How To Care For Your Silk For Long-Lasting Quality

How To Care For Your Silk For Long-Lasting Quality

When it comes to making the investment into a silk luxury to transform your wardrobe – whether that’s for sleep, work, or everything in between – it counts to ensure that investment goes as far as possible. 

And the first thing everyone asks when they bring a silk delicacy home for themself is: how do I care for this to ensure it lasts a long time, and retains its quality?

We understand exactly how frustrating it can be, trying to decipher care codes and find the right dry cleaner for you.

But at Tara Sartoria, we believe in making silk a luxury item from start to finish. Including making a seamless cleaning process, so you can rest assured that your favorite silk item will last for many years to come, with the least amount of hassle. 

Here’s our guide on how to care for your timeless silk garments for long-term quality.


Understanding silk fabric at Tara Sartoria 

Silk is timeless, revered by royalty, loved for centuries. And it deserves the care and individual attention to match.

And at Tara Sartoria, we do our silk differently. 

We purchase our silk directly from artisans in the oldest silk villages in Vietnam, where silk has been produced since the 9th century. We use 27 Momme silk of the top quality – which is over 40% more silk than the 19 Momme silk often used for mass-produced silk garments. 

Our hand-loomed artisan silk is a precious material to us. Out of respect for the earth, for our silk artisans and this beautiful material, it has been important to us from day one to practice sustainability. 

And the best part about our high-quality artisan silk is the cleaning process. 

It is a myth that silk requires dry cleaning. Lower quality silk requires dry cleaning, yes, because lower quality silk will shrink or fade when washed in water. But silk has been around for thousands of years – way longer than dry cleaners have. 

Because our silk is of the highest grade, produced in the traditional method, you can absolutely wash it with water – including in washing machines on a delicate cycle with a garment bag for protection.


Understanding silk fabric at Tara Sartoria


But we understand that, when you’ve made the investment in silk, it can be hard to believe that one sentence is all you need to know for your silk care. Here’s everything else you need to know:


Precautions before cleaning silk 

Whether you’re cleaning a Tara Sartoria delight or a different silk garment, it's important for you to identify the kind of silk fabric you’re dealing with before cleaning it. Most silk garments are marked as “dry clean only” and washing these will result in shrinkage or fading. And in our case? Knowing that all our silk garments are made with 27 Momme 100% naturally mulberry silk that is washable is all you need to know before cleaning. 

It is also important to use the right detergent for silk. You’ll need an enzyme-free, mild detergent that is free from dye, perfume, harsh cleaners and enzymes. Most detergents contain enzymes that are meant to remove stains by breaking down protein. This is bad news for silk because silk is protein-based, so enzymes will also damage silk. 

We know – no matter how much we tell our customers that they can machine their silk from Tara Sartoria, many are still going to follow the best-known practices for silk. And that’s okay! We spoke to a client just the other day who said they loved how easy it was to hand wash their silk shirt, and we let them know that their silk garment will likely outlive them. 

Because when you put that level of care into your silk? We promise you’ll get it back. 

Here’s the simplest way to hand-wash your Tara Sartoria silk:


Hand washing care for your silk


“I love how easy my silk shirts from Tara Sartoria are to wash! I like to hand wash them in a little shampoo, gently wring them out, hang them up to dry and then they’re good to go. In our climate they don’t even need ironing!”
~ Jo McKee


Machine washing silk

You can machine wash our high-quality silk, and we mean it when we say that. All you need to do is turn your washing machine onto a delicate cycle, turn the silk garment inside out and place the silk garment in a mesh laundry bag to prevent snagging, pop in a detergent formulated for silk that is enzyme-free and mild. 

Here’s an additional tip to keep in mind: Tara likes to use a mild shampoo and conditioner instead of detergent to make her garments last longer, as above. Just mix 1 tbsp shampoo and conditioner with a cup of water, then add it to your washer.


Machine washing silk care


Drying silk

When drying your luxury silk, be careful to avoid wringing or twisting the fabric. This can result in creases and can damage the material. 

Just give it a couple of shakes to help ease any wrinkles, then hang to dry on a hanger. Silk dries really fast, so no tumble drying is really necessary. Also the friction and movement of the dryer could negatively affect the longevity of silk.


