How to Best Care For Your Silks
Silk, that miraculous natural fibre, is both strong and delicate. It has incredible flexibility and resilience when treated right, but can easily be damaged during use if proper precautions are not taken. Stains, pulls, light and odour all threaten the perfect finish of your cravats, ties, pocket squares and scarves.
We’d hate for you to feel anxious about your beautiful silk accessories, and you shouldn’t feel you can’t use them for fear of damage. However, there is no getting around it - they need a bit more care than something cheaper.
With this in mind, we have a few tips to help you keep your silk accessories as beautiful as the day you bought them.
Dry Clean Only! (Please)
We recommend you get your Cravat Club silk accessories dry cleaned. In fact, anything silk should probably get the same treatment. While silk is exceptionally strong and resilient, it is also delicate, and needs to be treated with care. Your ordinary household detergents may damage silk’s lustrous sheen, and the high temperatures and rough spin cycle in a washing machine may do irreparable damage to your fine silk garments (SERIOUSLY NOW, don’t put your cravats in the washing machine). A professional dry cleaner has access to exactly the right solvents to clean your silks as gently as they like to be, and we would suggest it’s worth the small extra expense to keep them in top condition.
Hand Wash If You Must…
If you have a small stain on one of your cravats or scarves, and you don’t want to go to the trouble of taking it to the dry cleaners, then you CAN clean it at home. However we urge you to follow these steps -
- HAND WASH only.
- Use tepid water - cold won’t get the stain out, but hot water will deform the silk strands. Proceed with caution.
- Use a gentle detergent - delicate laundry liquid, designed for wool and the like is perfect.
- Wash the affected area gently, without squeezing too hard or wringing out the fabric.
- To dry, roll your item in a towel, pressing gently to help the towel soak up the water. Then, lay it out flat to dry, making sure it isn’t close to a heat source or in direct, persistent sunlight.
- Let it dry at room temperature
Too much high heat or pressure is likely to stretch the delicate fibres of the silk, so proceed with caution and everything will turn out well. This can be good for things such as grease spots, make-up etc., but for anything more serious, we’d refer you to our earlier missive - dry cleaning is best.
A third way, if it’s just for a slight odour, or if your cravat feels a little unfresh from general wear, a fabric freshener such as Febreze is perfectly safe, and might save you some of the trouble of hand-washing.
Beware Sharp Objects!
Silk’s finish is incomparable - somewhat matte in appearance, but glinting seductively in the light; it’s an alluring combo. The beautiful sheen of silk is made of up a huge number of fine threads, and unfortunately it’s all too easy to snag one of them on a zip, fastening or even a stray fingernail.
Our advice would be to keep a cravat or scarf well away from any zipped items of clothing - jackets, coats etc. Obviously this isn’t always possible, but if the silk actually becomes trapped in a zip fastening, the fabric could tear, so do be careful.
While it may seem overly fastidious and fussy, keeping your nails short or carefully filed is a very good idea when handling your silk accessories - we stress, it really doesn’t take much of a rough edge to catch a thread on your cravat.
Also, if you are a smoker, or are close to someone who is, PLEASE be careful of cigarette ends and naked flames near your lovely ascot tie. No garment is going to look good with a cigarette burn in it!
Don’t Fear the Creases
With it being made of such delicate fabric, your cravat or pocket square can crease easily. We always recommend folding carefully and putting away after an event, but obviously it’s impossible to avoid all creases always.
Thankfully, it’s quite easy to take an iron to your silk accessories without damaging them, so long as you’re careful. We recommend using a low heat setting, either with or without steam. We also recommend using a fabric cloth or tea towel between the iron’s surface and your garment, to prevent water marks caused by limescale. Caution is the word.
It’s entirely possible to iron or steam your silk cravat, so don’t fret too much. It’s a bit more delicate than your shirts, but with a bit of care it needn’t be anxiety-inducing. Just protect it, do it carefully and in stages, and check it now and then to make sure it’s ok!
Invest in Proper Storage
If you love the bright colours of a Cravat Club printed silk ascot tie, then persistent bright sunlight is your enemy. A silk accessory left in direct sunlight for any length of time will see its colours fade and soften, degrading what was once a vibrant piece. This will only happen over quite a length of time - this will not happen in normal wear.
We recommend keeping your cravats out of direct sunlight during storage, preferably in a wardrobe or similar. You may wish to invest in a cravat rack, similar to a tie rack, that keeps your cravats together, on easy display and in great condition.
It’s also a good idea to utilise some of Cravat Club’s beautiful and hard-wearing gift boxes, which will not only keep your silks in fine condition, but make them much easier to store. Apart from making a perfect first impression on receiving your accessory, it will also help to keep things looking perfect in the future.
Also think about environmental dangers - food smells, pet odours, air fresheners and smoke will all be picked up by your cravat if left out in the room. Tidying them away will keep them safe from picking up scents of the surrounding area.
An Investment in Style
A silk tie or cravat, when cared for properly, can last a lifetime. Silk is incredibly long-lasting, so when looked after it will reward you with years of wear. Our cravats, ascots, scarves, ties and handkerchiefs are designed to last and last, which is not only more economically viable, it’s better for the environment too.
Invest in a high quality, 100% silk accessory, treat it well, and you’ll have a stylish flourish to perfect any outfit for years to come.