Cleaning a silk sofa is a snap, thanks to the simple three-step procedure. Using a moist cloth and a vacuum, you begin the process of cleaning the upholstery. However, if such techniques are done hastily, discoloration can occur.
Read on to learn about the dos and don’ts of caring for a silk sofa. Also, if you have a velvet sofa, we’ve prepared a separate article on how to clean it. Although silk and velvet are both exquisite to the touch and the eye, adequate care is essential.
What Is Silk?
Insects create silk as a material for their nests and cocoons, and it is a renewable resource. Many insects, including silkworms, beetles, honey bees, bumble bees, hornets, weaver ants, and many more kinds, create silk. When it comes to silk, sheen and softness are hallmarks of the material, which is made up of the protein fibroin.
What Is the History of Silk Production?
Silk was first found in China in a child’s grave, where it was used to wrap the body of the deceased. For a long time, China was the world’s leading producer of silk, which was initially reserved for the Emperor. Silk was employed as a unit of currency by the Chinese, and prices were expressed in silk lengths. In the Middle Ages, the Silk Road was a well-known trade route that connected Eastern and Western businesses. Its name has been preserved to this day.
Silk manufacture eventually migrated to countries like Korea, Thailand, India, and Europe. Finally, in the seventeenth century, the substance reached the shores of the United States of America. Silk was introduced to the colonies by King James I, but it was out of reach for many of the country’s early residents. Silk manufacture in the United States was centered on Patterson, New Jersey, and Manchester, Connecticut, until World War II disrupted commerce and production, leading to the development of synthetic materials like nylon.
How Is Silk Made?
In order to produce silk, silkworms must be harvested. This is known as sericulture.
- Mulberry leaves are the larvae’s main source of nutrition.
- They spin a cocoon after numerous rounds of moulting. When exposed to air, the silk becomes solid. Typically, this process takes between two and three days.
- The pupae are killed by dropping the cocoon into a kettle of boiling water.
- Brushing the cocoon removes the silk filament.
- Weaved or knitted cloth or spun yarn are made from raw silk.
A pound of raw silk requires approximately 2500 silkworms to spin it. With 48 silk filaments per thread, each cocoon contains a mile-long spool. Crepe (a rough crinkled texture), organza (a thin, sheer fabric), and chiffon (a sheer fabric) are all examples of distinct types of weaves (a lightweight, plain-weave fabric with a slight stretch).
Other benefits of silk include: It has a lovely sheen and is highly absorbent.
- Texture. Silk has a lustrous shine that lends it a high-end and opulent appearance.
- Longevity and sturdiness. Even though it loses some of its strength when wet, this natural fiber is one of the strongest. Adding sturdiness to silk by using other fibers, such as cotton, is common.
- Elasticity. Because of its pliability, this fabric is perfect for both clothing and upholstery.
- Absorbency. Silk is a highly absorbent fabric, making it an excellent choice for garments.
Silk, on the other hand, has a number of downsides, including:
- The clinging of static electricity. Static electricity is a common occurrence due to the material’s poor electrical conductivity.
- Shrinkage. Because silk shrinks when washed, it is recommended that garments made from silk be dry-cleaned or that the fabric be washed prior to construction.
8 Primary Uses for Silk Fabric
There are surprising applications for silk, such as in bicycle tires and medicine, as well as in clothing and home products. Since silk has low conductivity, it’s ideal for winter apparel as well as summer clothing due to its absorbent and moisture-wicking characteristics. Some examples of the material’s many applications are shown here.
- Bridesmaid and prom dresses. As a result of silk’s lovely drape and the long, flowing strands of yarn on one side, it is frequently used in gowns and dresses.
- Scarves and ties. Because of its durability and wide range of color variations, this material is perfect for use in fashion accessories. High-end ties often feature hefty silk, which allows for finely woven designs, vibrant colors, and a long-lasting, robust material. Decorative scarves can be made of silk as well as warm ones.
- Bedding. In the bedroom, silk sheets are the epitome of luxury, thanks to their softness and absorbency.
- Parachutes. Nylon has supplanted silk as the material of choice for parachutes due to its superior strength and stretchability.
- Upholstery. Fabrics like silk are commonly used to cover furniture and pillows because of their sturdiness and long-lasting nature.
