How to Care for Silk and Delicates | Clothes Doctor
We all want to take better care of our lingerie and nightwear and, while caring for silk and delicates may seem like a hassle and it’s easy to think that throwing our delicates in the washing machine won’t do much harm, at Fleur of England want to offer our advice on how to quickly, easily, and effectively take care of your silk garments and delicate luxury lingerie pieces. It really can be as straightforward as your other laundry.
Can I use regular detergent?
While regular detergents may not immediately damage your delicates, they are extremely harsh and, over time, will have an irreversible impact on your lingerie and nightwear leading to a shorter life for the products. Why? Lingerie is extremely delicate. The fibres used in lingerie, especially silk, are soft and sensitive to heat, abrasion, colours, oils, and even pH. The damage can vary from the breaking down of elastics, making the surface texture of the fabrics dull and less soft, and even staining and ripping.
We recommend the use of Clothes Doctor Eco Wash as a tried and trusted delicates wash for your lingerie and silk nightwear as they offer a pH neutral formula made to cleanse and refresh your pieces without the use of harsh chemicals. Softly scented with bergamot and sandalwood, the Clothes Doctor Eco Wash is an environmentally friendly, Vegan, cruelty free and palm oil free wash designed specifically for purpose. It can be used for both hand washing (what we would recommend) and in your washing machine.
How should I wash my garments?
We always recommend hand washing when it comes to delicates and silks. Not only does it do your garments good, but it is also better for the environment and more cost effective! For the reasons mentioned above, washing machines and especially tumble dryers can be extremely damaging, from the excessive movement being abrasive and causing tears or stretching, to the heat breaking down elastic and dulling the surface of the fabrics. We would recommend dry cleaning if a garment is too large for you to dry correctly with the space you have (see below) or if it is a new item and has a print as this can help to make the garment colourfast.
How to hand wash you lingerie and silk garments
Fill your sink with cool or lukewarm water
Use cool water as opposed to hot to avoid heat damage to your garments and add your soap (we recommend 2-3 caps of the Clothes Doctor Eco Wash).
Submerge your garments and agitate the water
We recommend always separating your silk colours as they can bleed dye easily. Lightly moving the garments around in the water is enough and you don’t need to be forceful, we recommend leaving them to soak for up to 30 minutes.
Lightly rub stains
Stains should lift during soaking but, if they remain, you can very lightly rub the surface of the garment. Take care not to scrub too hard or pull at the garments unnecessarily. If a stain does not come out in the soak, you may soak it again or take it to a dry cleaners. If your garment has a gusset, give this a more thorough rub to clean.
Rise and remove
Lightly rinse your garments in cool water until you can no longer see soap. Do not wring out your garments as this is too harsh. You can press the garment between your hands or against the side of the sink to get water out and we would recommend pressing garments between two towels to remove excess water.
Dry garments flat
We recommend always drying your underwired bras flat by laying them on a towel to retain their shape. Smaller pieces such as briefs or thongs can be hung if you cannot dry them flat. Larger pieces such as nightwear should also be dried flat where possible but can be hung as long as you take care and position them correctly on a hanger to avoid stretching. Once dry, if you have any wrinkles in the garment, you can iron the reverse of the garment on a low heat.
What do I do about stains?
We would always recommend with difficult stains that you take your garments to be dry-cleaned but, we do have some tips for the following:
If you have an oil stain on a silk garment and you know it is safe to hand wash (no contrasting prints that could be ruined) you can try to remove the stain yourself before consulting a dry cleaner.
First you need to lay the garment out so that the oil mark is not touching any other area of the garment, usually you can achieve this by positioning it on an ironing board, so that the stain cannot spread further. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, dab away excess oil.
Next cover the stain in a white powder of your choosing- this could be baby powder, corn starch, baking soda- the important thing is that it has no colour and can absorb moisture. Rub the powder into the oil mark to allow it to absorb, add more powder if needed and leave, preferably overnight.
When you are ready to wash, dust away as much of the powder as you can and then hand wash as you usually would. Hopefully the oil will have been soaked up but, if not, we recommend taking the garment to a dry cleaner and letting them know how you have tried to remove the stain so far.
Sometimes we end up with a blood stain on a silk garment for reasons beyond our control and, while blood has a reputation for being especially tough, it doesn’t mean the garment is immediately ruined. If you at any point get blood on a garment, we recommend immediately running the garment under cold water to prevent the stain from setting. It is worth hand washing as soon as possible to try to remove the stain at least partially and then taking it to a dry cleaner for help if the stain remains.
So taking care of your silks and delicates really is that straightforward. Hand washing with the right detergent can make a huge difference to the lifespan and preserved quality of your garments and it doesn’t cost a fortune, take hours of focus, or require a qualification in textiles. Hopefully with these tips you can ensure your favourite lingerie pieces are beautiful and perfectly fitting for as long as possible so you have more time to feel empowered by them and spend less time agonising over replacing them.
You can find our complete care guide here.
You can also read the Clothes Doctor blog about our exclusive partnership here.
Shop the Clothes Doctor Eco Wash for Silk and Delicates here.
How does a year's supply of Natural Fragrance Bags from The Clothes Doctor and a Luxury Lingerie set from Fleur of England sound?
We're giving you the chance to with the ultimate care bundle from our friends The Clothes Doctor. Designed to help protect your garments from moths, their luxurious Fragrance Bags keep your delicate lingerie and silk nightwear pieces smelling beautiful (to us, not the moths) and can be added to your lingerie drawer or looped over a clothes hanger to keep your whole wardrobe smelling fresh.
If that wasn't enough, we're also giving away one of our favourite lingerie sets, the Ida Boudoir Bra and Ouvert Brief. Crafted in the softest black silk and delicate French leavers lace, this sensual set finds the perfect balance between timeless and directional, with 24 carat fold plated hardware and sensual silk strap detailing. Available in UK sizes 6-18.
To enter all you need to do is sign up to both brands newsletters by following the link below:
Competition closes midnight (GMT) 01/07/21
If you have any questions please contacts us on firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our wonderful team members, we are always happy to help.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
- BY ENTERING THE COMPETITION ALL ENTRANTS AGREE TO THEIR EMAIL ADRESS BEING SHARED BETWEEN FLEUR OF ENGLAND AND THE CLOTHES DOCTOR.
- COMPETITION MUST END MIDNIGHT (GMT) 01/07/21. ANY ENTRANTS MADE AFTER THIS TIME WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
- ONE WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN AT RANDOM AND CONTACTED DIRECTLY BY EMAIL. THEY HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND. IF WE HAVE NOT HEARD BACK IN THAT TIME THEN ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN.
- THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE A YEARS SUPPLY OF NATURAL FRAGRANCE BAGS FROM THE CLOTHES DOCTOR PLUS AN IDA BOUDOIR BRA AND OUVERT BRIEF IN THEIR CHOICE OF SIZE. THIS PRIZE CANNOT BE RETURNED OR EXCHANCHED.