Carly asked: I was wondering if you had any advice on fixing silk. My boyfriend was trying to be nice one day and threw some laundry in. My fabulous silk blouse went through the wash, and I want to try and save it if I can. It lost all its luster and doesn’t shine anymore from the washing and drying. The fabric still feels smooth and hasn’t popped a thread or anything. Is there any way to give it back its shine? Is there an oil or anything at all I could use?
Silk is a finicky fabric, requiring quite a bit of care when washed. Although dry cleaning is recommended, many silks, lightweight ones in particular, can be successfully hand washed. The side effect of hand washing, however, may be a loss of luster. If your silk has lost its brilliance, the following process should restore some of that shine.
You Will Need:
- Clean sink, tub, or wash bin
- Distilled white vinegar
- Warm water
- Two thick, clean towels
- Padded hanger or drying rack
Steps to Restore the Shine:
- In the wash bin, mix ¼ cup vinegar for each gallon of warm water.
- Stir to mix.
- Submerge the silk in the water.
- Swish the garment around until thoroughly soaked.
- Remove from vinegar water and rinse well with clean water multiple times to ensure all of the vinegar, and the smell, is gone.
- Spread a thick towel on a flat surface.
- Lay the silk fabric over the towel.
- Top with the second towel.
- Press or roll gently to remove excess water.
- Remove the garment from between the towels.
- Hang or spread over a drying rack until dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Always spot test a hidden area before you begin.
- Never dry silk on wood, including wooden hangers or drying racks. The wood can stain the fabric.
- Never dry silk in direct sunlight or heat. Either one can cause yellowing.
- If desired, iron silk inside and out on cool or “silk” setting when it’s still damp.