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[Answered]Can you Iron Silk? Silk Ironing 101

Creases, dents and kink marks are regular customers visiting silk, however carefully you take care of it. Therefore, to get silk out of these undesirable marks without ruining it is crucial. From the perspective of safety, a steamer is the preferable facility for silk maintenance. However, it is less familiar than iron, and its effectiveness and efficiency are relatively mediocre. But no biggie, Here is an ultimate guide to unwrinkling and neatening silk when you only have an iron at your disposal.

Can You Iron Silk?

The answer is an absolute “Yes”, but only under certain preparations and by specific methods. Compared to manmade fabrics, silk is more delicate. It is sensitive and vulnerable to heat, moisture and rough touches. Thus, silk can not withstand regular ironing. Unwrinkling silk is riskier and stickier, requiring extra TLC. Now, let us dive into details.

How to Iron Silk?

As for silk ironing, you should take some precautions and follow some rules. However, there is absolutely no method that can fit all silk products. So you can trim your sails while dealing with different types of products.

Preparation for Ironing Silk

1. Prepping Silk

  • Check the care label.

The care label states the basic criteria for cleaning and caring for silk. You should check if your silk is labeled “dry cleaning only” or “no drying”. Whether your silk has one of the two labels or both, you should send it to a pro instead of ironing it at home. Do not take it for granted that the care instructions of all silk products are identical, and double-check the label when you are uncertain. For example, silk bedding releases wrinkles naturally and responds badly to ironing and steaming, so tidying these products by ironing is not advisable.

  • Turn the silk inside out.

Turn the inside out if the silk products have two sides. Ironing the shiny side of silk may engender a luster loss that is hard to recover.

2. Prepping Facilities

The facilities you need are: 

  • A set of iron with a silk setting: Clean the iron plate before ironing. Never use an iron without a heat setting of about 300 ℉. Moreover, make use of the steaming option if you have one. 
  • A press cloth: Its fabric should be able to absorb dripping water from the iron plate and isolate direct heat from silk, such as full cotton. Try to find a cloth enough to cover your silk fully when you use the steaming function of your iron. Some types of silk are easy to be stained by water and the direct touch from a steaming iron is absolutely not for them.
  • An ironing board: clean,  smooth and padded.
  • A sprayer with distilled water or boiled water: It is better to prepare one with thin nozzles.

A Step-by-step Instruction for Ironing

Step 1: Moisten the silk.

Spritz the silk lightly with clean water. As mentioned above, silk hates high temperatures and low moisture. Further, the combination of the two factors is fatal to silk fibers. A little moisture is a cure-all for both problems. For another, ironing silk after a wash is a beneficial habit for its protection and maintenance, and you do not need to dampen it in such cases. 

Step 2: Smooth the silk, and set the press cloth.

Flat your silk on the ironing board, and smooth the wrinkles by hand as much as possible. Then overlay the press cloth flat.

Step 3: Adjust the iron to the silk setting.

Set it before turning it on to avoid any burning accidents.

Step 4: Iron the silk by pressing and lifting motions.

Start your ironing from the middle part, not the edges. Press the iron down for a few seconds.  Then lift it up to let the fabric cool down. Do not omit the cooling time and avoid the back-and-forth moving of your iron, or your silk may be damaged by burning. Repeat the process until your silk reaches a desirable state. 

Step 5: Line-dry the silk and store it properly.

When you have done the ironing work, line-dry your silk in an airy and shady place. Wearing or using the silk after drying can help to further release some minute creases and dents. But for silk not to be used soon, you should store it in an airy and shady closet. You can put some lavender sachets or mothballs if you have them. 

Additional Tips

  • Make a spot test at an unnoticeable corner when you are uncertain about the iron’s heat.
  • Never expose your silk to direct sunshine. Besides, smoke, some chemical  sprays and perfumes are also bad for it.
  • Turn to pros when necessary, but make sure you have given them the details they need.


How to Iron A Silk Dress?

Uwrinkling a silk dress is a hard business. Some silk dresses may promote style and beauty by adding folds. Therefore, apart from the above processes, you had better do a steaming for the unsmooth designed areas. 

Can You Iron A Silk Tie?

Silk ties have a high demand for tidiness. You can iron a silk tie to a smooth state by the instructions in this post. Only one point you should pay extra attention to, that is, start the ironing from the tie’s bottom part and make upward movements then.

Can You Iron A Silk Shirt?

Yes, silk shirts fit the ironing methods above perfectly.

Can You Directly Iron Silk?

No, you should never do that. A direct touch with iron may impose too much heat upon the silk, and it may burned.

Is It Better to Steam Or Iron Silk?

Well, it depends. Steaming is a foolproof method when you prioritize the safety of ironing. However, ironing is more effective in removing wrinkles. So it is really hard to compare these two ways and results may differ from product to product.

How Do You Unwrinkle Silk Without An Iron?

You can find some experience about unwrinkling silk by a hair dryer online. But it is never a stroke of genius for your silk. Try to avoid this method unless emergencies. Unwrinkling your silk by a steamer or an iron is more professional and secure.


In the end, you have got some know-how and a step-by-step guide to silk ironing. Try to carry out every ironing based on the expert knowledge above to keep your silk at its best. Sinosilk is founded with one mission: to be the voice of Chinese silk. We offer silk fabrics and silk products of the finest quality. Please contact us when you need custom silk products.

More Resource

Can you steam silk?– Source:sinosilk

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