preshrinking silk satin

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I finally received my iron in the mail yesterday.  My husband is at
home today and said that he would put a large hook in the ceiling so I
can hang my water tank for the iron.  I'm so excited!

Anyway, I googled old posts about preshrinking silk, but I have not
seen anything that mentioned silk satin.  Does this fabric require
special handling?  Also, most of the posts I've run across mentioned
washing the silk fabric.  Wouldn't this damage the satin?  I had
planned on preshrinking the fabric using a steam iron held about 1/2"
above the fabric.  This is how we would preshrink some fabrics in the
costume shop when I was in college.  It's tedious but seems to work.
Should I just take this to the dry cleaner instead?  It's 4 yards of
54" wide silk satin.

lisa


Re: preshrinking silk satin
karlisa wrote:

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Test first!  Try a small piece and steam press form the back only.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Re: preshrinking silk satin

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Probably not, unless it damages the fibers.  Good silk satin is
amazingly durable stuff.   I wash mine all the time (bought as fabric,
prewashed, used washable/prewashed notions), and I've got a couple of
silk satin shirts that are 4-5 years old.  (cheap silk satin, otoh,
can be pretty junky.)

Washing silk usually makes it a little more fluid than it is unwashed
(the silk gum is water soluble).  Depending on the dyes used, washing
silk may cause the colors to fade or shift a little.  And the color
may shift back as the fabric dries/cools.

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Treat the fabric as you want to treat the finished item.  If you want
to be able to wash it, you'll want to wash the fabric.  If you don't
mind drycleaning the item, dry clean the fabric.  

Dry cleaning is not inherently easier on fabric than putting it in the
washer.  It still gets tossed around in a drum and has liquids forced
through it.


--
Jenn Ridley : snipped-for-privacy@chartermi.net

Re: preshrinking silk satin
Dear Friends,

You can't imagine what terrible harm you're doing to your silk when you
prewash it.  The seracin (silk gum) gives silk its scroop (sound);
washing it out doesn't make it fluid--it destroys some of the
properties.  In this modern time, washing any fabric before using it is
unnecessary, unless you object to the smell.  Only very cheap fabrics
that have been woven from raw cotton and printed will shrink.  Fabrics
go through so many processes before they are put on the bolt that it's
been through the equivalent of several washes.

In most cases, silk satin is not going to be made into a garment that
will be washed after being worn--it will go to the dry cleaners.

If you're using home-dec fabrics, there is a possibility that some of
the fibers will shrink, but not garment fabric.

Teri


Re: preshrinking silk satin
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
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Last time I looked at it, silk satin didn't scroop. I wouldn't want it
if it did.  We're not talking about crisp dupionni.  The silk in
question is satin, which is supposed to be fluid and smooth, and had
better not 'scroop'.

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And then it's often stretched onto the bolt, and gets stashed in a
warehouse and at least one truck before it even gets to the store and
then it gets handled on the sales floor.  

It's always a good idea to wash a fabric before you use it.  The color
may shift or run (yes, even on good fabrics).  Washing (or cleaning) a
fabric can change the hand of it (yes, even the good stuff).  These
are things you want to know *before* you cut and sew them.  

Look, if Silk Road Fabrics<http://www.srfabrics.com/care/silk.htm ,
Oriental Silks <http://www.orientalsilk.com/FAQ.html#24 , and
Anjoorian Silks
<http://www.anjooriansilks.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51 (to name
a few) tell me that I can handwash silk without damaging it, I'm going
to.  I hate the smell of drycleaning.  I hate the inconvenience.  I
hate the expense.  

(Frankly, everything I've heard goes the other way, to the effect that
handwashing soft silk is less likely to damage it than dry cleaning.
And leaving a silk blouse sitting around sweaty and dirty while you
get a load of cleaning together is even worse than putting the blouse
in water.)  



