Can Raw Silk Be Dry Cleaned? Caring For Your Silk Garments - Fabricare Center

Can Raw Silk Be Dry Cleaned? Caring For Your Silk Garments

Dry Cleaning

Can Raw Silk Be Dry Cleaned? Caring For Your Silk Garments

If you’re the proud owner of a raw silk garment, deciphering the best way to clean it without risking damage can feel like an unsolvable puzzle. Raw silk, known for its exquisite colors and unmatched luster, is particularly vulnerable to water-related harm and the perils of shrinking. In our blog, we explore the question, “Can raw silk be dry cleaned?” and provide invaluable insights into the essential care strategies that will help you maintain your raw silk garments in pristine condition. Discover these insider secrets to safeguard your wardrobe against avoidable wear and tear.

Key Takeaways

  • Raw silk can be dry cleaned if label instructions allow, but hand washing is a gentle alternative.
  • Check for colorfastness on your silk item before cleaning to avoid color loss or damage.
  • Treat stains right away and use a light dabbing method with no harsh rubbing.
  • Silk garments need careful storage – avoid plastic bags and choose breathable fabric covers instead.
  • Use gentle detergent without harsh additives when hand washing raw silk.
  • Lay flat to dry after washing, keep away from direct sunlight, and never machine dry.

Can Raw Silk Be Dry Cleaned?

Determining whether raw silk can be dry cleaned primarily requires paying close attention to the garment’s label instructions. It is always wise to test for colorfastness before cleaning. If dry cleaning isn’t an option, hand washing serves as a gentle yet viable alternative.

Follow the Label Instructions

Proper silk care necessitates meticulous attention to detail. Silk garment care labels are an indispensable guide for maintaining the fabric’s quality. These labels provide information on whether a piece can be washed at home or requires professional dry cleaning.

Misreading or disregarding these instructions may result in color bleeding, material shrinking, or even complete damage to the item. It is advisable to diligently adhere to the guidelines provided on these tags, which include valuable details such as the correct temperature settings and recommended detergent types specifically formulated for silk fabrics.

Test for Colorfastness

Testing for colorfastness is crucial before washing your silk garments. This process helps identify whether the dye in your silk fabric will bleed or fade during cleaning, especially when exposed to water.

So, how do you test for colorfastness? Start by selecting an inconspicuous area on the garment, then dampen this spot slightly and gently dab it with a clean white cloth. If any color transfers to the cloth, it means the item isn’t colorfast.

Understanding this information is essential because machine washing can be particularly harsh on raw silk items due to aggressive agitation and hot water cycles, which can potentially cause damage and severe color loss.

Dry cleaning might be recommended, but hand washing can also work for some ‘dry-clean-only’ labels as long as proper care measures are taken after confirming colorfastness.

Hand Wash as an Alternative

Hand washing is a reliable alternative for cleaning raw silk garments. Begin by filling a basin with cold water and adding a small amount of gentle detergent. Submerge the silk piece in the solution to kickstart the cleaning process.

Carefully agitate the fabric in the water to release dirt or oils without damaging the delicate material. Examine your garment for any signs of color bleeding; this is an important step before proceeding further with hand washing.

After thorough cleansing, rinse it well, but avoid wringing or twisting it harshly, as this could lead to stretching or tearing of its fibers. Pat dry using a towel, then lay it flat on an absorbent surface, away from direct sunlight and heat, which can subtly shrink and discolor your precious item over time while maintaining its lustrous sheen intact.

Caring for Your Silk Garments

Caring for Your Silk Garments

Giving your silk garments the care they deserve is simple. Keep them away from plastic storage to let them breathe. Tackle any stains immediately, but delicately to avoid damaging the fabric.

Opt for a gentle detergent without harsh additives as these can harm the texture and luster of your garment. Proper care assures longevity and maintains their elegant appeal for years to come.

Avoid Plastic Storage

It’s crucial to store your silk garments correctly to ensure their longevity. First and foremost, avoid using any form of plastic storage. Plastic inhibits the essential air circulation needed to preserve your beloved silk outfits, leading to irreversible damage over time.
Freshly cleaned silks can turn yellow or develop mildew if left in those flimsy plastic bags often provided by cleaners. Additionally, silk material can weaken when subjected to such confining conditions. Instead, opt for breathable fabric bags and boxes that provide proper protection while preventing potential staining, aging, and deterioration caused by poor storage choices.

Tackle Stains Appropriately

Stains on silk garments require immediate and careful attention. Silk fabric easily absorbs stains, so it’s crucial to act as soon as a stain occurs. Use a gentle dabbing method to softly remove any excess substance from the material’s surface without rubbing it deeper into the fibers.
Always check the care label instructions before attempting any DIY stain removal. Some silks can water-stain, meaning random splashes during spot cleaning could lead to color shifts or marks around the treated area, causing more prominent damage. For tough spots or old stains that have set in over time, consult professional dry cleaners experienced with silk.
To prevent potential staining and discoloration, store your silk garments away from direct sunlight in a breathable bag after each use and clean-up session. Proper storage is essential to reduce exposure to harmful elements that contribute to fabric degradation.

