Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)

Have you ever wanted to own a piece of real silk clothing but hesitated because you thought it was too delicate and expensive to maintain? Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a solution – washable silk! 

Washable silk is real silk. It is just treated with chemicals that make the texture and feel of washable silk slightly different than the traditional silk and machine-washable.

Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)
Credit: canva

But what exactly is it, and how does it differ from regular silk? Let’s find out! 

Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)
Hand washing silk clothes. Credit: canva

Is Washable Silk Real Silk?

Yes, it’s still a real silk product; it’s just treated and modified to be washable in the machine, more durable, and easy to care for.

What is It?

So, you may have heard of “washable silk” and wondering if it’s the real deal.

Well, here’s the deal: washable silk is a thing, but it’s not the same as traditional silk.

First off, let’s talk about how traditional silk is made.

Silk is produced by silkworms, which spin cocoons made of silk thread. These cocoons are harvested, and the silk thread is unwound and woven into fabric.

Here’s where washable silk (or machine-washable silk) comes in.

Machine-washable silk is still crafted from delicate silk thread, albeit with a few significant modifications. A unique water and stain-resistant chemical finish are added to the fiber before it is woven into its final form.

This means you can throw the garment in the washing machine, and it’ll look as good as before. Pretty cool, right?

The Characteristics

Although it has a distinct texture that may differ from classic silk, some people have contended that it compromises the innate qualities of regular silk.

The colors also tend to be richer, more profound, and colorfast. That is because, unlike traditional silk, the dyeing process is applied to the garment, not the fabric yarns.

Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)
Traditional silk. Credit: canva

Washable Silk vs. Traditional Silk: What’s the Difference?

Here are some critical differences:

Care

Washable silk can be thrown in the washing machine and dried on low heat.

On the other hand, traditional silk requires dry cleaning or hand washing with mild detergent.

Durability

Washable silk is treated with a unique chemical finish that makes it incredibly resilient to water and other stains and longer lasting. Traditional silk is more delicate and can be easily damaged if not handled properly.

Texture

While some might express that washable silk is perceptibly distinct in texture and feel compared to traditional silk, others would likely disagree. The chemical finish might change the natural properties of silk.

Colorfastness

Washable silk dyes are more colorfast, meaning the color will stay longer and not fade easily.

Price

Traditional silk is often considered a luxury fabric and is generally more expensive than washable silk.

Personal preference

It all comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the luxurious feel of traditional silk, while others prefer the easy care and durability of washable silk.

Remember that manufacturers may have different methods and materials for creating the fabric, so that the final product may vary slightly.

Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)
Credit: canva

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy care: You can throw it in the washing machine and dry it on a low heat setting, making it a convenient option for everyday wear.
  • Durable: It is engineered with a chemical finish, making it resistant to water and stains for greater longevity.
  • Colorfastness: It dyes are more colorfast, meaning the color will stay longer and not fade quickly.
  • Price: It’s less expensive than traditional silk

Cons

  • Texture: Some people argue that it has a slightly different texture and feel than traditional silk because the chemical finish might change the natural properties of silk.
  • Personal preference: Some people prefer the luxurious feel of traditional silk over its easy care and durability.
  • Not as breathable: Because of the chemical finish, it may not be as breathable as traditional silk.
  • Not as moisture-wicking: The chemical finish may not be as moisture-wicking as traditional silk.

Remember that these pros and cons are based on general observations and may vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific product.

Is Washable Silk Real Silk? (Chemical Treatment)
Thai silk clothes. Credit: canva

FAQs

Where is washable silk typically made?

It is typically made in countries with lower labor costs, such as China or India. These countries have a long silk production tradition and the infrastructure and expertise to produce the silk.

This helps to keep the cost of the fabric affordable for consumers.

What are some benefits of washable silk?

Some benefits include its affordability, durability, and ease of care. This fabric is also soft and comfortable, making it a popular choice for clothing and bedding.

Why is washable silk becoming increasingly popular?

It is becoming increasingly popular for a few reasons:

  • Convenience: The ability to wash and dry in a machine makes it a convenient option for everyday wear. It eliminates the need for dry cleaning and hand washing, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Durability: The chemical finish makes it more resistant to water and stains, making it more durable than traditional silk. This is an attractive feature for those who want a silk garment that will last a long time.
  • Colorfastness: The dyes are more colorfast, meaning the color will stay longer and not fade quickly. This is an attractive feature for those who want a silk garment that will keep its color for a long time.
  • Price: It’s less expensive than traditional silk, making it more accessible to a broader range of consumers.
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