How to care for your silk scarves

Article published at: May 19, 2024
How to care for your silk scarves
All Silky Tales

Caring for Silk Scarves

Our silk printing techniques produce scarves whose colours will not run or fade under normal circumstances. We recommend hand washing silk, although dry cleaning is a suitable option. Washing your scarf will result in a softer, more fluid fabric, that is normal.

Care of Silk Fabric: General Precautions

Silk is a natural protein fiber. Do not use chlorine bleach to clean silk; chlorine will damage the silk fabric. Avoid drying silk in direct sunlight as sun exposure for a prolonged period will damage the silk fabric and fade the ink. Substances containing alcohol will damage silk fabric, so allow your perfume and hairspray to dry before wearing your scarf.

Hand Washing Silk

Hand washing silk is our recommended mode of cleaning silk. Almost all silk can be hand washed (and would not shrink if the silk fabric were pre-shrunk before sewing). If you have hard water, you may wish to first add a spoonful of borax to the washing water. Wash your scarf by gently swirling it in a tub of lukewarm water and mild, non-alkaline soap or baby shampoo. Do not use harsh detergents that contain bleach or brighteners. Do not soak the silk for more than a few minutes.

To rinse, refill the tub with cold water to which you can add a few tablespoonfuls of distilled white vinegar to neutralise alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue (vinegar is also a good method of removing any lingering smells). Swirl the scarf to rinse, pour water out and repeat the rinsing process a couple of times more with clean water.

Do not wring or twist; place the scarf on a clean, dry towel, roll the towel up and gently press the water out. Then stretch the scarf to dry on a flat, clean surface, out of direct sunlight. You can iron the scarf on your iron’s silk setting when the scarf is almost dry. Do not spot wet the scarf while ironing as that may cause rings on the fabric. If that occurs, you will have to wet the entire scarf again and iron it once more when almost dry.

Silk Care: Green Organic Dry Cleaning

Perchloroethylene (commonly known in the trade as “perc”) is the most commonly used solvent in the dry cleaning business. It is highly toxic and carcinogenic. Any garments dry cleaned with such chemicals should be left in an outdoor airy environment for some time so the fumes fully leave the garment.

Better yet, we recommend that our customers look into green dry cleaners or organic dry cleaning services that use safer and non-toxic methods such as liquid CO2 or silicone based solvents - not only are they safer but they are also much more effective dry cleaning agents compared to the conventional toxic solvents.

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