How to iron silk

Silk is incredibly soft and luxurious and it’s a question of pride in keeping your silk looking its best. The same can be said whether you’re talking about silk clothing or silk bedding.

Some people may not go in for ironing bedding, in which case see our how to wash silk article for how to best look after your silk sheets and pillowcases.

If you’re wanting to remove wrinkles from silk clothing, then careful washing is required first.

how to wash silk

Using a steamer

The most gentle way to remove wrinkles from any silk is with steam. This can be done professionally or you can use a hand steamer at home. Make sure that your steamer is suited to delicate fabrics and always use the lowest temperature setting.

Turn your item inside out to ensure the inside area is the one exposed to the steam.
Carefully hang your item up ideally, or lay it down flat across a large area if more convenient, and gently use the steamer in regular strokes across the silk.

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Be cautious to not allow the steamer to drip, although if it does, rinse the silk in cool water, dab dry and begin again.

This can be a time-consuming method but is the most reliable for removing wrinkles without causing damage, fading or distortion.

Using an iron

If you don’t have a steamer, you can use an iron instead. We advise making sure the silk item is damp before using an iron, ensure you select the lowest setting on the iron, unless your iron has a silk setting. 

If the silk pillowcase or sheet is not damp, just make sure the iron is on a super low heat setting.

Turn your silk item inside out before ironing so that the inside is exposed to the iron and not the outer surface.

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Carefully iron the item across a well-padded ironing board, making sure to use gentle pressure and do not allow the iron to sit for long on any one point.

If you’re worried about staining from vapour or liquid from the iron, you can always use a towel or cotton cloth on top of the silk but make sure this is a smooth cotton fabric and won’t transfer any thread indentations onto the silk.

Ironing silk bedding

Drying and ironing larger silk items such as sheets and pillowcases can be a bit trickier than smaller items of silk clothing.

The best way to dry silk bedding is on a washing line outside, away from direct sunlight or inside on a drying rack or airer. Avoid wringing the sheets and pillowcases. A gentle shake and careful folding is another option if you’re short on drying space.

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If drying outside, try folding the sheets and pillowcases over the line or rack instead of using pegs which may leave marks or strains on the silk.

Do not let the sheets or pillowcases completely dry out if you’re planning on ironing them. Instead bring them inside damp and iron on a low heat to remove wrinkles.

If you’d like more information on how to wash silk, how silk is made or learn about silk pillowcase benefits please visit our silk FAQ page.

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