Can You Iron Silk: Simple Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Wrinkles are common, and if you are not very careful with your silk garment, you will need to deal with this annoying problem.
If you're wondering and asking, can you iron silk to solve the issue, we will talk about the possibility of doing so.
We will also discuss other methods that you can use to keep this delicate fabric fresh and wrinkle-free.
Can You Iron Silk?
Silk garments are unique since they can keep you warm or cool down fast, as needed.
As long as you are wearing a comfortable loose fit, the cooling and heating effects would work wonders.
Silk can also break away mites, dust, and other particles, so you don’t really have to wash it regularly compared with other types of fabrics.
With all those characteristics, silk is one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world. However, luxury usually comes with high maintenance needs.
It looks and feels impressive since it is costly, but the trickiest part of using silk are wrinkles or creases. That is because silk is generally thin and soft.
Ironing, which is the most common method of removing wrinkles and creases, is also not as easy since you might burn the item.
Thus, some would say that you should just let the professionals handle the fabric.
The problem is the cost of professional dry cleaning is starting to soar, so it is not really a good idea unless you don’t have a choice.
That said, generally, you can iron silk. You just have to know how to do it properly.
The Best Way to Iron Silk
To keep your silk items wrinkle-free, here is a step-by-step guide on how you can iron them correctly and safely:
1. Prepare the Silk
The best time to iron a silk fabric is right after washing it. The goal is to minimize your iron’s heat effects.
To prepare the silk fabric for ironing, you need to remove the excess water because the iron heat won’t work if it is soaking wet.
If you are handwashing your silk fabric, you should squeeze the water out gently after rinsing it.
Remember never to twist the silk since it would break the threads and cause tears or stretches.
On the other hand, if you are using a washing machine, you can iron the silk directly.
2. Set the Iron and Ironing Board
Apart from preparing the silk-made item, it is always best to check your iron.
Make sure that it is totally clean before plugging or switching it on. For instance, if there are metal stains, you have to remove them first because they might damage the silk.
To remove them, use a baking soda solution. Soak a clean microfiber cloth and use it to wipe off the stains.
Once the iron plate is clean, set the heat level of the iron. It should be on a delicate or silk setting.
If there are no indicators, you should put the iron in the lowest setting.
Then, prepare a white or any natural color cotton sheet on the ironing board.
It would help prevent the color of the board from transferring onto the silk once the iron's heat is applied.
3. Iron Your Silk Fabric
One thing to remember is to start with the backside of the silk. You can easily determine the front part because it has a shiny surface.
You should also iron your silk per part to smooth it out properly and make sure that the wrinkles are not visible.
When you start ironing silk, you can choose to press the iron directly on the cloth. That is if you've set the iron to silk or delicate.
That said, it is better to be on the safe side and iron the silk item indirectly. You can do so by using a press cloth to cover the part that you will iron.
Lastly, keep the iron moving; don’t let it stay in the same part for a few seconds to avoid overheating.
Make sure though that you're moving in one direction to prevent creating more wrinkles or creases.
What Are Other Ways to Remove Wrinkles From Your Silk Fabric?
Besides ironing the silk fabric, there are other methods that you can use to remove the wrinkles.
Although ironing is a better option, it is also the technique with the highest risk because a simple mishap can damage the fabric permanently.
If you are not a risk-taker and don’t want to ruin your silk fabric, here are some simple ways to remove silk fabric wrinkles:
1. Using a Steamer
One of the safest ways to remove the wrinkles from a silk fabric is by using a steamer.
Steam is not as hot as dry or iron heat. It has the perfect temperature to prevent damage to the fabric while removing the wrinkles.
Plus, you won't be directly applying heat to the item.
To use a steamer to remove the wrinkles from silk, here's what you need to do:
- Put the silk garment on a hanger and put it in an open area. Make sure that there is enough space for you to move around.
- Start looking for wrinkles at the top part of the item.
- Move about six inches away from the item, and then hold the steamer and spray steam the item.
- Work your way downwards.
2. Hot Water Shower
Although the hot water shower technique is not the best option, it is still a good method to remove silk fabric wrinkles.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Put the silk cloth in a hanger and bring it to your bathroom. Make sure that you put it in an area where it won’t get wet.
- Turn on the hot water shower and let it run for about five to 10 minutes.
- Make sure that you close the shower curtains so that the steam would stay inside the area.
The main goal of a hot water shower is not to directly use the hot water to remove the wrinkles. The steam generated from the hot water will do the trick.
To save water and electricity, the best time to do this is when you are taking a shower.
