Luxurious satin fabric might be used for sheets, clothing linings, lingerie, ties, wedding gowns or even athletic apparel. But this delicate fabric takes special care. Understanding the proper care of satin can help to ensure that the garment will last and keep its appearance for a longer period of time.
Before attempting to clean and care for satin fabrics, check the label to make sure that the item is not "dry clean only." It is possible to clean satin through gentle hand washing. The type of satin will dictate considerations such as water temperature and the kind of soap or detergent that is used. For example, silk satin should be washed using a mild soap and very cold water. Satin acetates, nylons and polyesters are a little more durable than silk satin. Warm water can be used for these satins along with a liquid detergent that is designed for delicate fabrics, such as Woolite. Turn the item inside out and soak it before washing by hand. It's possible to wash satin in a washing machine on the gentle cycle, but generally speaking, hand washing is a safer option.
Air drying is the best option for satin fabrics. Satin should never be wrung out to remove excess water. Get the excess water out by laying the item flat on a dry towel and rolling the towel up with the satin item inside. Apply gentle pressure to the towel to force out the excess water. Unroll the towel and remove the item. Lay the satin item on a dry towel and let it air dry.
It takes special care to iron satin. Use a warm iron and absolutely no steam. Always press satin on the wrong side of the fabric and keep a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric. A thin piece of white cotton such as a handkerchief works well as a pressing cloth. Applying a hot iron directly to satin fabric can leave behind an impression of the iron's plate and can damage the fabric.
If satin becomes stained it can be very difficult to get the stain out. Avoid bleach when attempting to remove stains from satin. Try to treat the stain as quickly as possible before it sets. Use a stain remover that is safe for satin fabric such as White Wizard spot remover to pretreat the stain before hand washing.
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Ann Hudson is a freelance writer who began her writing career working for a small community newspaper. While there, her work as a feature writer and a weekly columnist were honored. Hudson holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has been writing for more than 30 years.