I know we always check the washing instructions of our garments and look for the easiest way out of laundry. However, wearing silk is a privilege and a pleasure. Body heat, body lotions and perfumes will spoil the fabric, so it is very important to know how to care for your beautiful silk lingerie. It may take time, but I would seriously highly recommend you take note of this advice. The beauty of silk is that it will become softer as it ages. Here are a number of tips to maintain your undergarments and have them giving you pleasure for a long long time to come…
1. BE CONSIDERATE
It is a natural fabric and needs to ‘rest’. By this I mean don’t wear your silk lingerie on a continuous basis. For items of silk lingerie that don’t need laundered as much as others or that are tailored, like pyjamas or robes, have these dry cleaned. Machine washing is not recommended but handwashing following certain careful steps will see your lingerie last a long long time.
2. THE WASHING PROCESS
Only wash by hand in cool water (less than 28° C). Hotter water can damage delicate fabrics and even stain them. Immerse the garment into the water but do not soak for very long (5 minutes or so) or do not rub as it will damage the fibres. Bright and dark colours will be maintained for longer by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the final rinse water and it will also help remove any soap particles. Wrap and roll the piece in a soft clean towel to remove as much moisture. You can then leave to dry flat in a dry room away from direct sunlight and away from any form of artificial heating (radiators etc.,) or press dry using an iron on a silk setting while the garment is inside out. During the drying process, straighten out the seams and hems.
3. CHOOSE YOUR DETERGENT WISELY
I would suggest using a PHOSPHATE FREE, BIODEGRADABLE type wash especially created to launder delicate fabrics. My detergent of choice is Soyelle.
4. STORAGE OF SILK LINGERIE
Separate your bras from your knickers. Bra hooks can damage delicate adornments easily and if you keep your bras with the bands closed and in a separate drawer, your knickers will love you for it!
Another suggestion is to hang your camisoles, babydolls and neglegeés on hangers (Don’t hang when wet as this will relax the silk and put them out of shape!)
5. IRONING/STEAMING SILKS
As silk is a natural fabric, it will crease easily. For a charmeuse, these prefer to be ironed on the reverse on the silk setting to revive their lustre, all other silks can be hung above a hot bath and ‘steamed’.
6. NEVER NEVER NEVER..
• Never expose silk lingerie articles to strong direct sunlight. Silk lingerie will fade.
• Never spray perfume or deodorant on silk lingerie.
• Never soak silk lingerie in water for a long time.
• Never try to clean a “spot” or soiled area with water.
• Water leaves a ring around the wetted area that even Dry-cleaning may not remove.
• Never tumble dry