Wearing & Caring for Silk Scarves


Dry cleaning is OK for silk, but washing is best.

Put a dab of mild detergent on any stain you see and then hand-wash in warm sudsy detergent water.

Rinse several times in warm water, eventually adding a dash of white vinegar to the rinse water to get all the detergent out of the silk, and then rinsing again to get rid of the vinegar too.

To restore the ‘hand’ of the silk, squirt a teaspoon or two of hair conditioner into hot water, agitate to dissolve it, add the silk and work the solution through the fabric.

Rinse thoroughly a final time, this time in cool water.

Blot in a towel and press while still quite damp with a hot iron, running the iron up against the hems instead of over the hems.  Allow the hems to dry fully before storing the scarf.

Never press a crease into silk because it may not be entirely removable.

Do not expose to prolonged sunlight (i.e., do not hang in a bright window for days on end).

To lessen creases after wearing, hanging in a warm moist shower area might help.  Try to avoid much creasing while wearing in the first place by not tying the scarf very tightly.

WEARING THEM. Many of these scarves have artful patterns designed to be seen when the scarf simply hangs from the shoulders, but unfortunately silk scarves do require greater or lesser knotting to prevent them from falling into one’s way while performing ordinary tasks or from falling off and perhaps even going lost. The first rule about how to wear a scarf is to not worry about the knot and to experiment freely and frequently, even allowing the scarf to be almost a plaything, a talisman, a comfort to the touch and the eye as one tries different arrangements. The second is to just occasionally wear the scarf so that it freely hangs from the shoulders, as long as the wind isn’t blowing and the wearer is not busy doing anything besides standing and looking pretty. The wearer will learn tying methods for all moods that are just the right combination of pragmatism and comeliness for that pair – herself and that scarf. Even a quiet scarf can be made to be flamboyant, and a vibrantly colorful one to be subdued somewhat with a sober tie.

The scarves look great on black or on white (and especially good on black or white when there is black or white in the silk). They look even better on complementary colors and on colors to be found in the silk.