Silks, Rayon, and Color Care Posted on April 29, 2010 under Cleaning Tips. | no comments.

Washable SilksSilk is a soft elegant fabric and rayon is a man made fabric that looks like silk but at a much lower cost. Both silk and rayon fabrics dry clean very well, However, It is very important when cleaning this material that special attention is paid to the care label because certain dyes and finishes can be adversely affected when dry cleaned and machine washing can damage garment sizing and/or dyes that are sensitive to water.


Washable silks and rayon have become increasingly popular. Some dyes on “washable” silks and rayon actually dissolve in water, causing considerable dye bleeding and transfer of dye. This is seen more in the darker colors whereas most pastels have a greater degree of colorfastness. Multicolored garments should be tested for colorfastness prior to washing.  When taking these garments to the dry cleaner the dry cleaner will check these garments according to the care label instruction.


One of the more frequent problems with silk and rayon is the tendency for the sizing or finishing applied by the manufacture to discolor when they come in contact with moisture. If the article is badly stained by moisture and labeled as dry cleanable it may be very difficult to correct.

Because of the sensitivities of many dyes and sizing to moisture we would advise consumers to not attempt any stain removal with water unless they have pretested an unexposed seam. To test , wet the fabric and then blot it with a white cloth, Rubbing while wet during home stain removal can distort the yarns causing light areas or chafing. Allow the spot to air dry to see if the dye or sizing was disturbed.

Perspiration contains salts which can damage fabrics, especially silks. Perspiration is acidic and turns to alkaline on exposure to the atmosphere. This can cause the fabric to change colors and disintegrate and weaken the silk. Have perspiration stains removed as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage.

I hope you find this information helpful and always remember when in doubt ask your dry cleaner.

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