Ultimate Guide of How to Care for your Silk Scarf

As the owner of a silk scarf, you will want it to stay in good shape and last you as long as possible. That’s not only going to happen if you take the necessary care to wash, store and generally care for your scarf. Learn about all this and more below.


Ultimate Guide of how to Care for your Silk Scarf by Elle Smith - Inspired By Elle


Washing Your Silk Scarf


Washing your scarf is necessary part of the care process. If you take the wrong approach, you will damage it. It’s best to hand wash your scarf, so don’t put it in a washer or dryer at any stage. Using your hands and the right detergent will keep the fibres in good condition for much longer.

Always manipulate the scarf gently and respect the weave of the silk, as harsh application can cause damage to this soft fabric. You should never wring anything silk to remove water. It is far more appropriate to place inside a folded or two horizontal towels and press together, to remove the excess water.


Handwashing your Silk Scarf - Elle Smith of Inspired By Elle


  • Choosing the Right Type of Detergent


The right type of detergent for your silk scarf when it comes to general washing is mild detergent. You don’t want anything too strong that will damage the scarf and its fibres. Lux or Tenestar are good detergent options to consider.

It is also wise to use a non-biologic detergent as given silk is naturally hypoallergenic, you would not want to cancel these properties by adding detergent which  may cause allergic reactions.


  • Drying it After Washing


You should never use a dryer when you want to dry your scarf. It’s not something that is going to help the scarf. You should simply place it between two towels and let it dry in its own time that way. It might take a little longer, but it’s worth it.


  • How to Tackle Stains


Stay away from harsh chemicals, and instead, you should simply pretreat the stain with a gentle detergent and then hand wash the scarf in cold water. You might want to also add some distilled white vinegar for extra help with shifting the stain quickly without damaging the scarf. Silk should not be soaked, so do try to work quickly when dealing with stains. Equally, if you do not feel confident to tackle a stain or mark, then you can always seek professional dry cleaners for specialist care of your silks.

It really is all or nothing when it comes to washing silk, if you want to avoid water marks or localised discolourations. Even if you pretreat a specific stain or mark, always wash the whole scarf as you complete the task.



  • Should the Scarf be Ironed?


Silk scarves can be ironed, but you need to be careful and gentle. As well as that, be sure to mist the scarf with water because moisture helps to prevent any damage. Even better advice would be to iron the scarf whilst it is still damp. It’s also a good idea to use a cotton material laid over the scarf to act as a barrier when ironing it.

Minor creases or crumpling can be remedied by usually hanging the scarf, or placing again hanging in a humid area. However, if the creasing remains then iron on the silk setting which should be cool, sandwiching the scarf between two pieces of un-dyed material. 

It is recommended that you do not iron the shiny side of a silk scarf, where the scarf is made of say Mulberry Silk, as this may cause it to lose its lustre. Keep ironing to a minimum and try to care for your silk scarf as naturally as possible to respect this natural fabric.


Ironing your Silk Scarf by Elle Smith - Inspired By Elle


  • How to Deal with Scorching


Scorching occurs when you leave the iron on your scarf for too long. If you act quickly, you might be able to remove the scorching by rubbing detergent into the mark with your fingers. And then wash it in hot water. This will only work if you notice the problem quickly and take immediate action.


Storing Your Silk Scarf Safely


You should store your silk scarf in an airtight container that is both clean and dry. It should be kept away from any storage spaces that are damp. If you need to repel moths, use natural lavender rather than mothballs; this prevents any bad smells.


  • Safe Travel Storage


You can purchase a small storage pochette if you want something safe to carry out silk scarf in when you’re travel. They’re soft and gentle, meaning the silk won’t be damaged. And they can be pressed flat so that it’s not twisted out of shape or rolled up as you travel.

It is a good idea to never pack silk near to products which are alcohol-based, like perfume, hairspray and some makeup. These products are not silk-friendly and will damage your lovely silks.


  • Minor Repairs


You can fix a loss of lustre in your silk scarf by washing it in a mix of vinegar and warm water. You then dry it by pressing it between two towels. If you find a minor tear, you should gently cut off any loose ends before bringing the material together and sewing it shut using a threat of the same colour as the scarf.


How to Make Your Silk Scarf Last


If you love your silk scarf, you're going to want it to last for as long as possible. To make that happen, here’s what you really need to do.


  • Always Follow the Care Instructions


Your scarf will have a tag that outlines its care instructions. Don’t just ignore these because those instructions provide you with the most accurate guide regarding how you should care for your scarf. If they tell you not to do something, don’t do it.


  • Don’t Leave it Out in the Sun


Leaving your silk scarf in direct sunlight can have disastrous consequences, and that’s why you need to be very careful indeed. This will not only damage the scarf’s fibres but also cause its colours to be damaged. They will start to fade, and that’s not what you want to happen.


  • Don’t Use Chemicals on It


Silk fibres can be deteriorated when they are exposed to harsh chemicals. That’s why you should avoid using things like bleach, even if this seems like the logical way to remove a stain. It will just do more harm than good. You should also remember not to spray any perfume or hairspray, on the scarf because this can damage the fibres too.

The best practice if you love your designer scents, is to spray on to your skin and allow it to dry before wearing your scarf.


Final Advice regarding your Silk Scarf


Silk is a natural, luxury fabric and like all things natural they must be treated with care and respect to ensure longevity. Probably, the best way to view silk is as if it were your skin, and looking after it in the gentle way you would for yourself.

This may seem a strange analogy, however silk is made naturally by silk worms, and offers much protection to the skin in a gentle way. Silk scarves can protect the skin from the weather as well as allergy caused by reaction to synthetics and more. The weaving process builds strength into the silk, which unless respected will cause damage. However, if you follow the guidance above your silk scarf will serve you well for many years.




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