • drying clothes on a wooden drying rack, as the wood finishes can leave stains on the silk
  • drying on a radiator as the heat can cause the silk to shrink and cause the fabric to dull
  • using a tumble dryer as it can damage the silk: Excessive temperature and heat dulls the silk fabric and may also shrink it and friction with the dryer drum can cause snags and/or white streaks.

Ironing silk

Iron silk only when absolutely necessary. Most wrinkles in silk can be removed by hanging the garment in the bathroom when you have a shower or bath as the humidity helps the creases to drop out. However, stubborn wrinkles can be removed with an iron as follows:

  • Set the iron to cool (silk setting).
  • Use a clean, soft, lint free and light coloured pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric.
  • Turn the garment inside out and press whilst damp. Do not wet areas of dry silk as this may cause ring marks.
  • Take care! Too much heat can cause the silk to become dull, pucker, or burn.