Caring for Silk

No dry-cleaning required! Silks only need dry-cleaning when certain dye processes are used, none of which are used by Golden Raven Studio. While most dry-cleaning will not hurt our products, here are a few steps you can take at home to keep your silks as soft and beautiful as the day you purchased them!

When you have the time, handwashing is always best. Cool or warm water will best preserve the fiber and its colors. Silk does not handle temperature changes well, so rinse in the same temperature water you washed with. Mild soaps without a lot of harsh chemicals are best. My favorite is baby shampoo. Because silk is closely related to human hair on the molecular level, you can even use your favorite shampoo! This will give you a lushly soft scarf and will also help your silk last longer. Instead of wringing out your silk, place the item within a bath towel and press the water out. This will again limit damage to the item and lengthen its lifespan.

If you do choose to machine wash your silk, first make sure that your washing machine is safe for silk, as some agitation methods can damage silk. If your machine can wash silk, again choose a cool or warm setting and rinse in the same temperature as you washed. Many detergents, like Tide, will dry out the silk and either damage it or lessen its lifespan. Check your detergent’s label for bleach, enzymes, and/or whiteners, and do not use that detergent on silk. For a basic rule of thumb: the milder the detergent is, the safer it is for your silks. Place the scarf in a hosiery bag and wash it in a load of t-shirts or towels; nothing ruins a scarf quite like Velcro and zippers.

Air drying your silk is best. You can either hang it up or lay it out to dry flat. Machine drying can be done as well, but the high heat can over time weaken the silk fiber and dry it out into a rough and coarse fiber. If you do choose to machine dry, choose low heat settings. Again remember to avoid loads that have Velcro and zippers in them.

Silk can be ironed with a warm iron with or without steam. The silks used by Golden Raven Studio will not normally get watermarks, so don’t be afraid to use steam or to spritz the silk down with water before ironing. Ironing while the silk is still slightly damp will give the best results.

Silk is a favorite of moths, so when placing your silk into long term storage be sure to use cedar chips or balls to keep them away.

For light wrinkling hang your scarf in the bathroom while you shower for a quick fix.

In keeping with reducing the environmental footprint of Golden Raven Studio, our silks may not need to be washed after every wearing. If they are not visibly dirty, a spritz of vinegar-water solution will take care of any unwanted odor that may be clinging to the silk. While Febreze says it is safe for most fabrics, silk is one of the ‘not safe’ fibers. Using Febreze on silk may cause spotting, so be careful.

“My husband thought he was doing me a favor!” First, don’t panic. If your misguided significant other has machine washed your best silk scarf in a harsh detergent and then machine dried it on high, all is not lost. I can revive your dry, crunchy silk and will be glad to do so. Simply contact me and either drop off your silk at my retail location in Williamston, MI or ship it to me and I’ll take care of it. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about your husband.

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