Bright and Klean

Silk and Rayon Care

Silk – From its origins in China and once considered a reserve of Kings and Empresses to its wider manufacture in India, the Middle East, Europe and North America, Silk is a smooth non slippery and softly textured fibre that, when woven into a garment or item, brings elegance and beauty to every occasion.

Rayon – A man-made semi-synthetic fibre, (commonly known as viscose), made from naturally occurring polymers rayon fabrics are smooth, soft, cool, comfortable and highly absorbent and can be used to produce garments and items that are silk like in appearance.

Silks and rayon are used in making comfortable and strong clothing that dyes to very rich colours, however it [the dye] can itself become a cause of much consternation when the adhesion of the dye is broken through friction, water, toiletries, alcohol, dry cleaning solvents, oxygen, strong lights and certain gasses especially if special care is not given to the garment at the manufacturing stage or by the user or cleaner.

Generally, dyed multi coloured rayon garments are intended to be dry cleaned by the manufacturers recommendation because dyes that bleed can be transferred from one part of the garment to the other when washed in water.

(At Bright and Klean we always follow the manufacturer’s garment care instructions or carry out sufficient testing before cleaning).

Hand Washing Silk

  • Nearly all silk garments or items can be hand washed without shrinkage providing shrinking took place before stitching the garment or item together

  • In hard water areas it is recommended that a little borax be added to the washing water, (NB: read instructions carefully before use)

  • It is best to use lukewarm water and a mild, non-alkaline soap, (not detergents), like Ivory Liquid or baby shampoo to hand wash your silks

  • Dissolve any soap residue left over from hand wash by adding a few drops of distilled white vinegar to your rinse water. Alternatively a few drops of hair condition can leave your silk items feeling extra silky

  • Avoid soaking your silk items for more than a few minutes

  • Use a towel to extract water from your silk item avoiding wringing and twisting

Machine Washing Silk

  • Silks can be machine washed if labelled “safe for machine wash” however hand washing is always recommended

  • Machine wash silks on Delicates cycle using a mild detergent such as Woolite®. Avoid using detergents that contain enzymes and brighteners

  • Select the shortest possible spin cycle

  • Use a mesh bag, (for extra protection), to wash your silk items in top loading machines, (not necessary in front loaders)

  • Always wash colours separately

Drying your silk garments and items

  • Hanging your silk garment out will help to keep the garments shape whilst drying

  • Avoid hanging your silk garments in direct sunlight, drying them on the radiator or using wooden drying racks as they may cause yellowing or leave dye stains on your clothes

  • When tumble drying your silk garments always use the “AIR FLUFF” setting as excessive temperatures might leave your garment looking duller and shrunken, plus contact with the tumble dryer might break the yarn or leave white streaks on your garment

Ironing your silk garments (wrinkle removal)

  • Silk will rarely need pressing with an iron. Hanging your silk garment in the bathroom and using the humidity created whilst having a shower can be sufficient enough to remove any wrinkles

  • To press silk garments set your iron on the Silk setting or use a very cool setting. It is advisable to press the garment on its inside whilst it is still slightly damp

  • Avoid wetting your silk garments whilst pressing as it can leave rings, (a light circle surrounded by a darker circle), whereas too much heat will dull, pucker or burn your silk fabric

Removing stains from your silk garments

  • Always consult a cleaning professional to remove stains from your silk garments

  • Do not use chlorine bleach on silk as it will erode the fibre and cause discolouration


More on silk and rayon

Shading damage: silk garments may need a short wet cleaning process to be applied [consent would be sought from Bright and Klean customers before applying the process] before dry cleaning on occasions when the silk has discoloured through moisture, (beverage spillage, perspiration, or water-soluble food). Dry cleaning can not return the correct shading to silk garments once discoloured.

Perspiration problems: silk can change colour or become weakened and damaged after coming into persistent contact with perspiration that contains salts and are acidic turning into alkalises on exposure with the atmosphere. Perspiration stains should be removed as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining. Underarm shields are a good way to reduce the damaging effects of perspiration. Many facial soaps, deodorants, and toothpaste contain alkalises.

Blue and green dyes on silk: silks that have been dyed blue or green tend to be more easily affected by alkalises and it is advisable that before dressing in your silk garment that you should allow deodorants or any other cosmetic to dry before placing your silk garment on top.

Brightly coloured silk garments can fade in sunlight or through exposure to artificial light so they should be stored in a closet, whereas, some multi coloured silk garments will bleed colour when making contact with alcohol based solutions.


When taking your silk garments to Bright and Klean for care you should be prepared to let us know:

  • How long ago you sustained the stain on your silk garment and the nature of the stain

  • Where, if any, the food and beverage stains are located on the garment

  • Where, if applicable, you have made any attempt to remove the stains using home stain removers and what solutions you used [NB: in the case of severely damaged fibres and dye* it is not always possible to restore the item to its original state]

*NB: Bright and Klean do not promise to entirely resolve some of the following issues;

  • alcohol based stains that leave a light circle surrounded by a dark circle

  • where dye has moved

  • fading of some parts of the garment due to exposure to light, gasses and even oxygen

  • sizing that causes permanent discolouration after contact with water based substances

  • silk fabrics that have hair spray residue on them; hair sprays can attract dyes during the drying cleaning process causing permanent stains

  • wear and tear that causes sanded silk to discolour and change the reflective properties of the fabric

Bright and Klean