We spend a lot of time teaching our clients how to properly wash their silk pillowcase or silk sheets (check out our silk washing guide here) so they will last a long time. But did you know that HOW you dry your silk sheets and pillowcases is equally important? Read on to learn how to dry your mulberry silk to keep it looking and feeling beautiful wash after wash.
Treating Silk as a Natural Fiber
Like wool, silk is a protein-based fiber and as such has special properties: shine, luster, softness, durability, temperature regulation. Because of its protein-based molecular structure, however, silk requires special care. It should be washed with an enzyme-free mild detergent (enzymes break down protein and over time can damage silk) and should never be exposed to extreme heat in either the wash cycle or drying process. We recommend always washing in a gentle cycle in cool water and using a mesh laundry bag made for delicate fabric to preserve the integrity of the silk fiber. (Click here for a gentle detergent formulated for silk that's also good for sensitive skin).
But there's more than just the washing machine: how you dry your silk sheets and pillowcases can also affect how long they last.
Drying Silk: The Good News
The good news is that silk can be dried safely, easily, and quickly, simply by hanging on a line indoors or outside, out of the sun. In our experience, our sheets air dry in around an hour's time. A few quick tips:
- Don't wring out your silk bedding after you hand wash or machine wash. If it's very wet, blot it with a white towel.
- Hang on a line away from sunlight, indoors or outside (sun can cause silk to fade!)
- We prefer no clothes pins but if needed, use soft grip style to avoid marking/denting
- Avoid wooden drying racks which can leech stain or dye onto silk
- DON'T put your silk sheets in the dryer*
*We get it: sometimes space and time constraints make hanging mulberry silk pillowcases and sheets impractical. If you absolutely must use a dryer on your silk sheets, use a NO HEAT setting.
To Iron or Not to Iron Your Silk Sheets and Pillowcase?
Ironing silk bed sheets is not always necessary. After washing silk it will be a little wrinkled, but after a few nights of use the silk fibers will start to relax and straighten out. If you prefer to iron, we recommend ironing just your pillowcases (since they are really all that you see) on the lowest setting available to protect them from heat.
Always iron sparingly, only on the coolest setting with pillowcases turned inside out. We recommend that you place a cloth or towel between the iron and your silk item. A light steam will enable the iron to glide smoothly over the fabric.
PRO TIP: put your silk sheets on the bed while slightly damp and smooth them out to avoid wrinkles.
- Ironing not always necessary
- Consider ironing just your pillowcases - it is the bedding item you see the most
- Iron sparingly, use the coolest setting, turn pillowcases inside out
Ideal Way to Store Silk Bedding (after it is dry)
Store your silk bedding carefully in breathable plastic bags, away from direct sunlight, with moth repellent lavender sachets or cedar balls.
- Store silk bedding in a breathable bag
- Store away from sunlight - in a closet
- Store with lavender sachets or cedar balls