Light, soft, and lustrous – when you hear these words used in the context of clothing, there is only one word that is most likely to pop up in your mind – silk. Silk and rayon are special fabrics that are used to make fashionable, exquisite apparel that is not only a joy to watch but also a delight to wear. If you are reading this, you probably have that one silk or rayon dress that you just love wearing, and want to keep it looking as fresh as it is now. Or maybe it has a stain on it that you’re not sure how to deal with. Whatever your situation might be, the following are a few things you should be mindful of while taking care of special fabrics like silk and rayon.
Silk is a delicate fiber that requires more care and attention than other regular clothes. Since it is natural and organic, it gets easily damaged and hard to maintain in its original condition. Here are a few tips that you need to be mindful of when caring for silk garments
Most silk dresses come with a care instruction tag that says “Dry clean only” which should be taken seriously. If you find that your silk dress is stained in some way, the best thing you can do is to send it to your local dry cleaners. Dry cleaning is the safest way of cleaning your silk dress as it helps to maintain the bright new texture for a longer time.
If you are really short on time and want to get that stain off as soon as possible, hand washing with a mild detergent is your safest bet after dry cleaning. Make sure you rinse your silk dress in cold water instead of warm or hot water to maintain your dress in a healthy condition.
Spot cleaning any fabric is a questionable practice and should be done only when absolutely necessary. This is especially for colored silk dresses which may get faded at the spot you have spot cleaned. This makes the texture inconsistent and less appealing.
Wrinkles may spoil the overall look of your silk dress even if it is clean. When your dress gets wrinkled, the best way to smoothen it out is by steaming over it. If you don’t happen to own a steamer, no worries. When you take a hot shower, you can hang the dress in the bathroom at a spot where it won’t get wet. The steam and stretching will smoothen out most of the wrinkles.
Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber that has similar properties to silk. Consequently, it also has a few vulnerabilities like silk and must be maintained with special care.
Using harsh chemicals on rayon such as acids and bleach, even for the most stubborn stains should be avoided. Doing so will cause irreparable damage to your rayon dress. If you must clean it, carefully clean with a mild detergent if the care label allows it.
Just like silk, rayon is very delicate and prone to damage when cleaned like regular fabrics. To avoid any loss in the quality of your rayon dress, it is highly advisable to let your local dry cleaners handle it.
Rayon is prone to shrinking when dried using the dryer of your washing machine. If you want to avoid unwanted shrinkage of your rayon dress air dry it by laying it flat on a surface such as a drying rack.
To smoothen wrinkles, use a dry iron on low heat. Steam ironing may ruin your rayon dress. Iron the fabric inside out, preferably using an ironing cloth in between to prevent any damages. Do not drag the iron heavily over the surface.
In addition to following these basic care tips for your silk and rayon dresses, you should also ensure that your dresses are stored in well-aerated conditions. If you need to store in bags, use porous fabric bags instead of plastic ones. To maintain your valuable rayon and silk dresses for a long time, get it cleaned by professional dry cleaners who specialize in garment care for all fabrics.