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Caring for a Silk Scarf

fandori silk Silk is known for being incredibly strong as a natural fiber, and a silk scarf can last for generations if well cared for.

The enemy of fine silk scarves are sunlight (fading), water (colors can run), moths (can and will eat holes in them) and sharp edges, poking out nails or hooks, or anything that can grab and snag the scarf.

Proper care and handling of fine silk scarves is not difficult. So long as they get aired out every once in a while, hung over a smooth hanger or draped across a bed or stuffed chair with no rough edges for an afternoon or so, they will be fine.

The need to avoid water on fine silk prints like the Hermes Carré scarves is a great reason to remove them before eating, and to tuck them safely away in a purse or inside pocket if you get caught in the rain.

Dry cleaning is an option if you determine that you must have your fine silks cleaned and if you have a dry cleaner you trust.

Just be sure to give them detailed instructions on handling the scarves and particularly on handling pleats, hems and textures so they do not press these out of the scarf.

Spills and Stains

Should you accidentally spill or somehow stain a solid colored silk scarf, you can wash it in cold water and a delicate detergent or baby shampoo. But before you determine to wash the stain out, consider what type of stain it is.

The first thing to know is that the faster you do this the better. The second thing to know is what type of stain it is and what works best to remove it. Organic stains, like dirt, blood, food, urine, etc. all respond well to a direct application of a mild (3% or less strength) solution of hydrogen peroxide.

However, if a scarf is prone to color loss and bleeding this can aggravate that tendency.

Red wine stains can be removed with a generous and immediate application of salt which is poured onto the stain directly and without water and left to dry. You may wish to apply slight pressure with a clean cloth on both sides of the scarf to assist in getting the salt to penetrate the stain.

Washing Solid Colored Silk and Silk Blend Scarves

Solid colored silk scarves or silk and wool blends in solid colors can be safely washed in cold water and either Woolite or a similar delicate laundry soap, or using a baby shampoo. Use a small amount of soap, and wash by hand.

Never rub roughly or use a scrubbing motion on the fabric between your hands, but instead use a swishing motion to move the water back and forth through the fabric. Dab a small amount of soap on any dirt spots or stains you are attempting to remove or use a very gentle rub with a few fingers of one hand while holding the fabric against the palm of the other hand. Rinse repeatedly with cold water until no more soap runs out in the water. Done correctly, your hands will be quite chilled when finished. Gently wring out the scarf and then shake it out and hang it over a smooth towel rod to dry. Then rinse your hands in warm water.

Even in solid color scarves, washing can lead to color bleeding, so it is best to avoid washing them if possible.

Filed in: Scarf Care

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