Silk is a delicate natural fiber. Depending on your way of life, noble and fragile fabrics are invited either punctually or regularly in our dressing rooms. These materials with a perfect fall, bring both elegance and femininity. It is a textile material that has many qualities: light, shiny, hypoallergenic, thermoregulation, the silk thread is extremely solid and its weaving is of high quality. It is highly appreciated by a large number of women for special events or on a daily basis. However, maintenance is not always so simple. That's why today we offer you various maintenance tips to preserve your most delicate outfits as much as possible.
The Anahide Saint André brand, a French fashion house, gives you its advice for maintaining your outfits with complete peace of mind.
Many questions arise when caring for a silk garment, starting with Can silk be washed? Yes it is possible but with some precautions. This article aims to answer common questions you have about caring for your favorite piece of silk. Which product to wash silk? Can I machine wash silk? or How to iron silk?
Before starting, for the record, legend has it that a Chinese princess would have discovered silk. In her cup of tea would have fallen a cocoon of bombyx (a silkworm) from a mulberry tree above her. A long thread would then have appeared when she tried to retrieve the cocoon. The Chinese were for a long time the only ones to hold the manufacturing secret. Chinese silk thus remained a precious and fiercely guarded secret for a long time. The silkworm was raised in order to produce and weave silk, anyone who had the audacity to steal silkworms, cocoons or eggs was condemned to very heavy penalties. Thanks to its monopoly, China traded with the rest of the world. The "silk road" is a term that designated the various paths crossing deserts and mountains to connect Asia to Europe. The paths were used by caravans that transported countless riches for trade. As you will have understood, the main and most prized merchandise was silk.
How to wash silk?
To wash your silk garment by hand, the secret is to respect the type of detergent, the temperature and the washing time. Before washing your silk outfit yourself: Ask yourself the question , does my silk wash? and still check the care label before cleaning your item by hand. Once this question has been validated, you must choose the right detergent to use, the washing mode and heat and the ironing.
Which soap to wash silk?
To clean your dress or silk top, the most important thing is to use a mild soap or a special silk detergent combined with water Several products are available to you: A mild detergent, hydrogen peroxide, sparkling water , white vinegar or specific shampoo-type products for washing silk. Avoid powder detergents and when choosing your detergent, make sure it does not contain bleaching agents (which can damage fibers and materials). Prefer a liquid detergent or more simply Marseille soap.
Silk washing temperature and time
For hand washing, immerse the garment in cold or lukewarm water and avoid hot water at all costs as it damages the fibres. Be careful, you should not let it soak for more than ten minutes; the preferred timing for washing silk is 5 minutes in lukewarm water.
Since you cannot soak your silk item to wash it, it is advisable to stir the water gently with your hands, so that the soapy water can penetrate through the fibers of the silk. Do not rub or twist the garment in any way to remove a stain, do it in a delicate way. Do not twist the silk for spinning , you risk damaging it. It is risky and very not recommended to rub the fabric. To clean stains on silk , you can also let the garment sit in soapy water. After that, rinse your garment with clean water. To revive the shine of your garment, you can add a few drops of white vinegar. To dry your garment, proceed in the same way as after washing in the washing machine. In other words, put your clothes between two terry towels to absorb the water. Then hang it up so it can air dry.
How to machine wash silk?
Cleaning a silk garment in the washing machine is possible. However, this method is strongly discouraged to maintain the quality and luster of your silk outfit. If you still decide to carry out this experiment, you must imperatively choose a delicate washing program at 30° with a special silk detergent. It is strictly forbidden to add a softener, which could grease and damage this beautiful material that is silk. In order to guarantee better protection for your silk garment during cleaning, the trick is to place it in a protective net such as lingerie net (this will limit the risk of it coming out damaged a little more) to machine wash the silk. . The spinning step is to be avoided so as not to damage your silk garment. Your best alternative is to place it on a towel or a clean cloth and dab it on top with another towel or cloth. You will only have one natural step left: drying.
If you had the idea of drying your silk in the dryer, immediately forget this option which would definitely ruin your beautiful silk outfit. Tumble drying is strictly prohibited. In addition, continuous, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage the fiber. No program is planned for this type of subject. To dry the silk, you must place your outfit lying flat on a drying rack in the open air and sheltered from the sun. Be careful with the hanger, the fabric could expand or take the shape of the hanger. The only way to preserve its shape is to lay it upside down flat on a ventilated surface.
Does silk shrink in the wash?
In general, to catch up on a garment that has shrunk in the dryer, simply place it in a basin filled with warm or cold water, add two tablespoons of baby shampoo. Then leave to soak for about thirty minutes. It is essential to let it dry naturally so that the fiber of the garment can expand.
As for the silk, it should not be soaked for a long time and it must be sponged off immediately after washing without wringing it (be careful, it must not be creased). It will therefore be very hard to catch up with a shrinkage. Tip: Read the care label on your favorite silk dress before it's too late.
How to wash silk in dry cleaners?
