Though low-quality charmeuse is often made from cotton or rayon, the real thing is made from pure silk. Silk wrinkles easily, but charmeuse is, fortunately, the most wrinkle-resistant member of the silk family. Still, you may need to take a bit of care to avoid getting wrinkles in the first place. And since it is impossible to avoid wrinkles completely, it is good to know how to remove them from charmeuse when they do appear. Simply put, there is no magic solution: Wrinkles are avoided when clothing is properly washed, dried, stored and packed. It's that simple.
Remove your charmeuse clothing from the washing machine as soon as possible, Allowing clothes to sit in the bottom of the machine after the spin cycle causes wrinkles and makes any that were already there worse. If you choose to hand wash your charmeuse dress, don't wring it out. Press the garment between two clean towels to remove excess water.
Unclump and shake out silk charmeuse items before placing them into a clothes dryer or hanging them to dry. Don’t overfill the dryer as this forces the clothes together and makes them crease.
Consider putting one or two tennis balls in your dryer when drying washable silk and charmeuse. Tennis balls bounce into the clothes in the dryer and separate them as they dry to prevent bunching and wrinkling. Be aware that the tennis balls will make the dryer louder but will cut drying time.
Take your clothing out of the dryer and hang it up while the fabric is still slightly damp. Just like clothes that sit in the washing machine, clothes left in the dryer will wrinkle.
Store charmeuse clothing in a closet with plenty of room. Stuffing too many clothes into a closet bunches them up and creates creases.
Place the dress in a garment bag if packing for a trip. If a garment bag will be to unwieldy or ineffective, such as when traveling by plane, pack the dress into a suitcase after rolling it. To roll the dress, lay it flat, fold the sleeves in so they form an "X" and roll the dress carefully from the bottom up.
If you do have wrinkles, press the charmeuse by applying the iron to the dull side of the fabric. (This is the back side.) Keep the iron on a low setting and consider placing a towel over the dress and ironing over it rather than directly on the fabric.
- Denver Fabrics: Sewing Guidelines for Silk Fabric
- Organic Clothing; How to Keep Natural Fiber Clothes From Wrinkling; December 2008
- Stitch ‘n Save: Fabric Care
- "Rhode Island Roads"; Smart, Wrinkle-Free Packing of Your Luggage; Fran Folsom
- Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images