How to Iron Silk: Tips and Tricks

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Last updatedLast updated: June 19, 2021
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Ironing silk can be difficult because of the heat involved; permanent damage can be caused if one is not careful while doing it. This is because silk is much more delicate than any other fabric. Learning how to iron silk does not have to be a difficult task. You will find it much different from ironing other fabrics like silk because they take a little bit more care. While they do take quite a bit more care on ironing, you do not have to worry about it being too time-consuming.

Silk ironing basics

How to Iron Silk: Tips and Tricks

Silk is best to iron while it’s damp; this is to minimize the effects that the heat can have on it. If you iron-dries silk, you may mess up the texture, so make sure you gently spritz it before you get started.  If you hand wash your silk, you will need to make sure that you very gently squeeze excess water. You will need to be extra careful to squeeze very gently after rinsing to remove the excess water from the fabric. Please note: DO NOT WRING/TWIST the silk. It may break silk threads and cause it to stretch or tear.

Once you are ready to iron it, if it is a piece of clothing, turn it inside out. This is kept from potentially burning the silk from direct contact.

If you use a washing machine, you may iron it directly. Flatten any obvious wrinkles with your hands so the fabric is as smooth as possible. If your silk item is really large, like a dress or dress shirt, you may have to work in segments.

Prepare the silk

Silk is best ironed when slightly damp, with the iron put on a cool, low, or silk setting. The silk is slightly damp will help the fabric not burn. If the garment needs to be washed anyway, don’t let it dry all the way after you wash it. Once you have your garment slightly damp, turn it inside out and lay it flat. Start to smooth out any wrinkles with your hands, moving from the center of the garment to the outsides. Lastly, put a piece of cloth over the garment, so the direct heat does not mess up the silk.

Using an iron

When you are using an iron or a steamer on silk, you have to take extra precautions to ensure that you do not require the fabric. You will want to turn your iron on to the lowest heat setting. Some newer irons are equipped with special settings for delicate fabrics. If you see this setting on your iron, you can switch it to the silk setting instead. If your iron has a steam function, feel free to use it. When you finally press the iron onto the fabric, leave it there for a few seconds. Don’t press it too hard or leave it on too long as this may damage the silk.

Do not worry about moving side to side but instead worry about ironing certain sections at a time.

Using a steamer

While it may take a bit longer to get the wrinkles out, steaming is the ideal way to put the finishing touches on your silk garment. Steamers can actually be placed directly on the fabric, unlike irons. It also is more ideal than an iron Since your silk clothes should be damp when getting wrinkles out. If you are looking for a steamer for your silk garments, one that comes highly recommended is this Jiffy Steamer. Several ways to steam your silk garments are to lay them flat on a surface, hang them up against a flat surface, and begin steaming.

Final thoughts

While ironing silk takes a bit more care and attention than most fabrics. Once you learn how to iron silk, you can really iron almost anything. The most important things to remember when ironing silk are to make sure the garment is slightly damp, lay it out flat, hand smooth any wrinkles out and make sure to lay a cloth on the garment before you start ironing. With silk, it is best not to iron back and forth but pick up, let it cool, then lay the iron down flat again. You can find some high-rated products for your silk fabrics such as this or our favorite, this. All in all, it pays to be overprotective of your garments when you are doing any type of cleaning. It is always best to check any manufacturer’s tag on any garment before you start to iron or steam. Not doing so can ruin your garments.

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