Back to Fabrics: SILK

Back to Fabrics continues today with some facts and care tips about SILK.
Before Lessly, I rarely wore silk items but scavenging through thrift shops has made me realise just how durable and wonderful this textile is.
I call silk the primadonna of textiles: it’s luxurious, soft, comfortable for everyday use, and the perfect date for a night out. Silk garments are breathable and warm, making them suitable for both summer and winter wear. However, these textile prima donnas are high-maintenance, to say the least. Silk is made up of protein and almost comparable to the consistency of our hair. 
If you are buying your silk garments new:
  • Prefer Peace silk or “Ahmisa silk”: Eri silk and Tussar or Tussah silk
    • Doesn’t kill the silkworm in the process
  • In addition to these: make sure that it is OTEX-certified organic silk and from companies who have transparent supply chains and other environmental protocols in place
  • Learn more HERE
Or buy used silk items from secondhand and vintage shops like Lessly! 
Most silk items should be chemically dry cleaned, which often adds already high cost of the purchase price. However, sometimes silk items can be hand washed and even machine washed in a gentle cycle. I collected some care tips and tricks to help you care for this prima donna of a textile!
Always check the clothing tag before doing anything! The instructions might advise against machine or hand wash.
Side note:
If the tag says: Dry clean
= the safest way is to take it to the dry cleaners for a chemical treatment. If you want to venture on the danger zone: wet a tiny (TINY) area of the textile somewhere it is not highly visible and gently rub it with a cuetip to see if the colour comes off. If not: the item is most probably ok to wash by hand. But continue with caution and be prepared for the worst.
If the tag says: Dry clean ONLY
= usually is a strong hint that the garment is too delicate to wash at home.
Check the label for instructions. Some silk products can take a gentle cycle in the washing machine.
1. Load the machine with only similar colour and be sure not to load the machine too full.
2. Place the silk inside a washing bag or pillowcase.
3. Choose a delicate program without a spin cycle. (Max 30°C).
4. Use a gentle detergent preferably made for silk items. Put just enough, be careful to not pour in too much.
5. After the wash, roll the silk garment inside a towel and squeeze some excess water out before placing it on a flat surface to dry. Avoid direct sunlight.


HAND WASH: what I prefer!
  1. Fill your washing bucket with cold water and mix in some silk-firendly detergent.
  2. Soak the silk item in the water-soap mix and leave it for max 5 min.
  3. Use your hands to swirl the garment in the water to remove dirt and impurities.
  4. Gently rinse with fresh cold water until the soap has been washed out.
    1. FIRST RINSE: You can use a splash of vinegar to take out all the remaining soap.
    2. FINAL RINSE: To ensure softness, you can use some fabric conditioner in the final rinse.
  5. Place the item inside a towel and gently squeeze excess water out. Don’t rub or wring the item.
  6. Leave the item to dry on a flat service. Avoid direct sunlight.

  1. Steam out any wrinkles. Or if you don’t have a steamer, you can iron the item by using the lowest setting and placing a cloth between the iron and the silk garment.
  2. Hang the item in your closet to keep it wrinkle-free.
  3. If you want to store it away: use a breathable bag (not plastic) and use moth repellent

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