Ironing silk

Tara and many of us here at Tara Sartoria share the common dislike of ironing. And that’s precisely why we love silk! Our high-quality silk’s lightness allows body heat to naturally soften and remove wrinkles over time. 

So, in reality, all you need is a quick steam, or none at all if it’s sleepwear. 

Additionally, washing silk with shampoo and conditioner can result in fewer wrinkles when drying!

Plus, the heat from your body has been known to naturally remove any creases. Tara herself works from home and, on days she’s feeling extra cozy, she leaves them on all day. She’s even been known to sneak out at night, with just a pair of jeans and her pajama top and, thanks to her body’s temp, all the creasing from her nightly sleep are long gone by the time she leaves the house. 

That’s how impressive our silk really is! No ironing necessary!


Removing stains from silk

For any nasty surprises or spills? Here’s how to effectively tackle common stains:


Removing stains from your silk


Storage tips for silk 

When it comes to storing your silk, it’s a good idea to leave it on a hanger where it has room to breathe and will stay without damage. However, every garment purchased at Tara Sartoria comes with a complimentary silk gift bag. 

This is a perfect little tool for storing it while traveling. And, if you want to avoid hanging your garment for too long, it acts as the perfect breathable garment bag to protect it from both dust and pests. 


Common FAQs:

Is my organic detergent with natural enzymes suitable for silk?

Unfortunately it is not because enzymes will damage silk. Silk is a protein-based fiber and enzymes, even natural ones, are meant to remove stains by breaking down protein (most stains including dirt, dairy and meat are protein-based). 

We recommend that you use an enzyme-free, mild detergent to wash silk. 


Why use shampoo to wash silk?

Baby shampoo or any mild shampoo is great for silk because silk is protein-based, like your hair, and shampoo will keep it smooth and soft. Also, adding a mild softener or hair conditioner to the wash will make your silk even softer and virtually wrinkle free when drying.


Can I use shampoo and conditioner in the washer?

Yes, you can. You can add 1 tbsp of shampoo directly into the slot where detergent goes, and mix 1 tbsp conditioner with a cup of water before adding to the wash.


Can I wash silk with other clothing items in the same load?

Yes you can provide that you use a mesh laundry bag to protect your silk garment, and that you use suitable detergent for the whole load. Never wash silk with other fabric without a mesh laundry bag because the rougher surface of other clothing items will cause your silk fabric to pile due to the friction.


How often should I clean my silk garments?

Spot cleaning and airing out your silk garments between wears can help maintain freshness. But if you’re a bit of a neat freak? You can definitely wash it between every use. Some customers, however, prefer to wash it in the machine every few weeks, but handwash between wears, just so they can keep wearing it as much as possible!


Can silk be bleached?

Bleach should absolutely be avoided when cleaning silk – even our 27 Momme silk will experience damage and, more so, the wonderful colors will discolor with bleach. You’ll find that our basic care tips, without bleach, will do wonders for keeping your silk clean and crisp on its own!


Is it safe to iron silk in a high heat setting?

Never iron your silk on high heat. Medium heat works well for silk, and always iron on the reverse side to avoid damaging the fabric. You will get the best result if you iron silk while damp.

But at Tara Sartoria – this is never a worry! Just steam if absolutely necessary but, most of the time, you’ll watch those creases and wrinkles air right out once your body temp warms it up!


Why do I need to turn my silk garment inside out before washing?

Washing your silk garment inside out allows the inside to take the brunt of agitation, color fading and any damage to the delicate, smooth exterior of silk. Also it cleans better because the inside is often dirtier, ensuring a more thorough wash.


Can silk garments be stored in plastic bags?

You won’t need to – with our complimentary silk gift bags, you’ll always have an easy storage solution. Especially when traveling!

At Tara Sartoria, we care about making silk care as easy as possible. And, while this guide was pretty comprehensive, it’s so simple to wash and care for your silk luxuries with our high-quality silk. 

No matter which garment you select from our entire collection, you’ll have no trouble ensuring long-lasting quality with its easy care. Explore the full range today for artisan silk with a real difference – now available with Afterpay, with free US shipping.

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