--
Jenn Ridley : snipped-for-privacy@chartermi.net

Re: preshrinking silk satin

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I agree... and no ruckus or disrespect intended either.  It's important
to share our personal experiences and preferences.  And though nearly
all (but not all) types of silk are washable, it's up to the individual
whether or not they wish to do so.  It certainly depends on the kind of
usage the garment will get.  Here's my personal experience:

In our home, we wear darn few synthetics so I use mostly cottons but
also a lot of silk.  I wash most of the silks in the washer on the
gentle cycle and dry some (not all)  of them in the dryer on delicate.  
I have an ankle-length silk skirt (my favorite in fact) that is nearly
15 years old and worn extensively that has always been laundered this
way.  Only now is it starting to show some wear.  Half my blouses are
silk.  I wash them all in the machine.  I've never had one damaged from
this treatment either.  I have my silk suits and blazers dry cleaned.  

In my experience, silks rarely shrink; loosely wovens might be an
exception.  Silks bleed more color than other kinds of fabrics so you
need to be careful what you wash them with the first time or two.  I
think I recall reading that they take more dye than most fabrics and
that is why they bleed a bit at first.  I always prewash my silks
(except suitings) so I know exactly how the fabric will drape, to get
out any residues, and so I can better match notions.  It works for me.  
Others may have different experiences.

Phae

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: preshrinking silk satin
Dear Friends,

Whew!  I was dreading coming here today, after what I started here
about washing.  I know many people have allergic reactions to the
formaldehyde used in many finishes.  Don't you think after all these
years an alternate chemical (inert) could be discovered?  I remember
having this discussion with one of my professors (an industry textile
chemist) more than 25 years ago.  He just shrugged his shoulders.

I have a piece of silk downstairs that I'll never use as it is.  I
think I'll do an experiment to see what happens.

And about the 4" square test?  I think many sewists get into the habit
of purchasing the same types of fabrics over and over.  So it's not
necessary to do this test, except on unusual fabrics that have not been
used before.  Some are obviously not to be washed (silk and wool
suitings, for example), and most good wool is already sponged and ready
for cutting.  The only disaster I've had was with some heavy linen that
I sewed up without prewashing.  When it came time to wash it (a
jeans-style jacket), the linen literally fell apart.  It turned out
that the weft threads were no more than roving, and disintegrated when
wet.  The same thing probably would have happened had I dry cleaned it,
so I don't buy "bargain" linen any more.  I'm thinking that it may not
have been real linen, although it was advertised as such.  I didn't
have a microscope to examine it, and I was mad enough to just pitch it
in the trash.

  I can't think of another case where washing would have made a
difference.  I have nightmares thinking of having to handle and press
five yards of fabric before I can use it.

Teri


Re: preshrinking silk satin
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Try 10m of 60" wide substantial cotton!  Bloody things weighs a ton...

About the ONLY garment stuff I regularly boil wash and tumble dry hot
before cutting into is plain calico, which DOES shrink, as it's usually
'loom state' rather than 'needle ready'.  I only bothered with the
latest bit that will be used for toiles because one of the toiles is a
dress with big panels which I can later cut up into Elizabethan corset
bits and the like, once the toile is finished with.  :)

The only other things I wash before use (and not always then!) are
quilting cottons, many of which are NOT pre-shrunk.  I also wash batting
before use.

One bit I did wash before use (first in over 40 years of sewing) was
recently: the cats got at (as in muddy paw prints all over it, and
significant amounts of fluff!) some white mercerized cotton I was going
to use for a costume thing, and I had to wash the whole 10m by 60" wide
length!  I'm ripping it off in chunks and ironing as I go with that!

With wool suitings I test press a cut and measured square: if it shrinks
significantly, I'll press the yardage before cutting.  I've never had to
yet!

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: preshrinking silk satin
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
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No worries, you are among friends.

As I read the post you had made, I thought that you work mostly with
high-style garments.  Some others here do as well, and yet others not.

I am old enough now that I can declare myself eccentric, and refuse to
follow fashion.  I no longer care what's "in" or not, and dress to suit
myself.  Comfort and easy care are high on my priorities, so I simply do
not dry clean.  My husband gave me a lovely Pendleton bathrobe a few
years ago - I wore it once, and saw that it has to be dry cleaned, so
it's somewhere in the back of the closet, probably supporting an army of
moths.  To me, a bathrobe that must be dry cleaned is the height of
insanity.  Bless his heart.

For those here who sew for fashion, weddings, and other events requiring
specialized clothing, you have always been there with guidance and good
advice.  I think we all appreciate that.

For those of us, who may be few here, who don't give a whit for fashion,
but are of a practical bent, I think we enjoy reading about fancy-dress,
and are always interested in techniques.

