Caring for your Silk

Welcome to the wonderful world of silk lingerie! We hope this information will assist you in understanding the special characteristics of this fine material. For centuries silk has remained the fabric of choice for the world’s aristocracy. Thanks to modern technology, this once rare fabric has now taken it’s place in the wardrobe of every well dressed woman. Understanding the advantages and limitations of silk will make you more confident.

The characteristics of Silk

Silk is a natural fabric and for this reason, you must be prepared for some irregularities. Surface variations in silk are caused by the yarns themselves and are considered to be part of the charm of silk. They are in no way undesirable or to be viewed as defective. Like pure linen and cotton silk will crease to some extent and this is also part of “the look”. Without these, silk lingerie would lack the character and uniqueness for which it is prized. If you are not prepared to accept this fact an alternative would be polyester, which is consistent because it is man-made.

The dye process for natural fabrics such as wool and silk is never 100% accurate. Unlike man-made fabrics, silk lingerie breathes and is both warm in winter and cool in summer. It has a lustre and finish unlike anything else and feels wonderful against the skin. It is also in the nature of silk lingerie to have some shading variations which are usually more noticeable in darker colors. As the fibers are irregular, the dye may “take” differently from one area to the next creating subtle shadings. Silk lingerie that may seem initially a little stiff will soften beautifully with the first washing. The same is true for french lace which occasionally has a crisp finish to begin. If well cared for, silk lingerie garments can become heirlooms.

Lingerie Silk

Treat it gently and it will give years of enjoyment. European women have grown up with a reverence for silk fabric and an intimate knowledge of it’s care. Our “wash and wear” culture has an unnecessary fear of this cloth. Silk is a protein fiber, like hair. While most clothing manufacturers put a “Dry clean only” label in silk lingerie this, in many cases, is to prevent careless washing. Undergarments and smaller pieces, as well as simply constructed larger pieces, can usually be hand washed using the following guidelines.

While silk is a very strong fabric, it is delicate when wet so care must be taken with hand washable garments. Using a mild soap, silk wash or colorless shampoo (never detergents or bleach as they will “strip” the finish), soak the garment in lukewarm water for five minutes. Move it about gently, do not wring or twist. Rinse well in cool water to which a teaspoon of vinegar may be added to remove all traces of soap. Roll in a towel to absorb excess moisture and lay flat, straightening out seams. Iron while slightly damp on warm setting. Tailored silk garments such as robes and pyjamas require careful pressing in order to maintain their look and dry cleaning is highly recommended.

Styles that can be ironed “flat”, such as collarless pyjamas and gowns can be hand washed and pressed on the wrong side with a warm iron. If you must wash dark colored or printed silks, wash very quickly in cold water and mild soap. Move continuously and do not soak or colors may run into one another. Rinse with cold water and a little vinegar and lay flat to dry with a towel between layers to avoid colors bleeding into each other

Like most natural fabrics, silk wrinkles! Run a tub of hot water in your bathroom and hang the garment for an hour or so to eliminate the worst creases. Smooth finish silks like charmeuse, look fresher if pressed with a warm iron rather than steamed.

What not to do

  • Never expose silk lingerie articles to strong direct sunlight. Silk lingerie will fade.
  • Never spray perfume or deodorant on silk lingerie.
  • Never soak silk lingerie in water for a long time.
  • Never try to clean a “spot” or soiled area with water.
  • Water leaves a ring around the wetted area that even Dry-cleaning may not remove.