The Sewing Place

Questions about silk

toileandtrouble

Questions about silk
« on: January 14, 2022, 09:01:07 AM »
Do you prewash silk?  I have a couple of remnants I want to make up but I don't know if they will shrink or distort. Any tips for cutting out?
Impulse buys.  They just look so beautiful.
Yarn down:  150g
Fabric down:  0m

b15erk

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 09:16:42 AM »
I would handwash them, simply to see how they behave after washing.  Most of the silk I have is very happy to be washed, but I've noticed that a few tops have faded a little.

If you need to wash them after you have sewn them up, it's probably wise to wash before too.

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Greybird

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 09:23:33 AM »
If I'm not sure about pre-washing, I cut a piece exactly 10cm or 20cm square (depending on how much you have) and wash that. You'll know if the  colour runs and measuring afterwards will tell you if it shrinks.

sewmuchmore

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 09:33:39 AM »
this is the advice The Silk Route give, a company i have bought silk from. However i have washed the fabric i got from them, initially a hand wash using a bar of natural soap but then the dress got mixed up with some other stuff and ended up in the machine on a wool wash. It washed ok. I wouldn't wash on a high temp or high spin and try not to wring the fabric out, it damages the threads.
I would do a colour test first, wet a small corner of the fabric and squeeze it between some white cloth (tea towel, towel etc.) if there is any residue of colour on the white cloth then it will not be colour fast.
Contact the company you bought it from because the roll of fabric should have a care label with it.
It's not easy being this perfekt

Janet

SunnyWave

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 11:08:00 AM »
If I'm not sure about pre-washing, I cut a piece exactly 10cm or 20cm square (depending on how much you have) and wash that. You'll know if the  colour runs and measuring afterwards will tell you if it shrinks.

thanks for sharing, that's actually a great idea!

Ohsewsimple

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 13:32:56 PM »
Are you going to be washing the item after?   If so I’d wash it first same as all fabric but as @sewmuchmore says. 
I have several tops made from silk and they all wash fine.  But it does depend on the type of silk.  Silk dupion doesnt maintain its crisp hand if washed.  Just depends on what effect you are after too. 

mudcat

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 15:04:26 PM »
I gentle wash line dry them. From what I've read silks are best washed with warm water which is what I do.  Silk handles washing well for the most part.  The biggest problem is the dye in my experience.  They tend to bleed dye especially if they are cheap.  So wash separately or with like colors.  I prefer not to dry clean so I take the risk with washing.  Sometimes the hand of the fabric will change.

The only exception I'd make is with a fancy expensive silk.  I have some floral jacquard that I bought in Italy years ago and it was the most expensive fabric I've ever bought so I would dry clean that one.  It probably wouldn't fade since it's a pale color but I'd be afraid the hand would change too much.

coffeeandcake

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2022, 16:49:49 PM »
Re cutting out; Single layer fabric. I use weights (mine are self made fabric pyramid type) and a rotary cutter. For smaller areas I use my serrated edge Ginghers.

realale

Re: Questions about silk
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 18:07:15 PM »
If I'm not sure about pre-washing, I cut a piece exactly 10cm or 20cm square (depending on how much you have) and wash that. You'll know if the  colour runs and measuring afterwards will tell you if it shrinks.
I do something similar. I cut two identical pieces of fabric and then wash just one. It's so easy to compare afterwards!!

Years ago, when I was first starting my sewing journey, I made a Vogue pattern summer dress from silk and loved it. I washed it and it shrank so much I couldn't wear it again!! Lesson learnt. It really depends on what you want to use the silk for and what type of silk it is. For crafts I don't prewash, for garments I always do.
So many beers, so little time. 🍻

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