As we all know caring for silk can be challenging. Well, according to experts in the industry, we are going to fill you in on a few tips on how to care for your precious textiles. Think of silk as a protein fiber and similar to human hair. Remembering this will help you when you think about the care and also cleaning it.
Here are a few tips that were given to us by ‘Sarah of Houston Bridal.’
1. Avoid extreme changes in temperature.
2. Since it is a delicate, fabric strong detergents will harm the fibers and cause it to lose its silky properties.
3. Do not expose to sunlight as it will discolour and fade.
4. Silk has a natural elasticity which does not hold creases well. Therefore, hang your garment so many of the creases will fall out. Alternatively press with a dry iron on a silk setting, preferably while the garment is still a little damp. Steam can be used on heavier silks but could cause puckering and shrinkage on finer fabrics.
5. Use care in dressing and grooming to avoid staining silk items. Silk fabric is easily damaged by alcohol-based products such as hair spray and perfumes, and chemical products such as nail polish remover. Apply perfume and hair spray before putting on a silk garment as the mist from such products may cause stains.
6. Once dressed, cover the garment with a towel before applying hair spray. Do not polish nails while wearing a silk garment as nail polish can remove color, damaging the fabric permanently.
Now to the cleaning aspect. Lets chat about the most common stains, lipstick, redwine, persperation stains and blood. Always proceed with caution when cleaning silk andtest the method on an inconspicuous area first. If in doubt consult a reputable dry cleaner.
Red wine: Immediately sponge out the area affected with club soda or white wine. Then dab the area with a mixture of cool water and ammonia. Blot dry.
Blood: There are a few methods that have been tried, ranging from one part hydrogen peroxide to 9 parts water, sponging with a lukewarm solution of Oxalic Acid (10%) or a mixture of 3 tbsp. alcohol and 3 drops of baby shampoo. Whichever method you use make sure you remove solutions with warm water blotting afterwards and clean towel to dry. Aways have an absorbent towel underneath any spot cleaning to do with silk so that it does not penetrate into the other fabrics.
Lipstick: Over the years its been found that a mixture of 3 tbsp. alcohol and 3 drops of baby shampoo works the best to remove makeup. The key is to remove the stain as soon as you find it.
Perspiration stains: New perspiration stains are acid based while older stains become alkaline. Use a two part stage to remove these stains. 1. Add one tablespoon of vinegar to a half a cup of water. Blot the stained area with a cheese cloth or cotton ball, dry, and then use a mixture of alcohol and baby shampoo (see below) going over the same area. Rinse using a blotting method to remove solution.
When applying your cleaning method never use anything too wet. A cotton ball or moist sponge work well. Always use the blottting technique instead of rubbing.
So next time you are in a bind refer back here and see what the experts give for advice!