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Wendy Heijne


No more standard sizes and standard fashion. I believe in fashion personalized by you. Thats why I have founded Studio Heijne. By blogging I hope to add some colour to your daily life. And hopefully inspire you to think outside the box and to try the new way of shopping: personal slow-fashion instead of mass-produced garments

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Best way to wash silk

What’s the best way to wash silk?

What’s the best way to hand wash silk. And what is the best detergent? Or can you machine wash silk?  This story dives specifically into how to wash silk garments, scarves and other silk items.

Earlier we have published a general guide on care advice for silk. You can read the general guide here.

Look for some more garment care blogs below.

Different ways to wash silk

Silk is amazing material for every season. However, usually we worry about how will we take care of it. After all, silk is delicate and sensitive. Nevertheless, if you choose the right detergent, the right washing machine program or good dry cleaning service it’s quite easy. Though, there are few things you have to keep in mind. Read though this blog and you’ll be good to go. To begin, there are three different ways of washing silk:

  • Hand wash – the safest way
  • Machine Wash – fast, easy and safe
  • Dry Clean – for very delicate items

The different types of silk

But first, you have to know that there are many different types of silk. However, the most commonly used for everyday clothes are:

  • Silk Crepe de Chine
Sunday dress in silk crepe
Sunday dress is made of silk crepe.
  • Wild silk or silk Habotai
Best Way to wash silk
The Papilot scarf in Silk Habotai
  • Silk Satin
Best way to wash silk
Revolution top in Silk Satin

There are other silk fabrics, such as Chiffon, Organza, Dupion, Shantung, Duchess and etc. Anyhow, they are usually intended for gown and bridal-wear. And these need to go to the dry cleaner.

Best way to hand wash silk

Hand washing is always the best way for washing silk. It’s also the safest way. All you have to do is prepare first and then follow the step by step guide.

Before you start:
  • Pre-treat if there are any stains. (Coming soon: a blog on stains and spots)
  • Turn the item/s inside out.
  • Wash with the same or similar colors.
Always wash dark and bright colors separately. Wash the colorful items individually as well.

A step by step guide:

  • Fill a large bowl or the sink with lukewarm (around 30 degrees) water.

  • Put the silk items inside and make sure they submerge.

  • Add a recommended dose of detergent for delicates.

Best way to wash silk

We recommend the Organic delicate detergent by Gröna Gredelina and Galltvål. Both of these products will keep your clothes fresh and clean while making sure they’re not harming the environment.

  • Stir the water using your hand to mix the detergent and soak the garment for few minutes.

  • Use your hands to gently move the silk item up and down in the water.

  • Rinse the silk item in fresh cool water.

  • Use a towel to absorb the excess water.

  • Hang the garment to dry out away from direct sunlight.

How to machine washing silk

You might be surprised to hear that you can wash silk in washing machine. The most suitable program for washing machine silk is the delicate. Sometimes it can be even called hand wash. Usually it takes 20-30 minutes. Furthermore, the temperature is about 30 degrees. This program mimics hand washing, so the machine makes very gentle spins. Moreover, what you can do protect the silk for machine washing is to use a mesh bag. Just to make sure it won’t get damaged. Follow the guide below for washing silk items in washing machine.

To prepare:

  • Check the fabric care label. Some silk items may bleed and lose color. Or they’re embroidered and are too delicate and may be damaged.
  • Pre-treat any stains.
  • Turn the item/s inside out.
  • Please do not mix different colors together.
It’s not recommended to wash different colors together.
It’s best to wash garments like these separately.

A step by step guide:

  • Load the machine with the silks. Always leave some space. Be careful, don’t overload it.
  • Add a detergent for delicates.

  • Start the delicate cycle. All the machines have one these days.
The delicate program is called “feinwäsche” on this  German washing machine.
It takes about half an hour. The temperature is 30 degrees.
  • Use a towel to absorb the excess water. Take the silks out as soon as the program ends. Never let them soak. 
  • Hang the garment or lay it flat. Keep it away from direct sunlight.

What’s the best way to dry clean silk?

Let’s demystify what really happens at the dry cleaners. Actually, it’s very simple. Dry cleaning is called dry, because different liquid is used instead of water. This liquid, also known as solvent, doesn’t penetrate in the fibers the same way as water.  That’s how the fabric keeps it’s quality. However, usually the liquid is chemical based and it’s not healthy or environmentally friendly. On the other hand, today there are also more sustainable options. Such as, wet cleaning, liquid carbon dioxide cleaning, silicon based solvent cleaning. At Studio Heijne we collaborate with environment friendly dry cleaner: Elias Skräddari.

Nevertheless, the best way to dry clean silk is written below:

  • Kindly ask the dry cleaning service for greener options.
  • Please point out if there are any stains, what caused it and how long it has been there.
  • Don’t forget to mention upfront if you have concerns for delicate details such as beads, embroidery or buttons for example.

Finally, after the silk items are dry we recommend to iron or steam them.

Read more about steaming clothes here:

How to steam your silk garments 

5 reasons to steam your clothes

Best in test: which steamer to buy?

Shop garment care products:

Organic delicate detergent-1L- Fragrance free

Hand steamer Cirrus No.2

Let me know if you find this guide helpful. Don’t forget to add it to your bookmarks.

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In the next one we will share how to remove stains.

This blog is written by Viktor Stojkoski.

For more inspiring content check out my platform for fashion and sustainability:

Arbiter Of Sustainable Fashion

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