Silk is a luxury fabric that requires care.
Silk has been used to make clothes for 5000 years thanks to its strong, durable fibres and itssoft and luxurious feel. Your Natalie Begg silk garment has been designed to last a life time, but it requires special care for it to look and feel as amazing as it did the day you bought it.
It’s important to remember that silk is a natural fibre crafted from fibroin and sericin (if we’re going to get really technical). Fibroin is the main ingredient and contains amino acids, which is what makes silk so amazingly good for your hair and skin – it’s also a reason why we recommend sleeping on a silk pillowcase. Sericin is a sticky substance that holds the other fibres together. The qualities of these unique fibres give silk its light, luxurious feel.
One of the most common questions we get asked is how silk clothing should be cared for, so we’re giving you all our best tips on how to care for your silk.
How often should I wash silk?
One of the unique properties of silk is its ability to resist dirt, dust and allergens. Its hypoallergenic qualities mean you don’t have to wash your silk garments as often as you think. Hanging your silk T-shirt or dress in a ventilated area (or even outside in the shade) will extend your wears between washes. Also, the more silk is washed, the faster it can lose its shine (don’t worry – you can get that shine back, so keep reading). One caveat: perspiration stains can damage silk fibres, so always wash these as soon as possible.
What’s the right way to wash silk?
Washing silk clothing is a little more involved than the usual set-and-forget cycle, but it’sworth the extra care to protect your investment. Silk loves a pH neutral detergent (such as Softly) and lukewarm water (keep it below 40 degrees celsius). Don’t let your silk soak as this is not kind to the fibres.
If you want to preserve your silk shine (or get it back), rinsing the garment in a bucket of cold water with a capful of vinegar will reinvigorate it. We prefer to use a bucket for this, as other chemicals that have been in your laundry sink or machine (such as bleach) can do damage to the fabric and leave a chalky residue.
Finally, roll your silk in a towel to remove excess water (a gentle spin cycle works well too) and hang it outside in the shade to dry. Bonus: Outdoors drying means that any breeze will help remove the creases.
You can use a dryer for silk, but only on the cool setting. Make sure you turn the garment inside out. This is also another great tip for getting rid of creases.
How do I iron silk?
This is also a question we hear a lot and we always advise clients to proceed with caution. Extreme heat is not friendly to delicate natural fibres. If you must iron your silk, start with the lowest setting and iron it on the wrong side. You may find you can increase the heat slightly, but anything more than a warm iron is going to do damage. Move that iron quickly!
Another great tip (and this is a life saver if you’re travelling) is to hang your silk in the bathroom and let the steam from your shower get rid of the creases.
Should I get my silk clothes dry-cleaned?
Professional dry-cleaning your silks is another option. To ensure safe care of the fabric, check your drycleaner uses an organic solvent, such as perchloroethylene (commonly called perc or tetrachloroethylene) or white spirit. Anything else risks damage to the garment.
How should I store silk?
Silk is always going to look better if it’s kept hanging. If you rotate your seasonal wardrobe, you might consider rolling your silk or storing it in a silk garment bag to avoid it gathering dust. Any special pieces, such as the Natalie Begg vintage-inspired dress, should go in a garment bag for protection. Make sure your silk garment is fully protected from any bugs and insects who love a protein-rich silk fibre diet.
What are some other care instructions for silk garments?
- Never – and we mean never – spot clean silk clothing as it will leave a mark. Always wash the whole garment.
- Some jewellery can snag silk, but higher quality silk, like the silk used in Natalie Begg designs, is at a lower risk of this due to the tighter weave of the fabric. We’d always advise you to take care regardless.
- Always refer to the care instructions provided with your Natalie Begg garment, whichtake precedence over the information in this article.
Natalie Begg Silk Garments Are Forever Pieces
Caring for your silk garments can feel a little daunting as you want to preserve the soft feel and lustre of the fabric. By following the care instructions that come with your clothing, your silk will continue to hold its shape and colour. Just remember that anything harsh (products or treatment) can have the potential to warp the fabric.
As an added bonus, as part of the Natalie Begg commitment to sustainable fashion, we offerfree repairs on Natalie Begg garments so your forever piece can truly last forever. If you have questions about caring for your silk or about any Natalie Begg silk lingerie or outerwear, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.