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How to wash and care for silk

Posted on
Burano, Venice, Italy
Silk is a natural and delicate fabric. It can be washed in the washing machine (very delicate cycle, max 30º) or hand-washed.
Hand-washing
Colored silk: fill a bucket with lukewarm water, wool or silk washing-liquid, 1 spoon of salt. You can opt for Marseille soap (leave some in the water) and rub it gently on the fabric. Leave the silk in water for 15 mins. and rinse it with cold running water. Now soak it in white vinegar (1 glass per 2 liters of water) –this step is for softening the fabric. Rinse again and hang it! 
White Silk: Do as above. Before the vinegar- softening treatment, add 2 spoons of Hydrogen Peroxide (30-40V) in the water. Close with a lid. Rinse with vinegar as above. If it has yellowed, it smells or visibly dirty, soak it in very warm water (not boiling), add 3 spoons of salt, the juice of 2 lemons (one lemon juice for each liter of water). Close it with a lid and leave it for several hours/one night.
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Donts:
Don't use bleach
Don't leave silk under direct sun light
Don't use water when ironing
Don't spray deodorants or fragrances
Don't wring silk

What & Why
Vinegar softens, neutralizes smells, revives colors
Salt preserves colors and helps dissolving dirt spots
Hydrogen Peroxide is a delicate whitener
Ironing: Low heat. Use a cloth between iron and silk. Turn the item inside out and iron on the reverse side of the fabric on a cotton-covered ironing board. Use a low setting and don't use steam, which can leave watermarks. 

Washing Camixa cotton shirts with silk contrasts:
 Wash in lukewarm or cool water (very gentle cycle) using a mild detergent. Do not let the shirt soak (hang it to dry right away). 
Washing Camixa silk scarf-jewels: Protect the jewels/necklaces inserting them in a sealable sandwich bag. Hand-wash the scarf trying not to wet the jewels. 
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Burano, Italy

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