Care of silks

Silk is a protein fibre and as such comparable to human hair. Its care is therefore similar to that of hair care, with a few important differences and the choice of a suitable detergent is very important.

Detergents used for silk must be PH-neutral. Shampoos which don't burn when they get into your eyes are generally suitable for silks.

All forms of powdered detergents or soaps are unsuitable but liquid detergents are not automatically PH-neutral. Only those specially marked as such or marked as appropriate for wools are also suitable for silk.

Alkaline components destroy silk. The shine disappears and the silk fabric becomes brittle and rough. At its extreme, alkaline can completely dissolve the silk fibre.

Conditioning or softening agents are not suitable for silks even if they are PH-neutral. These detergents are appropriate for wool but they dull the silk sheen and can produce stains.

The best washing method depends on the type of silk fabric. It is important to distinguish between woven and knitted (jersey) fabrics. The latter can shrink in washing but can usually be resized to its original shape while still damp.

Silk is machine washable, in general at 30 degrees (cold wash) in the delicate cycle and best inside the protection of a lingerie sack. If necessary and on an infrequent basis, silks can be washed at 60 degrees (hot wash).

Silks are best ironed using steam and ironed on the reverse(inside). We recommend a 2 or 3 point heat setting. Dry heat can damage silks.

Like other natural fibres, silk does not need to be washed often as its smooth fibre sloughs off odours and dirt. Avoid frequent and unnecessary washing.

Silk regenerates in the freshness of night air, which can also remove strong odours. If the garment shows no stains or obvious soiling, hanging the garment out at night usually suffices, particularly for garments worn over underwear.

The following method can help remove fresh grease or oil stains: shake baking powder onto the stain, lightly work into the fabric and allow to work overnight. Avoid rubbing the surface. Wash normally.

Stains on collars are best treated with an appropriate detergent before washing and then washed normally.

Silk has a tendency to absorb large quantities of dyestuff which cannot always be fully removed during production. Therefore colour bleeding can occur during washing. We recommend washing light and dark colours separately.

Silk absorbs UV light, which can be an advantage for the wearer. However, silk itself is damaged by UV light, becoming brittle and developing holes. This can be a serious problem for curtains made of silk, which are better lined. We recommend storing silk in the dark (closet, boxes, fabric bags or similar). Avoid placing wet or damp silks into direct sunlight to dry.

Silk is especially gentle to the skin. It can be the only garment fibre tolerable for sensitive skin or allergies. Silk batting or silk cloth made of bourette (noil) silk applied together with silk powder can prevent or help treat bedsores.