Silk is a form of natural protein filament fiber secreted by silk worm or Bombyx mori. The silk worms are not any real worms but they are butterflies or caterpillars. The silk production started over thousands of years ago in 27 B.C, in China. Clothing silk provides warmth in cold days and keep you cool in the summer. Clothing silk is manufactured from the larvae of many other insects also, but the moth caterpillars are used mostly for manufacturing clothing silk textiles. To produce 3 kg of silk thread you will need to have enough caterpillars to eat the leaves of 30 mulberry trees. The most expensive silks are not boiled but reeled off; the thread is pulled out from the cocoons. The artificial silk was first produced in the 19th century.
The clothing silk need special care for washing:
(i) Choose a mild soap that is safe for clothing silk and follow its specific direction of use.
(ii) Fill the container or sink with warm water.
(iii) Put the soap in the water with the silk. Let it remained soaked for few minutes. Do not scrub or rub the fabric now.
(iv) Rub the clothing silk in the soapy water against itself and rustle it around the container to remove dirt.
(v) Empty the soapy water and wash the silk clothing in warm clean water and let running water pass over the clothing silk.
(vi) Rinse the silk for second time with warm clean water and add quarter cup of vinegar to it. The ratio of vinegar should be one fourth cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.
(vii) Drain out the water with vinegar and was the silk item in warm clean water for the last time. Rinse until the odor of vinegar is completely gone and the detergent is completely cleared off and rinsed.
(viii) Place the clothing between two clean dry towels. Press the towel on the top gently to remove excess water from the silk item.
(ix) Place the clothing again over a new dry towel or hang it on a padded hanger to remove all moisture. Do not press or squeeze the silk item.
(x) You may place the clothing silk over a mesh drying deck instead of a padded hanger but never use a wooden rack because the varnish of the wood may spoil the wet silk.
(xi) Silk items should be ironed on the lowest heat setting.
(xii) The wrinkles of a lighter silk item can be removed by the humidity of your bathroom. Hang it there while you shower.
(xiii) Clothing silk should be stored in your drawer or closet with cedar chips. The silk items which are rarely used should be stored in garment bag.
Silk is a beautiful fabric that needs more attention than most of the items in your drawer. Sunlight, perspiration even the chemicals of some detergents can weaken its color and quality. Hairsprays can make spots over your silk item. So cover your silk clothing when you are applying it. Some silks are meant to be hand washed. Silks washable at machines should be washed in warm water with mild detergent on a delicate setting. Dry cleaning should be opted on rare occasion.
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