Use a Gentle Detergent

Selecting the right detergent is crucial when washing silk. Opt for a gentle cleaning solution designed for delicate fabrics. Regular detergents can be harsh on silk, causing it to become brittle and degrade over time.
Silk-friendly detergents not only clean but also condition the fabric, preserving its natural luster and softness. Examples of such products include Studio by Tide Delicates Liquid Laundry Detergent and Woolite, both of which have proven effective for silk care. Consider using a hypoallergenic fabric cleaner or fragrance-free detergent without harmful additives to prevent irritation to sensitive skin while maintaining your precious garments’ integrity.

How to Wash Silk at Home

Learning how to effectively wash silk at home is not as daunting as it may seem. Explore detailed techniques on hand washing, drying methods, and proper storage for maintaining the quality of your precious silk garments.

Hand Wash Method 

Taking care of delicate fabrics is essential for their longevity, and raw silk is no exception. One proven method for silk garment care is hand washing. This method requires you to delicately clean your silk attire by hand, avoiding rough agitation that could damage the fabric’s fibers.

Here’s how to do it properly:

  1. Fill a sink or a small tub with cold water: Always use cold water, as high temperatures can harm silk.
  2. Add a gentle detergent: Choose a detergent without harsh additives that could degrade the fabric.
  3. Submerge the garment: Silk releases dirt quickly, so excessive washing is unnecessary.
  4. Avoid twisting or wringing: Gently pat down the garment to remove excess water without causing damage.
  5. Rinse thoroughly: Ensure there’s no detergent residue left in the fabric.
  6. Lay flat to dry: Do not expose it to direct sunlight or tumble dry, as both can cause irreparable damage to your precious silk attire.

Drying Techniques 

Proper drying techniques are crucial for taking care of your silk garments. Not every method works well with this delicate fabric.

Follow these steps:

  1. Always lay your silk pieces flat on a clean, dry towel. This prevents them from losing shape and shrinking.
  2. Gently roll the wet garment in the towel to remove excess moisture. This step ensures that colors stay vibrant and the fabric remains smooth.
  3. Never use a dryer on silk clothes, as the intense heat can cause irreversible damage to the silk structure.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight when air-drying your silks, as too much exposure can fade the natural colors of your garments.
  5. Follow care label instructions for silk, as some pieces may have specific recommendations for drying methods.

Proper Storage 

Correct storage is vital to preserving the quality and longevity of your silk garments. After washing, opt for flat drying techniques to maintain the fabric’s integrity, avoiding direct sunlight or heat exposure.

Here are some storage tips:

  1. Avoid using wire hangers, as they may distort the garment’s shape. Padded hangers work best for preserving its form.
  2. Do not use plastic covers, as they can trap moisture and lead to mildew damage. Instead, use breathable cotton bags to promote fabric health by permitting air circulation.
  3. When storing heavier items like jackets or sweaters, fold them rather than hanging them. This helps prevent stretching and deformation.


The care and maintenance of raw silk garments require a delicate touch and careful attention to detail. While the question of whether raw silk can be dry cleaned depends on the garment’s label instructions, it’s essential to prioritize the preservation of color, texture, and overall quality. Remember these key takeaways:

  1. Follow the Label Instructions: The garment care label is your best friend. Always heed the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning methods, temperature settings, and detergent types.
  2. Test for Colorfastness: Before attempting any cleaning, test an inconspicuous area for colorfastness to prevent color loss or fading during washing.
  3. Hand Wash as an Alternative: Hand washing with cold water and a gentle detergent is a safe and effective method for cleaning raw silk. Handle the fabric with care to avoid damage.
  4. Proper Storage: Store your silk garments in breathable fabric bags or boxes, avoiding plastic covers that can trap moisture. Use padded hangers or fold heavier items to maintain their shape.
  5. Tackle Stains Carefully: Act promptly to remove stains using a gentle dabbing method. Check the care label and consult professionals for tough or old stains.
  6. Use a Gentle Detergent: Choose a detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics to maintain the silk’s natural luster and softness.
  7. Drying Techniques: Lay silk garments flat on a dry towel, avoiding direct sunlight and heat exposure. Never use a dryer, as it can harm the silk’s structure.

By implementing these care strategies, you can ensure that your raw silk garments retain their exquisite colors, unmatched luster, and overall appeal for years to come. With the right care, you’ll enjoy the elegance of your silk wardrobe without the fear of avoidable wear and tear.