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How to wash silk: instructions for correct silk washing to eliminate the most stubborn stains and respect this delicate fabric.
Theresilkis a protein fiber produced by some insects of the order of lepidoptera known assilkworms. In most cases, silk is obtained from the cocoon of the speciesBombyx died. It is a precious fiber appreciated since 3000 BC. when silk robes were reserved for Chinese emperors and exponents of the wealthiest social classes. Not everyone knows that with the silk as many fine fabrics are produced such as taffeta, chiffon, organza, satin and sometimes even velvet.
The image at the bottom of the page shows the cocoons of silkworms. I took that photo in a company specializing in sericulture where, from 100 kg of cocoons, 20-25 kg of raw silk are obtained. Leaving aside the ethical issues, let's seehow to wash silk, how to dry it and how to iron it.
The premise on the origins ofsilkwas a must to make you understand the delicacy of this fabric. Since it is a protein fiber, precautions must be taken before washing and take into account that:
- there silk it is very sensitive to chlorine
- do not use bleach, not even the gentle one
- Prolonged exposure to the sun can damage the silk fibers: do not dry the silk in the sun
- detergents containing alcohol damage the silk. For the same reason, avoid the use of perfume or hairspray when wearing clothes by silk.
How to wash silk, hand wash
Hand washing is the way I recommend. I know it is tiring to wash by hand but ... if the dress is fine it will be worth it. Almost every fabric of silk can be hand washed. If the water is very calcareous, you should add a teaspoon of borax before washing.
Forwash silk by hand, simply use lukewarm water and mild soap or baby shampoo. For rinsing, you can add a tablespoon of white vinegar to neutralize any soap residue. Instead of the classic softener, you can use hair conditioner, once again I remind you that you are dealing with a natural protein fiber and not a synthetic fabric!
Avoid soaking silk for more than a few minutes and do not use harsh cleansers that contain bleaches. While washing the silk, squeeze it but roll it gently to remove superfluous water.
How to wash silk in the washing machine
If a garment is fine, I recommend hand washing even if on the label you read that you can wash it in the washing machine. In any case, washing silk in the washing machine is possible using a short spin cycle and placing the silk in a mesh bag to protect the dress from rubbing against the porthole. Use a mild detergent specifically for silk or a mild soap and set the wash for delicate clothes.
How to dry silk
As stated, direct sunlight damages the silk fibers. When drying, keep in mind that wet silk will tend to keep the shape you are giving it even when dried, so arrange it carefully. Do not dry the silk in the sun but prefer a ventilated and shaded place. Also avoid the use of the dryer because high temperatures can damage the fabric ... then, if you really have to, use the settingair fluff so as not to subject the fabric to thermal stress.
How to iron silk
Iron the silk only at low temperatures, if possible, expose the silk dress to be ironed in a very humid place (perhaps in the bathroom, leaning against the shower while you wash), the humidity will help you eliminate the most difficult creases send away. Iron the silk only if the iron symbol is shown on the label.
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