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Can you hand wash silk?

Silk is a natural fiber produced by silkworms. It makes up a very delicate fabric that needs to be treated with a lot of diligence and care.
If you’re wondering whether or not you can wash your silk garment by hand, keep reading because we’ll lay it all out for you.

First, how many types of silk are there?

According to the International Sericultural Commission, there are 4 main types of silk which are commercialized worldwide. These types are:

  • Mulberry silk
  • Eri silk
  • Tasar silk
  • Muga silk

In fact, Mulberry silk represents 90% of the world’s total production of silk. Consequently, and since Mulberry silk has become a standard, the other three types we have mentioned previously fall into the category of non-Mulberry silk.

Mulberry silk is called as such because the silkworm that produces this popular variety of silk, which is called Bombyx mori L, feeds exclusively on the leaves of mulberry plants.

Is it ok to wash your silk garment by hand?

As a matter of fact, it is crucial that you wash silk items solely by hand, whether your item is made from Mulberry silk or from non-Mulberry silk. The primary material in both cases is similarly fragile and very sensitive to harsh cleaning methods.
Therefore, it is best to clean your silk items with your own two hands.

How can you hand wash your silk item?

The first thing to do is to fill a large container with cold water. If you can get your hands on one, use your bathtub because you need to leave enough room for the garment to move freely.

Afterward, add some soft clothes detergent to the cold water and give it a shake then soak your silk item into the soapy water. Leave it soaking for about 10 minutes.

Once the ten minutes are over, use your hands to rub the soaked item gently. Next, drain all soapy water out and give your garment a rinse with plain cold water. Drain it again and make sure not to twist or ring it.

Finally, press your silk item over a dry towel and hang it outside to allow it to air dry. Et voilà! You had your silk cleaned quickly and safely.


Washing pieces of clothes that are made from silk is not a complicated process, although, you need to know that the most important thing to remember is to handle your silk item with extra care through the whole process.
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