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Silk fabric

rotweiller | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Could you please help!! l am making  a dress from 100% silk, l was advised to dry clean only on the label when l bought the fabric, but l am assuming this is after l have made up the dress. Should l pre-wash in  a mild shampoo?

Also what thread should l use? would appreciate your help.






  1. SewNancy | | #1

    If you are going to dry clean the dress you wouldn't wash the fabric. You don't say what kind of silk. You can cut to squares of fabric the same size and draw around one of them to get the size. Then wash one in a lingerie bag by hand or on gentle in the machine. Air dry and then compare to the one you've washed to the one you have not and see what the difference is. Also, use those color grabber sheets in the wash to see if it is color fast. A lot of silk is not and if it is a print chances are it will bleed. A lot of silk is washable, but it may change the hand.

  2. sueb | | #2

    There's no reason to pre-wash it if you're going to dry clean it.  If you wash it, it's going to change the drape of it and the sheen if it has one.  I'd use a polyester thread. 

  3. woodruff | | #3

    There is one good reason to pre-wash or at least water-rinse the whole piece, and that is that unwashed silk will "water-spot" if even rain splashes on it. Wetting the yardage before you make it up essentially waterspots the whole thing, so you won't wind up with spots if you accidentally wet it (like if your steam iron drools on it).

    I wash all my silks before making them up. That's because I don't do much dry-cleaning, and because I enjoy the change in the silks' hand after washing. Usually, they become a bit softer and lose a little of their shine, but often, surprisingly little.

    If you are in love with a high sheen or a firm texture, or if you're making a rather formal-looking suit, then you probably won't want to pre-wash. But if those aren't important factors, then I'd recommend washing (and drying) a pinked square about 6" X 6" to see what happens.

    1. rotweiller | | #6

      Many thanks for your help.

  4. Dorothy80516 | | #4

    I suggest using Mettler 100% cotton "silk finish" thread when sewing silk fabric.  It's kinder and gentler on the silk than a polyester thread.

    Washing is a matter of personal preference; also depends on what kind of silk it is. 

    1. rotweiller | | #5

      Thank you for your  advice, Dorothy

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