So, wash that silk, and experiment with it, and let us know how it turns
out.
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
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Re: preshrinking silk satin - Pendlelton bathrobe
Eccentric? or practical?  Go ahead and machine wash and dry (cool, gentle),
hang to finish dryng that bathrobe - worked with DF's shirt when he took
over laundry years ago, works with DH's shirts now.
Karen in CO

Joanne wrote:
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Re: preshrinking silk satin - Pendlelton bathrobe
kkl wrote:
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I will try that.  I have nothing to lose, and if it doesn't work, I'll
have an extra hanger.  ;-)

Eccentric or practical?  Both.

--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
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Re: preshrinking silk satin - Pendlelton bathrobe
Pogonip wrote:

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I absolutely LOVE washable silk - and there's lots of it about!  No need
to ruin a dry-clean only bit to get what you want.  Just buy the
washable stuff.

Sandwashed (has a slightly sueded feel and a slightly powdery look to
the surface) and most silk knits are washable.  So are a lot of silk
blends, and lingerie silk.

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: preshrinking silk satin - Pendlelton bathrobe
Pogonip wrote:
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If it doesn't work, felt the darn thing!  There would be more than
enough good-looking felted plaid for a vest, don't you think? and it
would be washable, wouldn't it?

Doreen in Alabama

Re: preshrinking silk satin - Pendlelton bathrobe
Doreen wrote:
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Great idea!!!
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
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Re: preshrinking silk satin
Pogonip wrote:
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Joanne, I made my husband a new Pendleton wool shirts every year for
years.
http://www.pendleton-usa.com/jump.jsp?itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=217
We bought the fabric at the Pendleton outlet in Washougal, WA.
http://www.pendleton-usa.com/jump.jsp?itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=345&path=1%2C3%2C197%2C345
Every piece of yardage came home for a nice cool bath, was hung to dry
and steam pressed before I cut out the shirts.  He hated the
dry-cleaning process, and never thought his RTW Pendleton shirts were
*really clean* after dry-cleaning, so we just decided to make the ones
*I* made washable.

I never had a problem with any genuine Pendleton wool, although some
lesser wools I treated that way came out of the wash quite rumpled,
and were hard to press flat.  If you like the robe otherwise, why not
give washing it a try?

Beverly



Re: preshrinking silk satin
BEI Design wrote:
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I am going to try that.  It's doing nobody any good in the back of the
closet, so there's nothing to lose but a little time.
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
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Re: preshrinking silk satin

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I wash some of our Pendletons as well though, with global warming (or
whatever it is that is making the climate warmer), we don't wear them
near as much as we used to.

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: preshrinking silk satin
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

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 some of us are violently allergic to formaldihyde & other
chemicals used in processing fabrics. some of us are also
allergic to dry cleaning chemicals. we wash fabric before
doing anything with it (including just bringing it into the
house).
  
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 maybe many people dry clean silk. i wash mine. some of my
silk shirts go into the dryer even.
 
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 really? do you do the 4" square challenge often? it's amazing
how some of these modern processed garment fabrics shrink, and
i don't buy cheap fabric.
lee
--
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the
guise of
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Re: preshrinking silk satin

<http://www.fabrics.net/silk.asp

    "Silk -- elegant, versatile and washable. In the past, owning a silk
garment meant not only the initial price of the garment but also the
cost of dry cleaning. All silk is washable. Silk is a natural protein
fiber, like human hair, taken from the cocoon of the silkworm. The
natural glue, sericin, secreted by silkworms and not totally removed
during manufacturing of the silk, is a natural sizing which is brought
out when washing in warm water. Most silk fabrics can be hand washed.
Technically, silk does not shrink like other fibers.  If the fabric is
not tightly woven, washing a silk with tighten up the weave.... thus,
lighter weights of silk (say a crepe de chine of 14 mm) can be improved
by washing as it will tighten up the weave.  A tightly woven silk will
not "shrink"  or will "shrink" a lot less. Silk garments, however, can
shrink if the fabric has not been washed prior to garment construction.
When washing silk, do not wring but roll in a towel. Silk dries quickly
but should not be put in an automatic dryer unless the fabric is dried
in an automatic dryer prior to garment construction. A good shampoo
works well on silk. It will remove oil and revitalize your silk. Do not
use an alkaline shampoo or one which contains ingredients such as wax,
petroleum, or their derivatives, as these products will leave a residue
on your silk and may cause "oil" spots. If static or clinging is a
problem with your silks, a good hair conditioner (see above cautions)
may be used in the rinse water.

