There is nothing like the smooth feeling of silk against your skin. Rayon gives the look and feel of silk, but at a fraction of the price, and often it is easier to care for than silk. Silk is natural and Rayon is man-made, but it is important to make sure you care for both fabrics properly so they stay looking beautiful for many years.
Both silk and rayon can be dry cleaned. In some cases, if you wash a silk or rayon garment in water, it may be damaged because of the sizing and/or dyes with which it was treated. The best option is to follow the instructions on the care label attached to your garment. If there is no label, talk to your dry cleaner and he/she will be able to advise you on the best method of care for your clothes.
There are washable garments made from silk and rayon. These should be hand washed or cleaned by a wet cleaning process at your professional dry cleaner shop. Some of the dyes used in these garments can dissolve in water, causing the colour to bleed or disappear altogether. This is particularly true of dark coloured clothing. Pastels have a greater degree of colourfastness. If you own a multi-coloured item, test it before you wash it by applying whatever you will be using on it to a hidden seam or inconspicuous interior place. When cleaning these garments, pay close attention to the care label instructions. Use the proper water temperature and detergent.
Stains happen. It is important to remove them as soon as possible.
If the stain is water soluble, dampen a clean cloth and blot the affected area, never rub.
Oil and grease are not water soluble. Don't try to remove this type of stain with water or store-bought solvents. You could damage your garment. Take it to your dry cleaner.
Both silk and rayon can be easily damaged by perspiration, exposure to alcohol, food and water. By following these steps, you can keep your garments looking lovely and new.
The salts in perspiration can stain your garment. It is advisable to have these removed as soon as possible. If you perspire heavily, arm shields should be worn to protect your clothes.
Many perfumes, deodorants and hair sprays cause silk dyes to bleed or change colour. This is particularly true of blue and green dyes.
Allow your cosmetics and perfumes to dry before you dress.
Facial soaps, shampoo, detergents and even tooth pastes can also damage silk and other fine fabrics.
Sunlight and artificial light will cause brightly coloured silk garments to fade. Store your clothes in closets away from light.
Water can be a problem with both silk and rayon. Rain and other common liquids (such as alcohol and soft drinks) can permanently stain these fine fabrics.
For more information, contact your local Ontario Fabricare Association member dry cleaner.
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