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Pre-treating silk
ehumphrey
ehumphrey
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Date: 3/16/14 6:31 PM

I am sewing a dress using a satin silk, a silk organza and an embroidered polyester organza. I need to pretreat these fabrics to prevent shrinkage etc. What should I do? I have never worked with silk before. All advice gratefully received.

Thanks
Ellie

HelenM01
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Date: 3/16/14 7:17 PM

Check the laundry instructions that came with your silk, if any, and follow them. If any of the fabrics say "Do Not Dry Clean", don't. But DO use caution applying any kind of heat (such as hot water or iron), and don't put it in a hot dryer.

If the laundry instructions for all the fabrics are different, or the fabric did not come with laundry instructions, it's time to experiment. Slice off two pieces of each of the three fabrics. Measure the pieces. Wash and dry one piece of each fabric in your normal washer and dryer, and examine the pieces. Watch for changes in texture or fading. Wash the other three by hand in cold water and allow them to air dry.

You can test the fabric for dry clean ability by using Dryell or another home dry cleaning product on test swatches.

I dye silk veils for dance and art clothing. Most silk doesn't shrink much. But, some dyes can run or fade, especially in warm or hot water. The texture of iridescent silk chiffon changes when the fabric gets wet.

Chemical
Chemical
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Date: 3/16/14 7:22 PM

Wow that sounds like a fancy dress!

I like washing all my silks because it softens the hand, prevents water spotting, and decreases luster. If you want to keep the finish, luster, and hand you have now, you could steam press. Of course you'll have to dry clean the dress forever and watch out for rain drops :winkgrin:. The poly doesn't need to be preshrunk.

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Not keeping track of my stash anymore... just trying to sew it up and not buy more!!!

TGWGWS
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Date: 3/17/14 0:45 AM

I made a Mother of the Bride dress using silk dupioni underlined with silk organza. I had both pieces of fabric dry cleaned before cutting out the dress.

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Tina
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I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
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Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to ehumphrey <<


Date: 3/17/14 3:36 PM

Are you really going to wash this dress? I certainly wouldn't with all those layers. YOu don't have to prewash if you are going to send this to the cleaners.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

ehumphrey
ehumphrey
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Date: 3/17/14 6:31 PM

Thanks for all the replys, I wasn't necessarily planning on washing the dress before sewing, but I am concerned about shrinkage when pressing (I had a bad experience with some China silk).

I guess i may have to do as Helen suggested and experiment on a few different pieces to see which will be most appropriate (no washing instructions :-( )

Ellie

PattyE
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Date: 3/17/14 10:08 PM

I don't usually wash my silks except for dupioni...I like it better washed.
I use silk organza as press cloths. It can take a lot of heat.
It does sound like a fancy dress that will be a lot of work. Dry clean only might be the best option.
I hope we get to see this creation when it's done!

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