    Silk may yellow and fade with the use of a high iron setting. Press
cloths and a steam iron are recommended. Silk is also weakened by
sunlight and perspiration."

<http://www.srfabrics.com/care/silk.htm

"Silk Fabric Care: Handwashing Silks

Handwashing silks the old fashioned waySome silks should be dry cleaned
(notably Dupioni) but most can be handwashed, especially if you wash the
fabric before sewing. Dry cleaning gets more expensive every day, and
the smell of perc (the dry cleaning fluid) in our clothes is not our
favorite fragrance. And worst of all, silk begins to look dingy and dull
after just a few trips to the dry cleaners. Many silks look better and
last longer when hand washed.

But beware, many inexpensive and poorly woven silks may fade, become
stiff, change texture or lose their sheen when hand washed. Try a test
piece in a series of launderings before spending a lot of time and
effort in any project.

Exceptions
Silk Noil MAY shrink noticeably in handwashing (how much depends on the
weave), and should absolutely be pre-shrunk before being sewn up to
minimize shrinkage in the final garment. Silk Noil may be machine dried,
but this will increase shrinkage and should definitely be done before
being cut and sewn.

Silk Dupioni can be handwashed, and launders beautifully; however, it
changes the texture and sheen of the fabric. Hand wash a small scrap or
swatch and check to see if you like the way it looks. We wash all our
dupioni that is custom dyed, and it has a much softer texture, very
different than the crisp finish it has off the bolt.

Warning!
When hand washing a ready-to-wear silk garment, make a wash test on an
inconspicuous part of the garment, the inside back of a hem, for
example. Nothing in this document should be considered a recommendation
or guarantee of success.

Here's how it has worked for us;
Pre shrinking
Silk Crepe, Noil, 2 ply silk and dupioni shrink the most and should be
pre-shrunk before sewing up. Place the silk in a sink or tub full of
lukewarm water and mild soap. We like Ivory Snow (powder), some people
swear by Woolite, some people like Orvus Quilt Soap (available at some
Quilt stores as well as many Equestrian Saddle and Tack shops!) and some
even use their favorite shampoo. Whatever you use, follow the package
directions. Rub the silk fabric for a few minutes in the soapy solution
and drain. Rinse in clear, cool water until all the soap is gone (don't
wring, silk becomes weaker when wet!). Fold the garment flat and roll up
in a towel (like a cinnamon roll) to remove excess water overnight.
Remove from the towel and iron dry with a medium-low setting.

You can dry silk Noil in the dryer, but it shrinks more.
Routine hand washing
Soak the garment in lukewarm water and a mild soap solution (see
pre-shrinking, above). Rinse in clear, cool water until all the soap is
gone. then fill the sink again and add a quarter cup of white vinegar to
the final rinse. Vinegar neutralizes any remaining soap, and allows it
to rinse out completely restoring the fabric's natural sheen, it can
make a dramatic difference. Give the fabric a final rinse in clear, cool
water to remove the vinegar smell. Roll up in a towel to remove
moisture, then dry flat on a towel or on a padded hanger. Iron with a
low-medium temp iron while still slightly damp.
Why Silk shrinks
Silk fiber is a protein, like your hair, and it does not itself shrink.
The way the individual fibers are twisted together when weaving is what
causes silk to shrink. Highly twisted yarns and loose weaves cause
shrinking when water releases twisting energy in the fibers. It's a bit
like twisting a rubber band then reducing the length, seeing it bunch
up. Silk bunches up the same way. Ready to wear silk garments shrink
because manufacturers don't go to the trouble of washing the fabric
first. Imagine that.

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: preshrinking silk satin
Phaedrine wrote:
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---snip---

Thank you.

In my house, what cannot be washed, cannot be in my closet.  I figure we
are exposed to enough chemicals without opting to add more.  I type this
while wearing silk-cotton sweats from Winter Silks that go in my washer
and dryer regularly.

--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth
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