Silk is an extremely pleasing and lush fabric that is well known for its striking sheen. For years, it has been utilized by people for various purposes, however it is surely most famous for its use as clothing, linens, and beddings. Aside from its very expensive and beautiful appearance, the long history of people wanting silk is due to its light, soft, and comfortable feeling of silk on the skin.
Silk is made from the cocoon of silkworms and consists of 100% natural material. Mulberry silk is the optimum type of silk. As its name suggests, this silk is produced from silkworm larvae that eat only on Mulberry leaves. Mulberry silk has an exceptional sheen and smoothness that makes it a choice of the royals, rich, and famous. In fact, mulberry silk is considered to be the prime of all silks due to its distinctive elegance and natural sheen. Making different types of products out of this super fine mulberry silk fabric surely is what people desire, especially that mulberry silk is very versatile.
Although it may come somewhat more expensive compared to all other fabrics available in the market, the benefits mulberry silk possesses make it a worth investment. With that, one may really want to take care of their mulberry silk products so they can utilize it for a longer time period. So, this article will help you give some few tips you can follow in order to take special care of your valued possession so that you can elongate its lifetime.
Here are some tips for the care and maintenance of Mulberry silk:
Wash your mulberry silk
There are a number of ways you can clean your mulberry silk. These include dry cleaning, machine washing, and hand Washing. It must be noted that various silk items may have different care needs. So, mulberry silk clothing may require a different type of care compared to let's say a mulberry silk bedding. With that, it is important to decipher what your silk needs when you decide to wash it. As a rule, most silk items are normally suitable to hand wash or machine wash with the appropriate detergent, but there are times you should dry clean the mulberry silk.
Before washing or dry cleaning
The most important thing that you must first do is to check the label of your item. If your mulberry silk product indicates “Dry Clean Only,” then you really should follow it and not attempt to do otherwise. However, if it just states “Dry Clean,” then you might have some flexibility on how you can clean your mulberry silk item.
After that, you should also perform a spot test. This is to know what happens when you put some water in your mulberry silk product. It is important to remember that mulberry silk commonly bleeds and can possibly stain other items in the wash or if a single silk garment consists of two or more colors, bleeding when washing silk for the first time can happen. If you observe in a spot test that there is some running of color, then it is highly suggested that you dry clean the product. Color runs usually occur when the silk has dark, patterned designs or when some natural dyes are added to the mulberry silk. If you discover that an item bleeds during the test, simply take your silk to the dry cleaner
If the spot test is clean, then you can think of deciding if you want to push through dry cleaning or hand washing or machine washing. Just remember that it is commonly a better idea to dry clean your mulberry item if it has a more complex and delicate design so as to make sure that water will not damage such intricacies.
Choosing the right detergent
Before starting to wash, it is also of utmost importance to choose the right detergent for mulberry silk. It is important to read the silk care instructions of your manufacturer. So, even if it indicates to use a gentle detergent, you still have to utilize the correct detergent when washing silk, you have to utilize the correct detergent. It does not suggest a detergent with no scents or dyes. An unscented, hypoallergenic, all-purpose detergent will damage silk as rigorously as a regular, blue, scented detergent if it is made with the wrong ingredients.
The right mulberry silk detergent must not contain protease, enzymes, alcohol, bleach, or any alkaline in it. These compounds and ingredients may cause for the dissolution of the mulberry silk. So, when the silk care directions of your manufacturer states to use a gentle detergent, it means that you should use a detergent without such ingredients.
Moreover, it is important to avoid using detergent that claims to strongly remove stains for these detergents are created to remove proteins, which means they can greatly damage your mulberry silk.
There are a number of different silk detergents in the market. These detergents are specifically made to be used only for silk clothing, linens, beddings, and many more. There are also other detergents that are not only made for silk but are silk-friendly. So, you can check them out to ensure that the detergent is really safe for silk. Also always remember to spot test first to make sure your chosen detergent will not have harmful effects to your mulberry silk.
What if you do not have a silk or silk-friendly detergent? What can you use? Well, the simplest and easiest option is just to utilize baby shampoo. Though, you cannot use them for machine washing, you can still utilize it for hand washing your delicate items.
Washing mulberry silk bedding and linens
For mulberry silk linens and beddings, it is important to separate and do a silk-only load. Before washing, you must also turn silk pillowcases inside out and place all silk items in fine mesh laundry bags in order to prevent the silk from being damaged. This is predominantly vital if your machine has an agitator mechanism. Silk can sometimes get caught under the agitator and tear and pull due to its light and delicate quality. Furthermore, silk can also be damaged due to the tiny nicks, burrs, and rough edges caused by the presence of other small items inside your machine such as zippers or buttons. With that, a mesh wash bag will be ideal in protecting your silk sheets from damage.
Choose the best wash cycle
Choosing the best wash cycle for silk washing is also vital in maintaining your silk items. It is ideal to wash your silk in cold water. It is important to avoid temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 degrees Celsius because this temperature can cause significant damages to your silk items.
