Sleeping on synthetic fibers can be an uncomfortable experience. Synthetic materials are usually hot and sticky during the summer months and chilly during the winter. Although cotton sheets are more comfortable to sleep on than sheets made with man made materials, they can be a bit coarse, especially if they don’t have a high thread count and they are prone to wrinkling. Silk sheets are the ultimate luxury for the restless sleeper. However, since they are a bit more expensive than other types of sheets, caring for silk sheets is an important concern.
Most silk sheets are designed to be machine washed on the delicate cycle in cold water. However, you should check for a label with washing instructions on your sheets before you assume they are machine washable. Some silk sheets must be hand washed in cold water instead.
No matter how you wash your sheets, don’t use a traditional laundry detergent or bleach. These chemicals are too strong for silk and can cause the silk to shatter, which is a condition where the silk fabric literally breaks apart. Instead, you should use a special silk safe detergent. In an emergency, you can try washing your sheets with Ivory soap, which is extremely mild.
Once you wash your sheets, it is time to dry them. Don’t wring them out to remove any of the water still on them, because they are just too delicate to handle this. Instead, you can gently shake the sheets to remove some of the water and then hang them carefully across an indoor clothesline or drying rack until they dry.
Using a dryer to dry your sheets is a bad idea, since the heat could cause the silk to shatter. Even if the sheets come out of the dryer looking unharmed, they will not last as long as air dried sheets because the heat makes the silk threads very brittle. Drying sheets on a clothesline outdoors is a bad idea for the same reason. After all, the sun can give off quite a lot of heat. In addition, sunlight can really damage the color of your silk sheets.
Finally, if you are overwhelmed at the thought of caring for your silk sheets, you may want to consider having them dry cleaned. Make sure that you let your dry cleaner know that the sheets are made with silk before you hand them over. A good dry cleaner knows exactly how to clean and iron silk without damaging it.