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How to to care for silk garments

Silk can be tricky. The types of silk used in making vintage clothes can be charmeuse, chiffon, crepe Georgette, organza, crepe de Chine or silk satin, and some others. But the general consumer should remember 2 types of silk: raw and shiny. Raw is very matte, often very thin, sometimes transparent. Shiny is, well, shiny. It's glossy and thicker than raw silk. 

Both types require very delicate care. You want to use a specially made detergent. We recommend Woolite. It's good for silk, wool and cashmere. Wash your silk garment using a Silk/Wool program of your washing machine. You can also wash a silk garment by hand and air dry it, but we find it unnecessary in most cases if you are following instructions above. 

The trickiest part of washing your silk garments is rinsing. Any remnants of a laundry detergent can cause staining to the fabric, and especially if it's a glossy type of silk. Raw silk typically doesn't get any residue. Some recommend rinsing silk in a mixture of water and vinegar, but we haven't tried this method. Also, if you choose to wash your silk garment by hand, wring it very carefully. Harsh wringing will cause damage to the delicate fabric. 

Because we wash all of our silk items in a washing machine before selling them, you can be sure that your delicate blouse or a skirt will do just fine when you wash it, too. 

As for drying, we do dry all of our silk clothes in a regular dryer on a delicate setting. Most of the time silk doesn't require ironing after it's been dried in a dryer. However, we steam all of the clothes that we sell. You can choose to do the same. Silk loves steaming. Ironing is tricky. In both cases use the lowest heat setting - wether you decide to steam or to iron your silk garment. Silk is a protein and does not like high temperatures. 

Try not to get discouraged by all this information. It's only scary at first. Caring for silk is not that hard. After all, you can always take it to a dry-cleaner and not have to worry about ruining it. A properly taken care of silk garment will last many many years. No wonder we can still find silk clothes after 30-50 years in a like-new condition. 

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