It is also important to note that during the wash cycle, using bleach should be avoided because it can cause harm to the silk fabric and cause it to turn yellow. Fabric softener is also discouraged because it can leave residue on the fabric. Fabric softener is unnecessary and can leave a horrid stain on the silk fabric.
- Choose the best wash cycle
Hand-washing silk pillowcases and silk sheets
If you do not want to machine wash your silk items, it is highly ideal to just do hand washing instead. In fact, hand-washing silk is preferable to dry cleaning and machine washing because it reduces the risk of damaging your silk fabric. Just a reminder, silk pillowcases and silk sheets should be hand washed in cold water. You should first submerge the silk items and mildly agitate with your hand. It is important not to rub or scrub your silk fabric in order not to damage it. After that, thoroughly rinse out all the soap with cold water also.
Remove stains gently
If you notice a stain on your silk fabric, you must remove it immediately. It is ideal to utilize cleaners that are specifically made for silk. Nonetheless, if you do not have a formulated cleaner, you can use cold water and mild detergent to apply to the stain. You can also mix up a simple stain remover by combining 2 cups of water with 2 cups of lemon juice or white vinegar. You should just put a little bit onto the stain, lightly rub the stain with a sponge, and then rinse with cold water. You can repeat these steps if needed.
For stains that are oil-based, removing it would be somewhat trickier. It is vital that you act quickly when your silk item has been stained with oil. First, you must remove the oil that has not yet soaked in using a towel, then swiftly put some talcum powder onto the oil mark. Leave this powder on top of the stain overnight, then softly brush the talcum powder away and wash your silk item.
On a side note, it is important to remember to not try spot treating silk, no matter what is the cause of the stain because you would most likely end up with a water stain. It is best to simply wash the entire thing instead when your silk fabric has a stain
- Before washing or dry cleaning
- Properly drying silk fabric
In order to properly dry your silk items, you should never wring them out. It is highly suggested that you roll them in white towels in order to blot dry, or lay white towels out on the bed and blot sheets on top of them. You can also line or hang dry your silk outdoors or inside so that you can preserve the fabric. You should utilize a clothesline, a non-slip hanger, or a drying rack. It is important to take note to avoid wooden drying racks because such items can cause the dye to leech and stain into the silk fabric. It is important to remember to never hang dry your silk items that are hit by direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can damage the silk fibers and may cause colors to fade, particularly in darker colored silk. Your silk should dry in about 45 minutes depending on temperature and conditions.
Another thing to remember is to never put your silk items in the dryer. Heat can damage delicate silk fibers. If the dryer is absolutely necessary, it is highly suggested to only utilize the air setting for about 15 minutes. After that, you must remove silk items before they completely dry.
- Iron your mulberry silk
It is also important for your mulberry silk sheets to be ironed, especially that they get wrinkled after you wash them. It is vital to remember to iron your silk fabric while they are still slightly damped. You should turn the silk fabric inside out when you iron them and use the silk setting stated on your iron. Always keep your iron moving and do not iron the same part for more than 5 seconds because heat can burn silk very easily. It is also important to have a spray bottle that comes handy when you are ironing your silk items so that you can make sure that they do not burn.
It must be noted that even if ironing is important, it is optional. Your silk sheets will eventually smoothen once you put them on your bed. You can also utilize the steam from your iron in order to remove the wrinkles without actually putting the iron on your sheets. If you do not want to iron your mulberry silk items, you can hang them in the bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower helps get rid of the wrinkles. At the end, allow your silk fabric to cool completely before you fold them and put them away.
Storing Mulberry silk items
If it is not stored correctly, mulberry silk may come off as wrinkly. It may also be damaged due to poor storing conditions such as poor humidity and temperature. With that, it is vital to properly store your mulberry silk. The best way to keep it is to just hang it up in a closet with the right conditions. This will stop it from crushing and get rid of minor wrinkles all on its own. Also, the darker the closet, the better. All-natural fabrics will break down a little bit in direct sunlight, and silk is no exception. With that, Store silk in a cool, dark and dry place. Airtight containers are perfect for silk storage as they prevent moisture damage. If you do not have an airtight container or are storing luxury bedding sets for a brief period, putting packs of silica gel in the folds and around the outside of the sheets will absorb excess moisture.
In order to protect your silk items from insects such as moths which can cause damage on your silk items, cedar wood balls can be utilized. This is a great natural alternative repellent which you can place in the cupboard on and around your silk bedding for protection. It is important to remember to avoid using mothballs as this can leave a strong odor in the silk fabric, which is unpleasant and difficult to remove.
It is also important to use a no-slip, non-wooden hanger because many wooden hangers are treated with dyes and finishes that can leach out and discolor the silk fabric. Furthermore, due to the slippery and smooth quality of silk, using a plastic hanger can cause it to slip on the floor. Hence, using a no-slip and non-wooden hanger is ideal when hanging silk items in the closet.
