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How to care for silk bedding

Like the clothes on your back, the bedding you sleep in is best when it’s soft, breathable and anti-allergenic. Silk ticks all of these boxes – a natural protein fibre, its luxurious finish and heat regulating properties give it an edge over other materials. Caring for silk can be a turn-off for some, as the sumptuous material is perceived to be highly delicate. However, it’s easy to care of silk with a little love – read on for our fuss-free tips on caring for your favourite silk pieces at home.

HOW TO CARE FOR SILK

1. WASHING
Similarly to our skin, silk contains 18 amino acids, and cannot handle hot water or strong alkalis. Wash silk bedding gently by hand, using a mild silk detergent in water no warmer than 40 degrees Celsius. Do not use bleach or abrasive cleaning products, as these will ‘melt’ the silk and cause it to tear. If a stain must be removed, use vinegar – the acid contained in the liquid will balance the alkali without causing damage. Although dry cleaning may seem like an easy alternative, the dry cleaning process relies on many chemicals which may reside on your bedding afterwards. If washing at home is not possible, find a dry cleaner that has expertise cleaning silk and will use silk-friendly cleaning products.

2. DRYING
Silk bed linen and sheets can be hung to dry, but always avoid direct sunlight. It can also be tumble dried on the lowest temperature setting. When the fibre is 80 per cent dry, we suggest removing it from the dryer to iron.
3. IRONING
Silk can be ironed between 150-200 degrees Celsius. Always keep the iron moving, and do not stay on any part longer than five seconds to keep the silk safe from burning. Tip: ironing the silk in the direction of the warp threads will increase the shine factor.
4. STORING
Silk should always be kept away from direct sunlight in a cool, dark drawer or cupboard. Ensure the surface is flat, without any sharp edges that could snag the fabric. If you live in an area prone to moths, store the silk with a natural repellent such as cedar balls. Traditional moth repellents such as camphor can cause discolouration to the silk and should be avoided. How often you change your sheets is a hotly contested issue, but we recommend having a spare set in the cupboard to allow for regular rotation. Sleep well!

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