How to Iron silk fabrics safely? (7 easy steps)

The key to ironing a silk fabric is to use the lowest heat setting on your iron and place a piece of pressing cloth between your iron and the silk fabric. Alternatively, you can use steam to remove wrinkles and creases from clothes.

A thin piece of cotton cloth or a towel should do the trick and protect silk items from direct contact with the hot soleplates of your iron.

Also, to be on the safe side, iron silk fabrics are on the reverse side.

By doing so, you’ll be able to keep the surface glossy and prevent stains or marks.

To smooth stubborn wrinkles, spray the press cloth with water and place it over the silk fabric.

Next, move the iron slowly over the creases and wrinkles.

Just make sure not to apply excess pressure as the weight of the iron is more than sufficient to press silk items

Key Takeaways

  • Most irons these days have a dedicated setting for silk.
  • Although most irons feature a silk setting, it is still essential to look at your silk item’s care label to ensure it is safe to use with an iron.
  • Some silk items or clothing suggest dry-clean-only or may have a cross over the iron symbol. This means they need special attention and should not be pressed with an iron.
  • Always place a pressing cloth, thick cloth, or a towel between the iron and the fabric to avoid scorching or burning.
  • When ironing a silk garment, turn it inside out and iron from the inside to prevent any damage to the outer layer of the fabric.

How to iron silk fabric? (With care)

Ironing a silk fabric is a straightforward process, as you don’t have many options in the first place when it comes to ironing silk.

This is because silk does not like excess heat, which means you cannot directly press the hot soleplate of the iron on the fabric.

So, the standard protocol is to have a protective

Step 1: Place the clothes on the ironing board

Place the garment on an ironing board or on a flat, padded surface. You can also place a large towel over the ironing board to offer extra padding.

If you are using a flat surface instead of an ironing board, make sure the surface is padded with towels and sheets.

Step 2: Turn the garment inside out

Do not iron on the front side of the garment; instead, turn the silk garment inside out to press on the reverse side.

Step 3: Use a press cloth

As you lay your garment over the surface, make sure to smooth out any wrinkles or creases from the surface of the silk garment by running your hands over it.

Now, place a press cloth or a cotton sheet over the garment to avoid direct contact between the iron and silk item. Muslin cloth and towels can also be used to cover the silk items.

Step 4: Iron settings

Start by selecting low heat settings on your iron, or simply turn the dial to “silk” or any other delicate setting if available.

Turn on your iron and let it pre-heat for about a minute or two.

Step 5: Start ironing

Make sure the cloth placed over the silk item is evenly spread, and when you’re ready to begin, start ironing at the top of the garment and work your way down.

Make sure to use long, smooth strokes, and be careful not to apply too much pressure.

Keep inspecting the wrinkles by lifting the press cloth from the fabric and working on the areas accordingly. Doing this will also ensure that the fabric is safe and there’s no sign of scorching or marks.

Step 6: Mist the garment

If you come across any stubborn wrinkles, you can use the steam feature on your iron to help remove them.

However, if your iron does not feature steam, simply fill a spray bottle with clean water and slightly dampen the silk fabric, especially over the wrinkled surface.

Note – If you are using the steam feature on your iron without a press cloth, just hold the iron about an inch or two away from the fabric and let the steam do its work.

Step 7: Let the garment cool down

Let the iron and your silk garment cool down so that you can store your iron and wear your wrinkle-free garment.

With these simple tips, you’ll be able to obtain great results when ironing silk fabric, It might take a little more time, but it will help prevent damaging the delicate fabric.

How to unwrinkle silk without an iron?

If you are not comfortable ironing silk items, you may try a few different ways to unwrinkle silk garments without using an iron.

Let us see how.

Spray the wrinkled surface with water

If you notice wrinkles on the silk item, simply mist the surface with clean water, do not sprinkle too much water.

Gently run your hand over the wrinkled surface, and if your silk item is slightly thicker, stretch the surface slightly and then run your hand over it to smooth the wrinkles.

Let it air dry.

Handheld steamer

Using a handheld garment steamer is the best alternative to ironing silk items to remove wrinkles and creases from them.

If you want to use a steamer over a dry silk item, make sure to shake out or pat the garment to discharge dust from its surface.

Hang the silk item on a clothes hanger and turn on the steamer on a low setting.

Next, keeping a distance of about 6 to 8 inches from the garment, start running the steamer nozzle over the silk item.

