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How To Clean A Silk Scarf – a luxe laundry guide to washing silk at home

 

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!

Push Press

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.

 

Be Extra

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.

 

How to create a repeating pattern

Lot’s of people ask me where my ideas come from, or how I create things. In particular, how do I make a repeating pattern. So here’s a way to design a super easy repeating pattern the old school way-without a computer! It’s a great little trick and it’s fun to do. All you need are the materials and a little imagination. To get started, make sure you have the following:

 

Paper (I find it simpler to use a4, then it’s ready for my home printer)

Scissors or a scalpel blade

Ruler

Sticky tape

Your drawing medium (pens, pencils, stickers, etc)

Access to a copier

 

 

 

Start by making your first image on the paper. It can be big or little, many or one, as long as you DONT go off the edge of the paper. Once you have your first part of the design, cut the paper in half through the middle in a STRAIGHT line.

Swap the pieces over so that the images cut edges are at the outside of the paper, then flip both over and tape together, making sure the edge fits together perfectly and the halves are aligned, as this will affect how your future tiles will meet. Next, fill in the blank space with the next part of your design, again being careful not to go off the outside edge of the paper.

Repeat the center cut, but in the other direction. Swap the halves and tape the backs together again, same as before.

Continue to fill the remaining space until you are happy with your image. Never go off the outside edge of the paper. This will cause the pattern images to meet incorrectly once you you put the repeats together.

When you are finished, copy or scan your image making sure none is ‘chopped off’ by the copier/scanner. Try colour, black and white, and print as many copies as you like. Four is a good start to check you’ve got them matching. Now you have a repeating pattern tile to make your pattern as large as you like! Just keep printing and joining! Cover books, line drawers, wrap presents, make wall art, wall paper, or digitise. Many custom fabric suppliers can clean up the joins and prepare for print, so you can make your own fabric!

I hope you liked this little art hack, and you have fun getting creative and making some cool stuff. Please post your creations, I’d love to see them. I’m always posting process shots of my work on insta @jacquelinecreative so have a look there for more videos of my art. xox J