Thursday, 9 July 2009

Care of Silk Fabric



Silk should be dry-cleaned, in most of the cases. Whenever in doubt, dryclean it.

It should not be machine washed at all.

Silk Shrinks when washed in water. It doesn’t itself shrink. It is the way the individual fibers are twisted together than causes the silk to shrink. Highly twisted yarns and loose weave cause shrinking when water releases twisting energy in the fibers.

Water also affects the texture and sheen of the fabric. Thus the firmness and color of the fabric is also affected by water.

When hand washing do it in this way:

Always wash silk in soft water. Add a pinch of Borax or ammonia, if the water is hard.

1. Put the silk in a tub full of lukewarm water and mild soap like Ezee.

2. Rub the silk fabric for a few minutes in the solution and drain.

3. Rinse in clear cool water until all the soap is gone.

4. Fill the tub again and put about a quarter cup of white vinegar.

Vinegar neutralizes any remaining soap and allows it to rinse out completely restoring the fabric’s natural sheen. It also helps preventing any damage from the alkali present in the soap.

5. Give the fabric a final rinse in clear, cool water to restore the vinegar smell.

6. Roll up in a towel to remove moisture then dry flat on a towel. Never wring it.

7. Avoid soaking silk as this may fade the dye.

Silk with doubtful color fastness may be steeped in cold water with a small amount of citric or acetic acid for 1-2 minutes before washing.

Please test this method on a small part of the garment before commencing the full-fledged washing.

Treating Stains

1. Use a capful of hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia added to the wash.

2. For recent perspiration stain dab a tablespoon of ammonia dissolved in half cup of water. Older perspiration can be removed with a vinegar solution. Unfortunately, perspiration stains on silk may not be completely removable.

Pressing

1. Silk should be pressed when damp never when completely dry.

2. Turn the item inside out and iron on the reverse side of the fabric.

3. Use a low setting and don’t use steam as it will leave watermarks.


Storage

1. Keep silk in a cotton pillowcase or other material that can breathe.

2. Avoid plastic which traps moisture and can cause yellowing and mildew

3. Use naphthalene balls to keep the bugs away from silk.

4. Avoid direct contact with wood

5. Wrap zari sarees in cotton cloth to avoid discoloring of zari.

General Care Instructions

1. Keep it away from heat or direct sunlight, it will yellow the fiber.

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