focus on washing tips
Silk and other delicates can last a long time if cared for properly. Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to washing delicates.



Like many delicate natural fibres, silk can be easily damaged by a regular washing machine cycle. However, many cheap washing machines these days have safe-for-silk cycles (usually labelled ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate’). These may be suitable for silk-rich blends, but pure silk is still best washed by hand or at the dry-cleaners. Always check the label for cleaning guidelines.


To hand-wash silk:

· Fill a sink or washing tub with lukewarm water. Very hot or cold water may cause the fabric to shrink.

· Using a mild soap or gentle shampoo, very gently scrub the fabric to remove any stains. Regular detergents will damage the fibres, as will over-zealous scrubbing.

· Empty the tub and refill with tepid water, this time adding half a cup of white vinegar, and rinse the garment. The vinegar will help to remove any residual soap and restore the silk’s natural lustre. Rinse a final time in clean water.

· To dry, lay the garment on a clean towel and roll it up. Do not wring it out, as this will only damage it. Some tumble-dryers have an air-only setting which may be suitable for silk and other delicates. Do not leave to dry in direct sunlight as this may cause silk to yellow.

· While the silk is still damp, iron it inside-out on a very low temperature with a tea-towel placed between the iron and the fabric. This will remove the remaining moisture without discolouring the fabric.

Wool and Cashmere

· Dissolve soap flakes in a tub of hot water and then add cold to create a lukewarm, soapy solution.

· Squeeze the suds through the garments and rub and spots or stains gently. As with silk, excessive scrubbing will fray the fibres.

· For light colours, like beige, cream or white, add a capful of ammonia to the soapy water.

· Rinse once in tepid water with half a cup of white vinegar

· Rinse again with clean water to get the vinegar out. Drain.

· Roll the wet items in a towel and twist until the towel is saturated. You may need to repeat this step a couple of times. Don’t dry wool or cashmere in a tumble dryer; the heat will cause it to shrink irreversibly.

· Use an iron on a medium heat to remove the last of the moisture and relax the fibres before hanging up to dry.


Contrary to popular belief, most lingerie can be put through a washing-machine’s gentle cycle, even though the label reads ‘hand-wash only’. You can use all-purpose detergent with cotton and synthetics, but opt for a milder detergent for lacy fabrics. Place bras in a mesh bag to prevent twisting or snagging and wash in a light load as heavy items may bend the wiring.


Remember – always check the label for cleaning guidelines before undertaking delicate cleaning jobs, and test stain removers on an inconspicuous area before using.

Express Your Reaction
You have reacted on "Focus on: How to Wash Silk and Other Delicates" A few seconds ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *