Silk is a beautiful fabric that is luxurious to wear, but the delicate fibres require special attention when it comes to caring for them. If you’ve always dry cleaned your silk items as their care labels will often advise, then we are here to break it to you: most silk items are in fact better cared for at home (as long as your item is free from tailoring, padding, embellishments, or pleating).
We've partnered with beautiful silk wear specialists Bertioli by Thyme, to bring you the best guide to hand washing your silk wear at home - here's how to wash silk, and how to care for your silk garments.
How To Wash Silk
“Too many items are made to look old before their time, through excessive use of toxic chemicals and sheer over-washing. In a former life, I was one of those people who took a pile of silk dresses to the dry cleaners every week without giving it any further thought, but since then I have gone on a personal mission to uncover the truth about how we should all be caring for our clothes, to help them last a lifetime.” -Lulu O’Connor, Clothes Doctor founder.
Tips Before You Wash
Check your silk garment for any details or structure such as pleats or unusual textured finishes, as these could be damaged or misshapen when washed. Every time you hand wash you'll likely see a little dye come out in the water, but the first time it will run more than usual. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about.
How To Wash Silk At Home
That lustrous and luxurious quality of silk (which is what makes it so wonderful to wear) can be lost over time with repeated harsh dry cleaning techniques. This is why we created our special pH neutral formula to allow you to wash your favourite Bertioli silk wear at home. Our Eco Wash for Silk & Delicates, lightly fragranced with bergamot and sandalwood, cleanses, refreshes and renews, so you feel truly luxurious every time you don your silks.
If you're wondering how to wash silk at home, all you have to do is:
- Fill a basin with cool water and add 2-3 caps of Eco Wash for Silk & Delicates
- Turn the item inside out and gently submerge the garment and agitate the water with your hands to distribute the soap and water. (It is normal for a little dye to be released). Soak for up to 30 minutes.
- Rinse with fresh cool water until the garment is free from soap and then gently press between your hands or against the basin.
- Absorb excess water with a towel and leave to dry flat on the towel. Alternatively, you can hang to dry, making sure to position the item correctly on a hanger to prevent stretching.
Our Favourite Tip: Steam It!
By steaming you will refresh your garment, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and remove odour (as steaming will remove 96% of bacteria). The steam will cause the fibres and fabric to swell providing a fuller and more colourful look.
Add a dash of our Steamer Water in Blue Lily and Bergamot for a gentle refresh of a dreamy, floral scent that lingers on your clothes after every use. We'd liken the experience to taking a deep breath while walking through a secret garden of flowers and citrus trees.
It All Comes Down To How You Store It...
Now you know how to wash silk at home, it’s important to store your silk garments correctly so they stay looking luxurious for longer. To avoid creases we advise that you hang your Bertioli silk garments on a wooden hanger if possible, although folding carefully in your drawer is another option if you prefer.
Although moths are better known for dining on cashmere and wool, they have been known to eat silk as well, so to protect your silk and ensure it continues to smell delicious (to us and not the moths) you can hang a Natural Fragrance Bag on the hanger as well. They’re even available by subscription so you never forget to change them.
With our top tips and clothing care products, we help bring a little slice of pleasure and luxury to your routine. You now know how to wash silk, and your silks will not only stay luxuriously soft and smelling divine, but you’ll retain the bright colours and texture of your favourite Bertioli items through ditching the dry cleaner!
Make sure to take a look at Bertioli by Thyme's beautiful silk wear collections, inspired by gorgeous Cotswold flora.
Shop the whole Clothes Doctor range to become a clothing care pro.