Caring for Silk: Not as delicate as you may think

There’s an almost indescribable something about the feeling of pure silk next to the skin. For centuries, silk has been the hallmark of luxury and status – but it offers so much more. 

Silk Drawstring Pant

Lauren Bacall


Lauren Bacall once said that her silk drawstring pants were the one clothing item she couldn’t live without.


Silk fiber naturally wicks moisture away from the body while at the same time adapting to your personal temperature – always cool when you want to be, or warm and cozy when there’s a bit of a chill in the air. So perfect for sleepwear and bedding, silk is especially body-friendly for those hormonal “power surges” that can keep you from a good night’s sleep.

The natural hypoallergenic properties are a wonderful benefit for people with allergen sensitivities. Dust mites simply can’t live in silk. A layer of silk fabric is like armor against this common cause of stuffy noses, itchy eyes and other uncomfortable symptoms. All this without the necessity of chemicals, bleaches or boiling hot water.

Sandwashed Silk SheetsSilk Dreams PJSilk Pillowcase


There is no comparison to the way silk drapes and conforms to your body. It’s always exactly the right weight and feeling. Silk really does provide pure luxury and softness for every day life.

So how do you get the kind of performance and durability that you need from this heavenly soft, luxury fabric? It’s easier than you think! Silk fiber is very strong and durable. The real question is more about what not to do when caring for washable silk products.

Machine Washable

  1. Don’t over load your washing machine (especially if you are using a top loader with agitator). A light load on the “delicate” cycle keeps the fabric from being pulled and stressed.
  2. Avoid hot water. Because of silk’s hypoallergenic nature, high temperatures aren’t needed to eliminate allergens. Super high temperatures can damage the silk fiber, greatly reducing the life of the item.
  3. No fabric softeners. Silk breathes, additives will clog the fiber, making it less effective. Besides, silk is so naturally soft, how could you improve it?
  4. No bleach! This includes bleach alternatives. Silk is a protein and bleach attacks proteins, dissolving the fibers like an acid. There are specialty detergents on the market for washable silk, but regular commercial brands from the supermarket can do the job nicely. One of my coworkers swears by just using a capful of baby shampoo in the wash. Silk cleans easily because of its porous nature. No special steps are needed.
  5. Be kind in the dryer. Again, super high temperatures are not good for silk and they aren’t necessary. Use a lower temperature and remove before completely dry. This can also eliminate the need for ironing.
  6. But if you do iron – cool setting.

Hand Washable

Same basics as machine – wash, rinse and follow labeled drying instructions. So there’s no mystery to giving your washable silk items a long and thoroughly enjoyable life. With so may wonderful properties, shouldn’t silk be a delightfully soft part of your environment every day?

Silk GownSilk Paisley TopStretch Silk Shirt

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  1. scarves

    nice tips and thanks for your work and your sharing!


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