The days when clothes held sentiment and history can seem so far from our present culture. When we’ve been taught to value all things new, swapping out old garments with lost buttons or holes is often our immediate impulse. Reversing the urge to consume more and more not only benefits the health of the planet, but can benefit our individual health too.
We benefit from our connection with others, and continuing the thread of maintaining unique pieces can hold a deep resonance. Here’s to substituting new, immediate rewards for the slow gratification that comes through thoughtful living! Hopefully these tips on mending silk garments are a great start to your practice.
You will need a container, a gentle detergent, and vinegar.
- Place your silk garment in a container and fill it with cold water.
- Take a gentle detergent like Dropps Unscented Sensitive Skin Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent and add this to the water. Lukewarm water should be the warmest water used - never use hot water on silk.
- Massage the fabric as you wash and rinse with cold water!
- Remove the fabric and gently squeeze the water out.
- Refill the container with cold water and 100 ml of vinegar.
- Place your silk in that container and rinse again.
- Place the silk garment on a towel to absorb the moisture without having to twist the silk and voila!
Fixing Silk Seams
You will need a ruler, fusible fabric, iron/ironing board, and a cloth.
- Measure the rip or hole with a ruler and cut a piece of one-sided fusible fabrics ½ inch longer and wider than the hole or rip. Note: Fusible fabrics can be found at craft and fabric stores. You will want the thinnest fusible fabric available!
- Use any small scissors to snip the jagged edges to the rip/hole. Then turn the garment inside out!
- Place the silk on an ironing board so that the underside of the garment is facing you. You will need to turn the garment inside out.
- Pull the edges of the rip/hole as close together as you can without bunching the fabric. Once you have the iron on a silk setting (the wool setting is suggested) you can place either a cloth or thin dish towel over the rip/hole and press the edges of the rip/hole flat.
- Remove the cloth/dish towel.
- Center the fusible fabric patch over the hole/rip, the adhesive side should be touching the fabric. Dampen the pressing cloth with water and place that on top of the fusible fabric patch.
- The final step - press the iron onto the cloth while the fusible patch lays underneath. Do this for the length of time the fusible fabric manufacturer suggests (this pressing of the cloth keeps you from scorching your delicate silk).
- Remove the cloth and turn your fabric right side out to discover your restored piece!
You may find that mended products require an extra gentle touch. When it comes to hand-washing these items, you can use Dropps Sensitive Skin Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent, as this product does not contain any enzymes. Enzymes can break down natural fibers so we always recommend a non-enzyme detergent for wool, silk, and linen! This bottled detergent allows for easy spot treatment on your newly mended wares and serves as a great addition when soaking your garments in a basin or sink!
We hope that this small introduction into mending inspires you this holiday season to choose quality over quantity - to invest in the treasures of your life and spend less on the things that put a dent in your wallet and the environment.