Make sure to start working in an upward and downward motion until the wrinkles disappear from the surface of the silk garment.

Steam Shower

Offering steam to remove wrinkles from clothing has become a popular alternative to using conventional garment steamers.

This method works best for delicate fabrics like silk and other synthetics.

You can hang your silk garment in your bathroom and turn on the hot water to fill the bathtub or turn the steamer on for a few minutes.

At the same time, you can either take a shower or close the door and let the steam do the job for about 5 to 10 minutes.

This should be sufficient for the steam to penetrate into the fibers of the silk garment and smooth out wrinkles.

Finally, take the silk item out and let it air dry thoroughly before wearing or storing it away.

Laundromat or Dry cleaner

Some expensive garments made out of silk with beading and textures need special attention.

It is always best to take such garments to a professional and get them treated accordingly.

Wrinkle remover spray

You can use a commercial wrinkle-release spray on silk.

Spray the garment lightly, and then gently smooth out the wrinkles with your hands.

Just be sure to follow the instructions on the label, as some sprays may not be suitable for silk.

Can you steam 100% silk?

Steaming is a gentle, safe, and effective way to remove wrinkles from silk.

When steaming silk, be sure to use a low heat setting and hold the steamer a few inches away from the fabric.

Move the steamer gently back and forth across the wrinkles, and be careful not to hold it in one place for too long.

Furthermore, test the steaming method on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to make sure it doesn’t damage or discolor the silk.

Is it better to steam or iron silk?

Whether to steam or iron silk depends on the condition of the garment and personal preference.

Both methods can effectively remove wrinkles from silk, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Ironing can create a smoother finish and is better for removing stubborn wrinkles.

However, direct heat exposure and pressure may be damaging to silk if not done carefully.

Steaming is a gentler method and is better for delicate silks or garments with embellishments that could be damaged by direct heat or pressure.

Steaming can also be quicker and more convenient than ironing, as it can be done while the garment is hanging up.

Ultimately, the best method for removing wrinkles from silk depends on the condition of the garment, the care label’s recommendation, and personal preference.

It is important to always use a low heat setting and test any method on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to prevent damage.

Tip: If you are ironing the fabric, you can reduce the heat damage by placing a thick cloth over it and then doing the ironing as usual.

What’s the best type of surface-to-iron silk fabric?

Ideally, a smooth and flat surface that is heat-resistant and won’t snag or damage delicate fibers should be used to iron silk fabrics.

An ironing board with a padded cover meets that requirement and is a good option, as the padding in the ironing board can help to protect the fabric from direct heat.

That being said, if you don’t have an ironing board, you can use a clean, flat surface such as a table or countertop.

Just make sure to use a pressing cloth or towel to make it safer.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid surfaces that are textured or rough as this may cause damage to the fabric.

Final Thoughts

Silk is a delicate fabric and can be easily damaged by high temperatures and direct contact with the heated soleplates of the iron.

Make sure to always use a press cloth between the iron and your silk item and to press the garment on the wrong side.

You should avoid ironing silk clothes that have delicate embellishments like beading or sequins; instead, it’s best to take it to a professional laundromat or dry cleaner.

Finally, if you don’t want to iron your silk item it’s absolutely fine because you can use other ways to get wrinkles out from your garment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I iron silk fabric?

Yes, you can iron silk fabric, but it’s important to use a low-heat setting and a pressing cloth to protect the fabric from direct heat. Most importantly, you should always check the care label first, as some silk fabrics may be labeled “Do Not Iron.”

What temperature should I use to iron silk?

Silk is a delicate fabric and can be damaged easily by heat, so it’s important to use a low temperature. If your iron has a dedicated setting for silk, simply use it, or else choose the low-heat settings.

Do I need to use a pressing cloth when ironing silk?

Yes, it’s recommended to use a pressing cloth when ironing silk fabric as pressing cloth helps to protect the fabric from direct heat and prevent damage.

How do I store silk fabric to prevent wrinkles?

To prevent wrinkles in silk fabric, store it flat or rolled in a cool, dry place; it’s best to avoid hanging silk fabric, as this can cause stretching and distortion.

How do I prevent ironing marks on silk fabric?

To prevent ironing marks on silk fabric, always use a pressing cloth and iron the fabric from the inside. Also, avoid pressing too hard or making circular motions with the iron; this will help to keep the unwanted marks away.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)