How to store, wear and wash your silk scarf heirlooms

Designer scarves are not cheap but are an investment piece for your wardrobe for many years to come. An heirloom you would want to pass on to your daughter one day. An icon of luxury, the classic silk scarf represents quality, craftsmanship and timeless style. So before you set out to buy your next silk scarf, learn how to preserve the condition of your scarf, to maintain colour, strength and above all its value. How you store, wear and wash your silk will also help the longevity of your silk’s life. While scarves are easy to store and extremely versatile, keeping them in great condition is extremely important, as stains and tears greatly devalue the piece. 

There are several ways to keep your silk scarf in excellent condition. Here’s a few simple tips: to start off avoid wearing it on a rainy day. Silk may be damaged by contact with any type of liquid. Try to avoid using scarf clips, rings, pins or brooches that might puncture a hole or pull a thread. After you have worn your scarf, do not fold it right away, instead leave it to breathe overnight over a chair or bed post. Silk will attract scents and perfume so if you do not want it to smell of a particular perfume, avoid wearing it alongside particular fragrances. Never store your scarf in a drawer alongside sharp jewellery or belt buckles, zips etc and avoid wearing your silk scarf with garments, shirts or jackets that might have Velcro as this instantly snags the silk threads.

Store your silk scarf away from the sun to avoid fading the colour and weakening the fibre. Silk creases so it’s best not to leave it bunched up for long. Keep it folded and out of sunlight in its original box or soft bag, preferably the original packaging, as it will be more valuable and desirable if they are re-sold in their original packaging. Alternatively, you can hang your scarves on clip hangers in your wardrobe in a cotton cover, not plastic as this will create moisture. Silk hates moisture. As it is a protein fibre it will attract moths just like wool, so keeping that in mind, always store the silk in a dry, breathable box or bag.

Unless your scarf becomes soiled, a silk scarf can be worn many times before needing to be washed. When it comes to washing your silk scarf, leaving it to an expert dry cleaners is absolutely the best way to extend the life of your silk. However you can of course opt to wash your silk by hand. Machine washing silk is NOT recommended. 

Hand washing your silk scarf can be done in cold or lukewarm water using a very small amount of mild detergent or drop of Woolite dissolved in the water. Make sure your detergent is suitable for silk and delicates. Gestate the water to create bubbles. Do not soak the scarf for a long time, just leave in the water for a few minutes, swishing the scarf slowly and gently.

If the scarf has a spot stain, maybe oil or butter, on the tip of your finger place a tiny drop of the Woolite or the silk friendly detergent, the tiniest amount and smooth it onto the affected area. Then rinse this area out in the tap water. Never rub, twist or wring the silk while in water as you may separate the silk fibres.

Take the silk scarf out and gently rinse thoroughly with cold or like warm water. Ball your scarf together to remove excess moisture. Again do not wring the silk as you may separate the fibres, simply squeeze the water out of the scarf.

Place a large dry towel flat on a table and place the scarf flat onto of the towel. Roll the scarf in the towel until into a tube. Pat down on the towel pressing out the water. Again do not wring or twist the towel, just pat dry. Open the towel and separate it from the scarf. The scarf will be practically dry at this stage. Air dry over a rail or hanging on a rack. The scarf will not take long to dry. 

You can iron the scarf if required. Iron an a light to medium setting on the reverse or non shiny side. Iron the scarf when it is still damp. If it is dry, do not then spray or wet silk while ironing as you may get water-stains. Lastly, never use high heat when ironing silk. Make sure iron is set on cool. Never put your silk scarves in the dryer as this may damage or shrink the fabric.

Never expose to direct sunlight. 

Never use harsh chemicals on your scarf (bleach, perfume, etc.) 

Don’t wash with other colours. 

Never store your scarf in a damp place



Thank you !



Debbie Millington