A pure silk scarf is a beautiful style investment and as such, you want to make its beauty last a lifetime. Dry cleaning is still recommended as the SAFEST way to clean your silk, but it can become expensive or inconvenient. So whilst you can certainly leave it to the professionals to launder your scarf, I’d love to share with you how I clean my scarves when I choose to do it myself.
People often ask me how to look after their Jacqueline scarf, and I always include care instructions with each of my pieces when they go to their new homes. If this is your first experience cleaning pure silk, or or you just want more detail, here is my method for when I prefer to do a little DIY.
Start with a clean slate
Or rather, a clean sink. Give your chosen basin a wash to get rid of any dirt or grease and then make sure any residual chemicals are washed away too.
Some like it hot
…But definitely NOT your scarf! I only ever fill the basin with cool to body temperature water. Sudden temperature changes can cause fabric shrinkage.
A little goes a long way
Think minimal and only add a teensy amount of mild detergent to the water. I never use regular laundry powder as most are too harsh and can damage the silk, causing it to lose it’s sheen. Choose a mild liquid soap specially formulated for delicate fabrics, or even a gentle baby shampoo.
Easy does it
Gently submerge the scarf and carefully move it around to push the water through the entire fabric. Soft, slow agitation is the key here, think of it as a calm and relaxing massage. Keep soaking times limited to under thirty minutes. Attempting to spot clean only selected areas of your scarf can result in watermarks or uneven tones in the silk, and you should never apply concentrated cleaning solutions.
Rinse and repeat
Excess soap and inadequate rinsing can make a scarf lose it’s soft and lustrous feeling…and we can’t have that! So rinse, rinse, rinse!
Seeing my scarf sad and dripping can cause the desire to squeeze out the water, but NEVER squeeze or wring the water out. Never ever! This is terribly damaging tot he fibers of the silk and can ruin the shape and fabric. Instead take a clean towel, lay the scarf at one end, then fold the rest of the towel over the scarf. Push down on your silk sandwich, gently pressing the water out into the towel. Lay the scarf flat to dry somewhere out of direct sunlight to avoid fading. Tumble drying is a huge NO NO.
The finishing touch
To get the scarf back to it’s perfect state, use a clean iron on silk setting, or medium heat. Always iron the reverse side of the scarf, or use a cloth over the silk to avoid direct heat.
Once you have your gorgeous scarf looking its best, here are some extra tips…
Be mindful of jewellery that might snag or catch the fibers, causing runs or pulls.
Same goes for rough surfaces (like leaning against concrete walls or raw timbers)
Avoid overspray from perfumes, deodorants and hairspray.
Be especially careful when using hairpins to keep a scarf in place.
When using the accompanying slider, gentle firm pressure is fine but avoid excessive resistance when pulling and tying.
Store your silk away from direct sunlight.
Following these steps will keep your luxurious silk scarf at it’s best for many years to come.