Close

How Can I Prevent Breaks When Wetcleaning Silk?

Alan Spielvogel |

Q: What’s the best way to prevent the white break lines that sometimes appear when wetcleaning silk? What’s the best way to repair the breaks that do appear?
A: When “breaks” or “spider webbing” occur after wetcleaning silk fabrics, it’s usually the result of:

  • Not using the proper detergents and conditioners.
  • Improper water temperatures.
  • Excessive mechanical action (including over-extraction).
  • Excessive drying or no drying.

Use wetcleaning cycles that reduce mechanical action and extraction, and use a mild wetcleaning detergent when processing silk. Aggressive detergents will damage dyes, sizing agents and optical brighteners.
Wetclean silk fabrics in cold water, and use a conditioner to soften the fabric. Since the conditioner is heat-activated, it will only work if the garment has dried. A humidity-controlled dryer should be used to prevent over-drying.
Silk garments can often be restored by rinsing them in a conditioner, drying them until they contain 20% relative humidity, and finishing them on a utility press, using plenty of bottom steam combined with a light mist of water. If the garment is still damp, it can be finished on a hot-head press.Have a processing problem? Click here to Ask The Expert!
 

About the author

Alan Spielvogel

National Cleaners Association (NCA)

Technical Director

Alan Spielvogel is technical director of the National Cleaners Association (NCA).

Advertisement

Digital Edition

Latest Classifieds

Industry Chatter