For silk beddings and comforters, it is a must to store in a clean area. Dust and dirt can do substantial harm to silk. Make sure that your silk beddings are protected from moisture and dust. Store it in a dry place. Do not seal your comforter in a plastic bag after use. Store it in a well-ventilated dark area and avoid high heat and strong light which can cause the silk floss to become fragile and easily broken. Don’t place heavy weights on top of your silk comforter. Changing the folds of the comforter frequently will aid in preventing the silk floss from being damaged. For garments, store Mulberry silk garments separately. It will prevent lint from piling up. Also, store it inside a protective covering. There are many antibacterial covers available in the market. It must be noted that using paper covering may cause harm in the silk item and thus is discouraged.
Stay clean when lying down in your silk sheets
Staying clean when using your silk sheets is also a vital component in maintaining the lifespan of your silk items. It is not just detergents that can affect your bed linen. Beauty products such as creams and face washes contain chemicals that can actually harm your silk linen. For example, using a product with benzoyl peroxide can actually stain your silk linens. Furthermore, sun screens and bronzers can also damage your silk beddings. With that, it is vital to have a quick shower to remove dirt and skin products that may harm your silk linen before you lie down on your bedsheets. This will surely help your bed linen stay looking good for longer.
Sheen and Snags on your silk bedding and pillowcases
Here are additional things you should remember when maintaining your mulberry silk:
After repeated washing, it is perfectly normal for silk to lose some of its original sheen. If your silk appears totally dull, you may have utilized too much detergent which has left a coating. You can do some touch up and quick fixing by cool-warm ironing your silk item. This method will aid in restoring the original sheen and bring back the life of your mulberry silk items. You can utilize a steam setting in so that you can make sure that the iron glides effortlessly across the silk fabric.
Even though silk is fairly strong and tough, a small tear can rapidly grow and compromise your fabric. To avoid this type of damage, it is important to utilize extra caution when washing. As stated above, a mesh laundry bag is ideal in protecting your silk items from developing snags. When using your sheets, be mindful of anything that can tear or snag, including but not limited to rings, earrings and other jewelry; zippers, Velcro or hooks on clothing; sharp surfaces; long or broken nails; rough skin; and pets. Even facial hair or stubble can cause pilling and wear leading to tears over time. With that, it is important to be mindful with your silk fabric when handling it.
Investing in mulberry silk is one thing, but maintaining it so that it can last you a lifetime is definitely another. Good thing that there are some steps you can do so that you can make sure that your investment in such luxurious material lasts you a long time. At the end of what has been discussed above, here are some things you must remember to maintain your mulberry silk:
- Use a pH-neutral detergent and formulated silk detergent
- Wash silk separately from other items in a silk-only load.
- Turn silk pillowcases, beddings, and other items inside out before laundering.
- Invest in fine mesh laundry bags to help keep the silk from tearing.
- Wash silk in cold water.
- Do not use bleach, which will harm the fabric and cause it to yellow.
- Do not use fabric softener for they are unnecessary and will leave an unpleasant residue on the fabric.
- Do not dry clean because heat can damage your silk fabrics.
- Do not wring silk out. Roll it between white towels to blot, or lay white towels out on the bed and blot sheets on top of them.
- Line or hang dry your silk in order to preserve the fabric.
- Use a clothesline, a non-slip hanger, or a drying rack out of direct sunlight.
- Do not hang silk in direct sunlight, outdoors or inside. Exposure to sunlight can damage the silk fibers, and may cause colors to fade, especially in darker colored silk.
- Iron your silk item sparingly, only on the coolest setting with sheets and turn your pillowcases inside out. A light steam will enable the iron to glide smoothly over the fabric.
- Store silk carefully in breathable bags, away from direct sunlight, with moth repellent lavender sachets or cedar balls in close proximity.
If you follow these tips, we assure you that you get to enjoy the benefits and lux feel of silk for years to come!
- Blanc. 2020. How To Care For Silk. Retrieved from: https://blancliving.co/blogs/news/how-to-care-for-silk. Retrieved on 30 November 2021.
- Elle Silk Blog. 2019. The Tips to Store Silk Bedding. Retrieved from: https://www.ellesilk.com/blog/the-tips-to-store-silk-bedding/. Retrieved on 30 November 2021.
- Fashinza. 2021. 10 Tips for Mulberry Silk Care and Maintenance. Retrieved from: https://fashinza.com/textile/fabric/10-tips-for-mulberry-silk-care-and-maintenance/. Retrieved on 30 November 2021.
- Mulberry Park Silks. 2019. How to Wash Silk Pillowcases and Silk Sheets. Retrieved from: https://mulberryparksilks.com/blogs/mulberry/how-to-wash-and-clean-silk-pillowcases-and-silk-bedding. Retrieved on 30 November 2021.
- Mulberry Park Silks. 2020. How to Dry Your Silk Pillowcases and Silk Sheets after a Wash. Retrieved from: https://mulberryparksilks.com/blogs/mulberry/the-best-way-to-dry-your-silk-pillowcases-and-sheets-after-a-wash. Retrieved on 30 November 2021.