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How to maintain and clean your silk scarf or silk accessory - tips and advice

Silk, recognized for its beneficial properties for the skin, hair or well-being (read our article on the benefits of silk), is also famous for its delicacy. Not to be confused with fragility, because silk is a durable and resistant material.


However, in the face of water, it is better to know the natural fiber in order to maintain it as well as possible and guarantee shine and longevity. In this article we will go through these key practices in the care of a scarf or other silk accessories which, by nature, should not be cleaned like an ordinary fabric.


 

Before we begin our discovery of silk maintenance, we need to know four fundamentals.



1 • Wait until the stain is completely dry



Indeed, regardless of its type or nature, a stain must always be completely dry before being cleaned. Rubbing it while still damp would spread it or embed it further into the fibers of the fabric.




2 • Always test soap/detergent before applying to silk



Silk is fragile against any chemical product, but is also subject to potential discoloration - the colors being printed directly on its natural fibres. Thus, it is essential to always test the soap/detergent you wish to use on a less visible part of the scarf or silk accessory. The hem and corners represent those more discreet areas on which a stain or discoloration due to an overly aggressive detergent would be less noticeable.


It is particularly advisable to proceed with the help of a cotton swab that has been soaked in the product beforehand. If the silk fades out, the detergent or soap used should be avoided.




3 • Never apply detergent directly to silk


For the same reasons as the previous point, it is preferable to opt for an intermediate fabric when applying the detergent or soap to the silk. A clean, damp linen should be soaked in the product you wish to use beforehand, so as not to drown the silk in a toxic solution which could be harmful to it.




4 • Never rub the silk fiber



The fibers are robust but fine and their weaving results from a technique of precision and sealing. Thus, rubbing the silk aggressively could loosen the fabric, but also take away its lightness and softness. We therefore recommend lightly tapping the scarf or silk accessory to be cleaned.



 


So we have been warned; let's be soft and delicate with our silk products!


The foundations being laid, let's continue our discovery of the precious tips for the care of silk.




Water and silk are not the bestest of friends...



Although many people claim that silk is machine washable, our experience - and expert opinion - confirms that water and silk do not mix. Indeed, water (in this case when the quantity is abundant, as in a machine) devitalizes the silk fiber, making it dull and fragile. In addition, machine washing will definitely discolor your silk scarf, regardless of the type of silk or its initial quality. To this end, it is also imperative to avoid the dryer, which will tarnish your silk accessory, in addition to shrinking it. That's why we always recommend dry cleaning first.


More than just advice, dry cleaning brings life, lightness and vibrancy to your silk scarf. It literally makes the fibers breathe, lightening them of the dirt that was clinging to them. Your silk scarf will come back from the laundry as if it had spent a relaxing week at the spa!




An artist's work to preserve...



At Roseline d'Oreye, we consider each of our silk squares to be on the border between a work of art and a fashion accessory. This is why we strongly encourage you to maintain them with care, without forgetting the pleasure of wearing them at the risk of staining them of course! This is proof that the object lives with you and that you like to dress in it!


If it is sometimes possible to put your silk accessory in the wash, it is because some weavings are more resistant than others and/or because they are not made of 100% silk. We touch on the subject in our podcast colors, materials and shapes, with Brigitte Kessel. How the weaving of a fabric will totally change the texture and the fall of it and, therefore, the way it fits the body. The satin (a form of weaving of the material) - which can be silk, cotton, or polyester - is notably more resistant than twill (the common way of weaving the silk of the famous squares ). This weave (satin) generally allows the fabric to withstand the aggressive drumming of a machine and its detergents better than silk twill.


Therefore, we can only encourage you to read the care labels of your silk products, in order to best preserve them. For our Roseline d'Oreye products, dry cleaning is strongly recommended, in order to guarantee their longevity. For comparison, would you put an artist's canvas in the washing machine to clean it? Wouldn't you rather entrust it to an expert capable of restoring its colors? This is why we always entrust our silk scarves to the expert hands of dry cleaners.




.. what if I don't have a dry cleaner nearby?



While dry cleaning is optimal, not all of us have access to a laundry close to home (or we don't have the time / inclination to go there). Also, there are two well-known cleaners that act similarly on a fabric as delicate as silk. terre de Sommières and talc are both excellent absorbents, slightly abrasive, capable of ridding your scarf of make-up, grease, oil or stains. even wine. To this end, two techniques are possible for maintenance.



• If the stain is light


Simply sprinkle the stain with talc or terre de Sommières and let it act

for about an hour so the product has time to absorb it.

Next, gently brush off the powder and dust the scarf.

Repeat the process until the stain disappears.



• If the stain is more substantial


The above process is valid for all types of stains on your silk scarf,

but some impurities are more stubborn than others.

Thus, after having poured a good quantity of talc or terre de Sommières on the

stained area, cover the area with a few paper towels.

Then, iron with a hot iron (be careful, put your iron on the

"silk" program!) on the stain covered with talc / terre de Sommières and paper towels, so as to absorb stains more effectively.

Repeat the action by changing the paper towels until the stain disappears.


If you don't know of a dry cleaner nearby, we can bring your "Roseline d'Oreye" silk scarf to the dry cleaner for you! Drop off your accessory at our store - Galerie du Roi 10, 1000 Brussels - and we'll take it to the cleaning for you. We will inform you of the return of your product as soon as we have received it. You will then be delighted to find it with its brilliance from the first day!




How to iron your silk scarf if it is so fragile?



As you may already know, a silk scarf always has a front and a back. This also determines how to roll it. Indeed, a rolled up scarf is considered a French style finish. On the contrary, a rolled back square is considered an Italian style finish. At Roseline d'Oreye, if the silk is Italian, the silk scarves and garments have a French style finish and this, for purely aesthetic (and subjective) reasons, because we find that this gives more relief to the finished object.


When it comes to ironing silk, however, we recommend using a steamer on the back of your scarf / silk accessory. The steamer sends water vapor, of course, but delicately and in small quantities. In addition, and even when ironing the back of your scarf, do not apply the metal part of the steamer directly to the silk. Too much heat can damage its weaving.


If you don't have a steamer, use a paper towel or a thin, light cloth between an iron and the silk to protect it. Then iron your accessory normally on a board. Be careful, however, never to iron the rolled hem of your silk squares with the iron, because it would crush them.


 


Silk is a material of softness, luxury and fascination. For centuries now, its production has been the result of ancient knowledge that crosses time and generations just like the silk scarf - timeless.


Its maintenance is therefore a technique to understand, in order to prolong the life of your accessories. However, you should know that it is not necessary to clean your silk scarf systematically after each use. Indeed, silk is an organic material that breathes naturally and regenerates itself!

The dry cleaner will be very useful in case of stubborn stains or for which you do not dare to do it yourself.


But, above all, wear your accessories, scarves and silk clothes. Surround yourself with their softness, their shimmer, their aesthetics, because they are good for your skin, as well as your mood and your style. And, if you do stain them, that's okay; there are always solutions (as long as the stain is not encrusted)!

If you have any silk cleaning practices that you know of and we haven't mentioned, feel free to contact us so we can share them too!


If, after reading this article, your choice is to acquire a new or a first silk square, we have prepared a small summer selection of our best-selling products.



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