How to Iron Raw Silk

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You can iron raw silk at home easily.
You can iron raw silk at home easily. (Image: coloured silk image by Laura Frenkel from Fotolia.com)

If you own a raw silk garment, handling this luxury fabric with care is a priority. Unlike other variations of woven silk fibers, raw silk is an untreated fabric. In fact, as a result of the presence of the sericin gum in the fibers, you will need a precise ironing regimen to press the fabric without scorching it. While your local dry cleaner may launder your raw silk to remove dirt and odors, you can iron the fabric at home easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Large bath towels
  • Diaper
  • Handkerchief
  • Old cotton sheet
  • Water
  • Ironing board

Select the lowest temperature setting for your iron. The heat from a excessively hot iron may cause the fabric to yellow or fade.

Add water to your iron for steam. Allow the iron to heat long enough to generate steam before you press the garment. Otherwise, drips of water may spot the fabric.

Turn the raw silk garment inside out. Place it carefully on the ironing board with the raw silk facing downward on a towel.

Perform an iron patch test. Place a handkerchief on an inner corner of the fabric. Iron the raw silk in this hidden seam to determine how the fabric reacts to the iron

Place a pressing cloth on top of the garment. Use a damp, lint-free cloth such as a diaper or old cotton sheet for a pressing cloth.

Press the garment using long gliding strokes. When ironing, apply heat to the garment with care. Raw silk is easily scorched, stretched, and burned if the iron remains on the fabric longer than a few seconds.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always empty your iron of water after every use.
  • Store raw silk in a cotton or fabric garment bag. Plastic dry cleaning bags may trap moisture and damage the silk.
  • Do not iron raw silk if the garment is dirty. The heat from the iron will set the stain.

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