How to Iron Silk Fabric

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Dry cleaning is not required to press your silk fabrics.
Dry cleaning is not required to press your silk fabrics. (Image: iron image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com)

Despite its reputation as a dry-clean-only fabric, silk has tough fibers that can stand up to ironing, which means a big savings over getting your garments dry cleaned. You may use an iron directly on silk fabric and a steam setting on heavier silk fabrics. The sheen that develops on silk fabric is a reaction between the silk fiber and heat from the iron, so silk manufacturers recommend ironing on a low heat setting.

Things You'll Need

  • Silk fabric or garment
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Cotton press cloth

Set up the ironing board, plug in the iron and select a low setting, such as a silk or rayon setting.

Turn the silk garment inside out, if possible, or place the silk fabric on the ironing board wrong side up.

Check the iron to see if it's up to temperature, then test iron the fabric in an inconspicuous spot. If the fabric becomes shiny or feels hot to the touch, turn the iron down to a lower setting.

Iron the garment or fabric inside out (or wrong side up), or lightly press the silk using the iron through a press cloth placed over the right side of the fabric.

Hang the garment on a clothes hanger to cool down before wearing or storing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Silk clothing that cannot be turned inside out (such as neckties) should be ironed using a press cloth over the fabric surface.
  • Always test iron silk in an inconspicuous spot before ironing the whole garment.
  • Do not allow water from the iron to get onto the silk fabric to avoid water stains.
  • Ironing silk on a high setting can damage and weaken the fabric.

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