Cleaning silks and rayon Posted on June 9, 2023 under Blog, Cleaning Tips. | no comments.
Cleaning silks and rayon can be difficult since they are more delicate fabrics than cotton or linen. They require special care to avoid damage and keep colors vibrant.
Silk is a popular choice for a variety of garments from fancy gowns to night gowns. It’s an elegant natural fabric known for its shine and softness. Rayon is a semi-synthetic fabric that is similar to silk. In fact, it was first known as “artificial” silk. It is a more affordable, common alternative to silk. On some labels, you may see it referred to as viscose but it’s the same thing.
Washable silks and rayon are becoming increasingly popular. However, there are many that should not be put in a washing machine or dryer. Some dyes on “washable” silks and rayon dissolve in water, causing considerable dye bleeding and can ruin other clothes. This happens more often with darker colors. Most pastels have a greater degree of colorfastness. You should test multicolored garments for colorfastness before washing.
The best way to clean silk and rayon, actually any fabric, is to follow the directions on the label. If it says dry clean, don’t put it in the washer and dryer. There’s a reason the label says dry clean only. The fabric could be damaged.
If in doubt, let professional dry cleaners take care of it for you. They know how to clean any fabric.
Cleaning silks and rayons with stains
If you get a stain on silk or rayon, try dabbing some water on an unexposed seam first. That way you can see if water is going to discolor the fabric. Test the fabric by wetting it and then blotting it with a white cloth. Rubbing while wet during home stain removal can distort the yarns causing lighter areas or chafing. Allow the spot to air dry to see if the dye or sizing was altered.
Sweat can cause stains on these fabrics, too. Perspiration contains salts that can damage fabrics, especially silks. Sweat is acidic and becomes alkaline on exposure to the atmosphere, which can cause material to discolor or weaken. Addressing perspiration stains as soon as possible helps prevent permanent damage.
Do you have silk or rayon fabrics that need cleaning? At Champion Cleaners, we handle all your laundry and dry cleaning with care.