What are “silks”?

Silk is just one of many textiles ranging from polyester to animal hair fibres, that can be used to produce delicate sheer fabrics. The latest development in the field of lightweight delicate fabrics is the introduction of synthetic microfibres. Microfibres are often mistaken for pure silk but they are usually more robust. Pure silk presents the major problem in terms of storage, washing and drycleaning.

Looking after your silks.

  • The longer a stain remains the more difficult it is to remove.With water based stains you may pad off as much of the stain as possible using white kitchen roll or tissue, seal the garment in a polythene bag and bring to Ben’s as soon as possible. Never rub stains.Silk is very sensitive to abrasion and may sustain serious damage even with a very light rub.When treated promptly oil based stains can be easily removed by dry cleaning.However , oils can absorb some dyes resulting in faded patches when the oils are removed.
  • Some dyes on silk may be affected by alcohol.We recommend perfumes and toiletries containing alcohol should be allowed to dry before you dress. Other dyes, especially the blues and greens, may be sensitive to alkalis. Most soaps, shampoos, detergents and even toothpaste are sufficiently alkaline to cause colour loss.
  • Many bright colours, particularly on silk, cotton, rayon and wool, can fade from exposure to sunlight or artificial light. Some blue and green dyes can fade very quickly particularly on silk.We recommend storing garments away from light.
  • Perspiration turns alkaline on exposure to air and may damage both dyestuff and fabric. Silk is likely to suffer chemical damage over a period of time, to the extent that it often ruptures or even disintegrates in underarm areas during drycleaning or washing. Underarm shields are recommended if you perspire heavily.
  • A cornmon problem on delicate/sheer fabrics is the tendency of the finish to discolour upon contact with moisture. In some cases, just wearing the article in the rain can cause considerable shading. The moisture effects of water-soluble food and beverage spillage as well as perspiration may also cause discolouration. If the article is badly stained by moisture, and labelled as drycleanable, it may be very difficult to correct this shading properly,it may even be necessary to wet clean.This would usually require the customer’s consent.
  • There are many washable silks now on the market.If garments are labelled as washable, we assume that the manufacturer has tested the fabric accordingly. However, this is not always the case.Some dyes on washable garments may bleed during a washing procedure suggested by the care label. Most pastel colours have a greater degree of colour fastness. It is not advisable to wash dark coloured garments with other items . If the article is multicoloured, a colour fastness test should be done before washing the garment.We do not advise having articles of this type drycleaned unless the garment also carries an appropriate drycleaning care label symbol. When customers bring these garments here for processing,we must process the articles according to the care label otherwise, there is no redress from the retailer.

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