Seasons of silk

I'm planning to buy my very first (!) silk shirt and was wondering if silk is a seasonal fabric, and if so which? Also, anything I should know about silk care?

(It's an olive tab-sleeve camp shirt so cut and color will work for all seasons.)

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22 Comments

  • Kate replied 8 years ago

    I wear my silk dress year round and hand wash with normal laundry soap (and hang dry). I'm probably breaking all kinds of rules, and I know that I should have washed it differently to keep the sheen of the silk. It's more matte now, but I don't mind.

  • Astrid replied 8 years ago

    I have one silk blouse and wear this one year round. I just throw a cardigan over it in winter. Like Kate I just hand wash the blouse with my other hand wash things, I'm sure you can do better. No idea about the silk care, I'm not so good with laundry rules.

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    I do think that long sleeve silk blouses are a fall/winter item. I dry clean my good silk blouses. OT -- I purchased a short sleeve blouse in March, part of a spring collection. It accidently went in the washing machine and dryer and shrank quite a bit. It needs to find a new home now. : (

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 8 years ago

    For me, it depends on the weight and finish of the silk. If it is a lighter weight fabric that has a bit of sheerness, then it is summer only or as a layering piece in fall/winter. Heavier silks are year round for me. I might consider a raw silk (slubby texture) more of a fall winter fabric too.

    I wash in the machine on the hand wash cycle in cold water and hang to dry unless I forget and put them in the dryer but I always use the low setting.

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    I wear silk blouses year round, even with long sleeves. The fabric seems to be warm in winter and cool in summer. I hand wash with a mild soap and hang or lay flat to dry. Usually by smoothing out the fabric when wet no pressing is necessary. If it is, do it on the wrong side with a cool iron or steam lightly.

  • Diana replied 8 years ago

    I also wear my silk blouses year round, although I avoid them on super hot, humid days primarily because certain types of silk show sweat/water very easily. In the winter, I layer under or over them (I like them with a waistcoat!).

    I also hand wash and hang to dry, and see no ill effects.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    I wear year round (unless the style is super floaty/summery) and I wash with Dryel.

  • chewyspaghetti replied 8 years ago

    I think it just depends on the weight/finish/style. Silk can absolutely be worn year round, though. It has a natural tendency to keep you warm in winter, and cool in summer- and is also naturally fire resistant. Silkworms are very intolerant to temperature changes (I killed a batch during a heatwave that we were raising for a school project one summer), so their cocoon needs to be insulating. Think about the cold winter in Japan- where they traditionally have worn silk for centuries.
    *Class Dismissed!* LOL

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    Good to hear of these silk washing stories since my mod silk shift cost $15 to dry clean last week! That's 2/3 the price of the dress for Pete's sake!! I will try to hand wash in the sink next time.

  • Heather replied 8 years ago

    I wear silk year round. I so hope the JCrew camp shirt works out for you!

    I only dry clean my silk (a blouse shouldn't be too bad).

    Malina: $15 to DC a shift! I thought $8/dress was steep! Lawd!

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    I wear silk on it's own in Summer only. Layered with something else in Spring and Autumn - sometimes.

    If I lived in a warmer city, I would wear more silk. In HK, I would wear silk year round.

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    I wear silk blouses and shirts year round but I need to layer over a jackest if it is too cold. I LOVE the feeling of silk against the skin - I think this is how luxury feels!:-)
    I always hand wash my silk and never had any issues with that. Actually I believe that hand washing is much gentler on this delicate fabric that chemicals. Think about it: silk is one of the most ancient fabrics in the world used for hundreds of years - why do you need modern chemicals to clean it?
    I usually use a bit of my shampoo to wash it, then rinse it and hang to dry without wringing. The water should be tepid and the same temperature for washing and rinsing

  • Jonesy replied 8 years ago

    I wear my silk tops all year round. I only wear silk bottoms in the warmer months, because of the static cling issues. I typically hand wash them, then hang them to dry. I have a deep love of silk tops. They seem to repel odor--you can hang them up after wearing them and the underarm smell will just disappear (TMI? Sorry if I've grossed you out!). They are surprisingly durable, and they are so comfy in the heat as well as cooler weather. Are you going to get the J. Crew one, or did you find one even better ;)?

  • Ruby Tuesday replied 8 years ago

    I love silk, it's year round for me too and some of it is machine washable!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks everyone! Good to know that it's an all season fabric, just depends on weight (which is what I was hoping for!). And thanks especially for all the information about care; I don't know why I had it in my head that it was some extremely delicate fabric that I couldn't handle caring for, sounds like it's durable just needs hand washing/dry cleaning (easy enough).

    Khris, thank you for the detailed mini-lesson!

    Angie, regarding not wearing often in the fall/winter is this because you run cold or because you feel it should be worn in warmer temperatures? I must admit that I wear short sleeve tops year round 0:)

    Jonesy, yep the JCrew one in the same pretty green! Just working on determining which size and then I'll order :D Silk bottoms! That sounds like.. if you were hot and sweated.. that it'd look sticky? :o

  • Barbara replied 8 years ago

    Aida, I love silk tops!

    I prefer a raw silk/rayon blend for it's nubby texture and comfort in a hot climate. Charmeuse silk tops are beautiful, but I find they don't breathe as well. If possible, choose washable silks to save a small fortune on dry-cleaning!

    Here's some good info on silk fabrics:

    http://www.magicalsilk.com/silktypes.html

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    I am really enjoying all this information about silk, and it's nice to hear it can be hand washed.

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for the link Barbara, great info in there! I've no idea which type the shirt I'm getting is but I'll find out when it arrives.

    Lisa, I'm also glad to hear it can be handwashed as I generally am way too lazy to get to the drycleaner 0:)

  • Freckles replied 8 years ago

    I'm always cold in a fine silk blouse but love raw silk.

    My sister, who is much warmer blooded than I, loves silk long underwear in the winter for warmth so if you're a warm person I'd say it's year round for you with perhaps a light layer in the winter.

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    Mmmm...I love silk. I wear it all year round - on its own in summer and layered under jackets and sweaters in the fall and winter. It's such a forgiving and breathable fabric.

  • nicoleb replied 8 years ago

    I aquired a few silk tops this year from thrift stores so, so far i've only worn for spring and summer. Not sure if i'll continue wearing once it gets really cold as they are pretty light fabrics and i'm not sure if layering a sweater over it will cut it.

    And i'm the same as rae -- i use Dryel too!

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Thanks ladies! Glad to know there are many who do wear silk year round, I'm hoping that I'll be able to wear this top fall, winter, and spring :D

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