Mulberry silk is the finest variety of silk. This natural fiber gets its name from the silkworm larvae that feed only on Mulberry leaves. Mulberry silk has a unique luster and softness that makes it a favorite of the aristocrats. The elegance and natural sheen make Mulberry silk “The King” among different types of silk. It is the favorite heirloom of the “rich and famous” all over the world. The natural origin of Mulberry silk makes it softer on the skin unlike other varieties of silk. Adorning a garment made of this super fine fabric is enough to make you a cynosure at any event.
Mulberry silk is versatile. Be it a chic or a traditional dress for special occasions, Mulberry silk is fit for all kinds of sartorial tastes. By taking special care in the maintenance of different types of silk, you can elongate the lifetime of your valued possessions. Here are some tips for the care and maintenance of Mulberry silk.
Washing and Drying Instructions
1. Machine Wash, Hand Wash, or Dry Clean?
This question boggles the minds of most silk lovers. You should go with a dry clean. However, many do not trust others when it comes to silk heirlooms. Many Mulberry silk garments are handed over from one generation to another and have sentiments attached to them.
So, go to a premium dry cleaner; they may charge extra but the premium status of Mulberry silk is worth it.
2. Use Detergent that Does Not Contain Bleach and Enzymes
If you do go for machine wash or hand wash, do not use harsh fabric cleaners that contain bleach and enzymes. The wash cycle should be very gentle. Bleach can erode the natural sheen of the fibers and can damage its fluidity, the most premium characteristic of Mulberry silk. It is this fluidity and softness that makes it the king among different types of silk. You don’t need expensive detergents as such. A good children’s shampoo can as well do the job. Also, don’t wash your Mulberry silk for long.
3. Wash it Inside Out
Mulberry silk is often the inside part that is dirtier as a result of constant contact with skin and sweat. Washing the fabric inside out takes the detergent impact to the dirtier parts. It will reduce the damage to the exterior when being washed. The embroidery and other decorative styling remain safe from the impact of water and detergent.
4. Know the Right Settings on Your Washing Machine
The friction produced by spinning while washing damages the fabric with every wash. Many machines have customized settings for washing delicate fabrics. The spinning speed reduces with time and the fabric retains its original fiber arrangements.
5. Use a Mesh Bag
Put your Mulberry silk in a mesh bag while washing. Many garments have intricate embroidery and the threads can become tangled when spinning in a machine. Worse, it may get stuck in machine parts. Mesh bags are easily available in the market.
6. Water Temperature Should Not Exceed 30 Degree Celsius
Like most delicate fabrics, you should wash your Mulberry silk clothes, pillow covers, etc. in lukewarm water. The temperature shall not exceed 30 degrees Celsius. Higher Temperatures can weaken the fiber strength and with time the fabric will lose its endurance to wear and tear.
7. Use a Good Fabric Conditioner
Fabric conditioners are very useful in retaining the shape and stitching of the Mulberry silk garments. Fabric conditioners are not cleansing agents. They do not have the cleansing action of a detergent. Using a fabric conditioner after washing your garments will detangle the threads and will retain the luster for a longer time. Retaining the luster is the key to elongating the life of your Mulberry silk clothing items.
8. Do Not Dry in Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight can oxidize the colors and with time the colors faint. Using bleach-containing detergent or other harsh detergents can expedite this process. Also, do not dry it indoors. Dry your Mulberry silk fabric outdoors in shade, keeping it away from sunlight. The fact that silk dries quicker than other different types of silk and fabrics reduces the need for much care while drying.
9. Dry Inside Out
This goes for all the garments. Drying inside out helps retain the colors for longer. It also prevents damage to the fabric as the inside layer of the fabric will take the impact of any wear and tear.
10. Store Silk Separately in Antibacterial Covering
Store Mulberry silk garments separately. It will prevent lint from piling up. Also, store it inside a protective covering. There are many antibacterial covers available in the market. You may use neem leaves as well. Please do not use paper covering in any case and certainly not a printed paper.
11. Ironing Inside Out, Preferably Under a Layer of Thin Fabric
Silk is a delicate fabric. You should be very careful while ironing. Use the right temperature setting and for maximum effect, use a thin layer of fabric on top of it.
Mulberry silk, like other variants of silk, needs attentive care for preserving the sheen and fluidity and that is the key to maintenance.