Some silk weaves can withstand hand washing, but others must absolutely be dry-cleaned: Thus taffetas, wild silks, silk jacquards, brocades, duchess satins, or even silk velvets require cleaning. dried up. Silks mixed in particular with wool or viscose will naturally be maintained in dry cleaners. Pleated silks must imperatively be dry cleaned to preserve the permanent pleat. For example, Anahide Saint André pleated silk crepe dresses and tops must imperatively be dry-cleaned in a dry cleaner's which guarantees that the pleats will be well preserved. Since the new regulations imposed on dry cleaners, it is important to use a quality dry cleaner who will be able to take care of your silk outfits. Whenever possible, we advise you to dry clean your clothes as much as possible. With a hand wash, the silk will lose its shine, while in the machine, it will come out crumpled and cracked.
Caring for silk?
Cleaning a stain on silk
Silk does not get dirty and is very resistant, but it remains paradoxically a fragile material. A maintenance error or the wrong gesture to eliminate stains on your silk wardrobe can turn out to be catastrophic. We give you some tips for taking care of your silk piece, if you pamper it, you can keep it for a long time among the essential basics of your wardrobe.
How to limit stains on silk?
Our little tips to avoid disasters in order to protect your dress or outfit:
Let your deodorant or perfume dry before getting dressed to prevent it from staining your clothes
Do you dress with makeup on? No problem put a light scarf on your head to put on your garment and thus not stain it.
The sun is the enemy of beautiful materials, do not leave them carelessly in the sun at the risk of being discolored.
Another advice, do not use stain-removing substances on silk.
If you're reading this guide after staining your silk outfit, discover the little tricks to get rid of unsightly and stubborn stains:
Remove greasy stains from silk
Greasy stains on fragile materials are a tough competition when it comes to removing them. We'll let you in on a little workshop secret: The best way to remove stubborn greasy stains from your silk clothes is Sommières clay. It is a natural ultra-fine powder of beige color which has a very high absorbency; effective and ecological, it is used dry: it is sprinkled on the surface of the grease stain; it is then left to act on its own without rubbing, which avoids any risk of damaging fragile clothes. For good effectiveness, leave the powder on for several hours, then remove the powder with a soft brush or a clean cloth. The soil of Sommières also has deodorizing properties. The earth of Sommières allows an economical and ecological house dry cleaning for all textiles, clothing or linen but also leather.
Remove the rings on the silk
Silk doesn't get dirty easily, however, if you tend to sweat quite quickly and your garment is dark in color. Rings due to this perspiration can quickly appear. All you need to do is add a few drops of white vinegar to the warm rinse water and they will disappear. Be careful, you should not rub fabric against fabric, as this would tend to relax it, you should also avoid letting it soak too long. Small tip: before wearing your silk garment, spray your deodorant, let it dry then put a little talc under your armpits: this action will reduce the traces of perspiration on your silk garment.
Reviving discolored silk or yellowed white silk
How to revive the shine of your silk garment? For this, there are several cleaning techniques... to revive the colors and restore shine to your silk garment, there is nothing better than using lemon juice or white vinegar to preserve a whiteness natural.
To restore shine to yellowed white silk, rinse after washing with soap flakes in a mixture of cold water with hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar without wringing. We then recommend that you absorb the excess water with a clean towel or cloth so that it is less damp.
Tips for ironing creased silk at the right temperature
Be careful when ironing, which can involve various risks. Ironing with an iron that is too hot can be the death warrant of your silk garment. We therefore opt for a good quality iron with impeccable performance. To iron your silk, your iron must be set to low temperature. Iron silk garments while still damp with an iron that is not too hot and inside out, try not to iron too much on the seams. A little haute couture secret from the Atelier of the Anahide Saint André brand : to iron the seams, we recommend that you iron your garment inside out, and run the tip of your iron over the seam line, pressing as you go. measure a little steam which will work like a steamer: the seams will flatten themselves. No need to press with the flat iron which will mark the seams on the fabric (Check before the iron does not let water droplets escape). You can also use a damp cloth, that is to say a clean, wet handkerchief-type towel: Wet the fabric and wring it out, then lay the wet cloth on the garment flat on the ironing board and iron on the damp cloth. Re-position the fabric flat on the different parts of the garment, letting the steam escape as you go.
Protect your silk garment
Cleaning is an important step to protect your silk dress, but its conservation is also crucial. Storage must be done with care and caution in a very dry place and not a damp place or a cold room. Make sure your garment is dry before putting it away, this will prevent bad smells, mold and creases. Ideally, silk garments should be wrapped in tissue paper and placed either flat or under a cover to provide better protection for its fragile fibers. To avoid traces, avoid contact with substances containing alcohol, such as perfume. In addition, do not expose the fabric or the garment to the sun's rays which could discolor your garment in summer and winter alike. Protecting your silk garment will keep it longer, or give it away, pass it on because it is a precious piece.
We have created this guide to help you maintain your silk garment: it deserves it. Nevertheless, your first instinct is to read the labels each time before washing them. Over the years, your silk outfit will become softer and will fall more and more dazzling while remaining comfortable.