Caring for Wool and Silk


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How to protect, wash and store wool and silk clothing

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Caring for Wool and Silk

  1. 1. Caring for Wool and Silk
  2. 2. Wool Washing Dry cleaning is the safest option, but most wool or cashmere garments should be suitable for hand washing Spot clean any marks first, using cold water and a brush Woollen clothing should be soaked in cold water for a few hours before washing – this will help stop them from shrinking Wash the wool in warm water with a small amount of soap or detergent Move the garment gently, and leave it to soak for 10 minutes Rinse with clean, warm water Refill the sink or tub rather than using a running tap to rinse – the water pressure could stretch the wool fibres Gently squeeze out excess water, rather than wringing it dry
  3. 3. Wool Storage To deter moths: Pack woollen garments away with cedar blocks or lavender, or sprinkle them with black pepper Chemical deterrents can be bought, but they tend to add a toxic smell to the fabric For long-term storage, keep wool in sealed plastic wrapping to protect it from moths
  4. 4. Wool Protecting Wool • Never expose wool to direct heat – it will damage the fibres and cause them to shrink • Never wring out or stretch wool when it’s wet – this will make it lose its elasticity and shape • Dry flat, rather than hanging, to keep the garment’s shape • Use a steamer or the steam setting on an iron to tackle any wrinkles
  5. 5. Silk It’s easier to protect silk than it is to remove stains: • Avoid any contact with perfume, deodorant, hair spray or bleach • Only iron the backside of a garment, and don’t spray it with water when ironing • Don’t leave silk exposed to direct sunlight • Don’t use water to tackle marks, and never wring silk dry • Test a small area first when cleaning, to check that you’re happy with the results
  6. 6. Silk Cleaning • Dry cleaning is the fail-safe option, but not the only choice • Most silk garments can be hand washed as long as you’re careful • Soak the fabric in room temperature water for up to 5 minutes, with a mild soap or special silk shampoo • (The exception is dark coloured or printed silk – wash these quickly in cold water, and don’t leave them to soak) • You can gently rub any stains, but rubbing them too roughly risks damaging the fabric • Rinse with cold water and a teaspoon of vinegar – this will remove the soap
  7. 7. Silk After Cleaning • Never wring silk when it’s wet, and handle it carefully – it’s especially delicate after washing • Lie the garment flat on a dry towel, and roll it up into a log shape. After the first towel has absorbed the excess moisture, unroll the bundle and leave your garment to dry flat atop a second, dry towel • Iron silk while it’s still damp • Be careful not to use too high a temperature – heat will permanently damage silk – and don’t spray it with water
  8. 8. Silk Storage • Use plastic or wooden hangers – they need to be rustproof • For long-term storage, protect hanging garments with cotton bags, or pack them away using acid-free tissue and boxes • Keep silk in cool, dry spaces and never wrap it in plastic Always check the care instructions on your garment and follow these closely