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A Cleaner World Blog

Caring for Silk

Silk fabric is strong, lustrous, luxurious, expensive, and comes from worms.  That’s right; silk is made from a fiber created by the Bombyx mori, also known as the Chinese or Mulberry silkworm.  Silk fabric has been around a long time, dating back to China during 3500 B.C., where the Chinese knew how to cultivate silk and turn it into cloth.  This process was considered top secret, so much so that if anyone disclosed information or tried to steal cocoons, they were sentenced to death.

In those days, silk was not only used in the design of higher-end gowns; it was also primarily a trade commodity for the entire country.  The Silk Road provided a vital means to trading routes by connecting Asia with Middle East, Africa, and southern Europe.

Today, most silk production is done on commercial farms, where cocoons are farmed to produce white silk thread; commercial silk is easy to dye, so the fabric comes in a wide variety of colors.  Approximately 2,500 silkworms are needed to produce one pound of raw silk.  To harvest silk, cocoons are soaked in boiling water to soften the silk fibers inside the cocoon.  Once soft, the cocoon is unraveled, yielding a long thread.  These threads are combined to make filament, which is then woven into fabric.

Silk Requires Delicate Care

  • As with any other garment, make sure to check the care label and follow the instructions for cleaning.  
  • Have all items in an ensemble cleaned at the same time to maintain a uniform appearance.
  • Never use bleach on silk; it will cause permanent damage.
  • Allow perfume, deodorant, and hairspray to complete dry before dressing.
  • Address spills from alcoholic beverages as soon as possible; alcohol can cause dye-bleeding and discoloration.
  • Use care when using any household products.  Alkaline products such as facial soaps, shampoos, detergents, and even toothpastes can cause color loss or change on silk. If contact occurs, seek instruction from a professional regarding the possibility of restoration.
  • Store all garments, including silk, away from light.  Most colors used on silk can fade from overexposure to light, both natural and electric. 

If you have a silk garment that needs special attention, that’s what we’re here for!  Just drop it off at one of our locations, and we will have it whipped into shape in no time.

silk blouse
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