3. Natural Drying Technique
Compared to the other methods mentioned above, this technique would take a bit of time.
That is because you will have no control over the amount of heat used to dry the silk and remove the wrinkles completely.
If you want to opt for this method, here are the things you need to do:
- To remove silk wrinkles naturally, handwash the fabric with plain water and hang it outside in the sunlight.
- The natural heat from the sun will drain the water, and the water molecules' weight will remove undesired wrinkles.
- You should leave the fabric outside for about 10 to 15 minutes because putting it under direct sunlight for a long time would damage the fabric.
- After drying the silk fabric, put it on a plain surface, and use a dry towel to wipe out the remaining water from the fabric.
4. Using a Hair Dryer
This technique is one of the fastest ways to remove the wrinkles on your silk fabric.
If you are in a rush and need to go to a party, here is a simple guide on how to use your hairdryer to remove wrinkles from your silky items.
- Use a fine mist spray bottle and fill it up with water.
- Spray the clean water on the wrinkled area. Ensure that you don’t wet the area too much since it would still take time to dry.
- Use the hairdryer and blow hot air on the slightly wet area. The hot air will remove the wrinkles on your silk fabric effectively.
Apart from asking can you iron silk and learning other techniques to remove wrinkles and creases, you must also know how you can maintain the look and luster of your silk.
When it comes to washing silk, the best way is to let the experts from dry cleaners do what they do best.
It is still the best way to preserve and extend the life of your silk and make sure that it is always in good condition.
Nonetheless, there are instances where dry cleaners won’t be an option.
With the threat of COVID-19 around the globe, going out to visit the dry cleaners or interacting with them is not a good idea, so you can just wash the silk fabric at home.
The precautions you need to take before washing your silk-made items are:
- Always read the silk-made washing guide.
- Make sure that you only use soap that is safe for silk.
- It is better not to use any soap or detergent to your silk for the first three washes. You just need to wash them with fresh water.
- Always remember that bleach is not an option because it would damage the color of the fabric.
Keeping those in mind, if the item requires handwashing, here's what you need to do:
- Dilute the detergent in water and soak the fabric for a maximum of five minutes.
- Gently swish the fabric and rinse with fresh water.
- Don’t twist or wring the fabric and just press it a little bit to remove the excess water.
2. Hanging and Storing
You cannot prevent wrinkles and creases, but you can minimize the chances of dealing with them. The secret is to hang and store the silk items properly.
What's convenient is not you don't need any expensive items or use special techniques; in fact, you just need to hang them in a cool and dry area.
It is not advisable to fold silk, especially if you will leave it stored for a long time.
Also, never put your silk fabric in plastic bags because they usually lock in moisture and damage the fabric. It is best to put it inside a breathable fabric bag.
Additionally, silk is a protein, so it would attract moths. You should add a natural moth repellant to the fabric bag to protect the silk.
3. Removing Stains
The best way to remove the stain on silk items is to bring it to a dry cleaner as soon as possible.
If you want to do it on your own, though, here are a few tips you can follow.
- Treat the stain immediately and don’t let it dry. Use a paper towel or clean cotton to blot the affected area to remove as much stain as possible.
- Then, prepare your silk stain remover by mixing white vinegar or lemon juice with a few tablespoons of lukewarm water.
- Test the solution in an inconspicuous area. If it deems safe to use, start dabbing the remaining stain using a clean white cloth.
- Do not rub the stain because it might damage the fabric.
4. Packing and Traveling
If you will go to an event and plan to bring silk dresses or tops with you, it is not advisable to hang them inside the car, especially if you have to ride the airplane.
Here are a few tips to make sure that your silk dress will still look good even after a long journey.
- Instead of folding, roll the silk garments carefully. Folding can cause creases, but if you just roll them up, silk will stay the same when you arrive at your destination.
- Put the silk-made garment in a separate bag. If you still have a lot of space in the suitcase, bring a fabric bag with you and put all of your rolled silk garments inside.
- It is also best to bring a travel steamer with you at all times. This is for emergency cases since you're not sure if your garment will be completely free from creases and wrinkles.
- When wearing silk clothes, be careful about what you are eating. Try not to spill any colored drinks or food because they would be tough to remove.
Caring and Maintaining Silk
Silk maintenance and care are not easy, especially since the fabric is completely different from standard ones where you can just iron the wrinkles directly.
You can iron silk and there are other techniques available. Whichever you choose, you should be as gentle as possible to prevent damages.
The same goes when trying to prevent creases and wrinkles when washing, storing, and packing your silk-made items.