[Answered] Can You Steam Silk? – All Things You Need to Know

Being made of natural fabrics, silk garments could sometimes wrinkle or even crease. These little flaws in your fancy clothes could affect the overall aesthetic. Therefore, you might wonder if you can steam the silk to smooth the wrinkles. From reasons to process, you will learn all the things you need to know about steaming your silk garments through this post. Now, start reading and dive into the world of steaming silk.

Can You Steam Silk?

In short, the answer is YES. You can steam your silk garments to smooth the wrinkles and creases.

Steamers work mainly on the vapor generated from heating water saved in the tank. Using a steamer is actually putting moisture right into the fibers of the fabric. In this way, the heat and moisture from the steam are able to relax and loosen them, eventually smoothing the wrinkles and creases presented on the surface of your garments.

Therefore, steaming is properly applied to most of fabrics, especially those that are flimsy, synthetic, and delicate. Silk, one of the exquisite materials for making fine garments, is also included.

Why Should You Steam Silk?

  1. Smooth Wrinkles

Through the effect of heat and moisture on fibers of fabrics, steam naturally smooths wrinkles and creases. At the same time, after steaming, silk garments will look even flatter and smoother than before. Once the vapor evaporates, there will be no stain left on your silk garment.

  1. Freshen Garments

Silk is usually dry-cleaned only and cannot be washed very often. This is where the steamer comes into play. Steaming can not only smooth the wrinkles on the surface but also nourish the fibers using moisture, keeping the silk in its fully natural state.

  1. Remove Bacteria

By steaming silk, not only the bacteria can be killed, but also the dirt can be cleaned. In addition, steaming removes odors, leaving your silk smelling naturally fresh. As a non-polluting and chemical-free way to clean your clothes, steaming silk is one of the best ways to care for your silk.

  1. Protect Fabrics

While steaming the silk, the steamer itself does not come into direct contact with the silk surface. This prevents damaging the fabric or even leaving indelible scorch marks and holes. Thus, steaming is the method recommended by most manufacturers – after all, no one wants to lose precious silk considered as a luxury.

How to Steam Silk?

Since steaming has been such a beneficial care for silk, what is the proper way of steaming silk? This section will provide you with a detailed preparation process and a thorough step-by-step guide.

Things to Know Before Steaming Silk

Before steaming silk, there are some things you need to be aware of first. These suggestions help make full use of your steam cleaning to maintain your silks at the maximum level, avoiding any possible damage.

  • Check the label of clothes: The first thing to do is check the label of your silk clothes, if there is one. Different grades of silk often have characteristics. The label will warn you if your silk clothes should be kept from being steamed.
  • Using distilled water: Drinking water or tap water, which could contain minerals or microorganisms, might breed little patches of stains.
  • Waiting for clean steam: When it begins to steam, let the steam release for about a minute before pointing it directly at your silk. This action is to avoid if there are residual water or something inside the steam system.
  • Keep a proper distance: The best distance between the steamer and your silk clothes is 3-6 inches. Never put your steamer too close to silk. This might lead to over-steaming the silk, which damages it.

Pull the silk taut: While steaming your silk clothes, make sure they’re naturally taut. Or the steam might fail to smooth the wrinkles and creases. Always remember to pull the silk taut before steaming it.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Steaming Silk

Step 1: Fill the Water Reservoir

Fill the water reservoir with distilled water, or at least fresh and clean water. Also, It’s better not to install the brush accessory, for its coarse texture could possibly damage the silk fibers.

Step 2: Heat the Steamer

Then, turn on the steamer and wait for the heating. It usually takes 30 to 90 seconds until the steamer is fully heated up. Once finished, press the button to make sure it’s steaming completely. Let the steam release for a minute or so.

Step 3: Hang Your Silk Garment

Use a hanger or a hooker to hang your silk garment and let it drop naturally. You can adjust the silk to make it taut. Look out for the parts where wrinkles and creases exist.

Step 4: Steam with Downward Strokes

Now, start to steam your silk garment with downward strokes. Make sure your motion is small and slow but steady. Keep steaming and stretching the silk until all wrinkles and creases disappear to make your silk shiny again.

Steaming vs Ironing: Which Is Better for Silk?

Steamers and irons are both widely used to smooth wrinkles and creases on clothes. Each, with its individual features, could be used on different kinds of materials. However, when it comes to caring for silk, you should consider a steamer without thinking twice.

Although it’s efficient for providing a clean and crisp finish overall, iron is more suitable for heavy and durable materials, like linen, wool, and so on. As a delicate and heat-sensitive material, silk is prone to be damaged in contact with the strong and powerful energy provided by iron. It could scorch or burn your silk garments easily if not placed right.

When smoothing wrinkles, a steamer can take much more time than an iron, but it also ensures safety while cleaning your silk garments. The steamer, not in contact with the silk surface, freshens your silk garments without creating extra creases.

In conclusion, don’t hesitate to choose steaming if you want to smooth wrinkles on your silk garments.

Bonus: Additional Tips on Caring for Silk

While considering caring for your silk garments and accessories, here are some additional tips for you to help you better preserve its natural beauty:

  • Check the label when you get your silk garments. So you will be aware of important information when caring for them.
  • Test or check the colorfastness of your silk garments before you clean them.
  • If there are any stains on your silk garments, use a gentle detergent rather than pick or scrub it.
  • Store and air-dry your silk garments in a cool and ventilated place without direct sunlight.
  • Try to avoid washing your silk garments to minimize wear and tear.


In summary, this post answers the question of whether silk can be steamed. With several benefits and detailed processes explained, you can smooth wrinkles and creases on your silk garments by steaming without effort. Besides, as a delicate raw material for making fancy garments, silk is favored all over the world. If you’re looking for silk manufacture, contact Sinosilk at any time.

More Resources

How to Repair Silk – The Ultimate Guide

Why Are Silk So Expensive and How Much Does Silk Fabric Cost?

[Answered] Does Silk Shrink for Washing or Drying?

[Answered] Is Silk Breathable?

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