- Decorative items for the walls. Silk is a popular choice for decorative wall hangings because of its beauty and dynamic reaction to colors and dyes.
- Tires for bicycles. The material’s lightness, resilience, and flexibility make it a popular choice for tire casings. The casings can also be constructed of nylon and cotton because silk is pricey.
- Sutures used in surgery. Silk, a naturally occurring substance, offers a wide range of medical applications. There is no immunological response and the substance cannot be absorbed by the human body.
How To Clean Silk Sofa Upholstery Correctly
Step 1. Vacuum the sofa
- Vacuuming is the finest method for cleaning a silk couch.
- Use the vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to get into those hard-to-reach places all over the sofa.
- Clean one piece at a time, being sure to clean the spaces between the cushions and the backrest, as well as between the cushions and armrests.
- Every week, vacuum the silk furniture to keep dirt and dust from accumulating, which could discolor and generate odors.
Step 2. Clean the upholstery with a damp cloth
- Underneath the cushions of your silk sofa, look for the care tag.
- Clean your sofa in accordance with the manufacturer’s upholstery cleaning code for the type of silk and materials used.
- There are three cleaning codes: W (water-based cleaning), S (solvent-based cleaning), and X (vacuum-only cleaning).
- Using a moist towel, you may safely clean most types of sofa silk.
- Soak a soft towel in a mixture of mild laundry detergent and cold water for cleaning.
- Wipe down the entire sofa with a damp cloth.
- Make a small place on your silk sofa damp with a damp cloth and wait for a minute or two to see if there are any reactions.
Step 3. Allow the sofa to dry
- Allow the silk sofa to air dry after cleaning it off with a moist cloth.
- When cleaning the silk sofa, avoid drenching it in any liquids and try to keep it in an area that is well-ventilated.
- If you can’t bring the couch outside, open the doors and windows in the room so that fresh air may circulate.
- Due to its delicate nature, avoid placing the silk sofa in direct sunlight or near any source of heat, such as heat vents or blow dryers.
Is It Okay To Get Silk Wet?
If the care tag from the maker permits it, getting silk wet should be no problem. Different types of silk are more delicate than others, and this is something to keep in mind if you plan on using your silk garments in the rain. When they get wet, silk materials can soften, bleed, shrink, or even discolor.
The silk upholstery should be handled with care and not saturated in water if deep cleaning is required. Wet shrinkage is a concern if the sofa’s silk fabric is not pre-shrunk. You may also need to remove water stains from the sofa if the material is not suitable for washing by using water.
How Do You Get Stains Out Of Silk?
- In order to avoid damaging the silk strands, clean up spills and stains as soon as they occur.
- Do not use a scrubbing or pressing motion on the cloth, since this will spread the mess even further.
- By pressing a damp white cloth on a small area and testing for color transfer, you may see if the silk upholstery will bleed.
- You can find the suggested cleaning products by checking the silk label.
- It is better to use white vinegar mixed with lukewarm water in equal parts to spot cure some stains on silk garments because soapy water requires more dabbing, which might harm the material.
- To make stain removal on the sofa easier, use cornstarch or baking soda to absorb up oil first.
- Allow the silk to dry after stain removal, but avoid exposing it to excessive heats.
How Do You Restore Shine To Silk?
- Check the care label on the silk to see if there are any further instructions.
- Use 14 cup of white vinegar for every gallon of warm water to make a solution.
- Spray a piece of cloth with the solution and apply it to a piece of silk to see how it reacts.
- To proceed, if there is no color transfer or texture alteration, you can continue
- Remove the silk covers from the vinegar solution and soak them in it.
- Drain and pat dry using a clean towel.
- Remove the remaining liquid by pressing another towel on top of it.
- Silk can be dried on a hanger.
7 Tips on How to Maintain Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs
Fluff Up Your Cushions
Because cushions are constructed of soft material, they are frequently sat on, jumped on (if you have hyperactive children), and flattened out. When the upholstery loses its shape, so does the material.
So slap, prod, and light-punch them regularly to keep their natural shape and keep them comfortable for years to come. Just a few minutes of your time is all that is needed to reap the benefits.
By preventing the seams from being over-stressed by odd shapes and twists, protecting the contour of your cushions helps keep your upholstery in top condition.
As a result, the amount of fluffing required for each cushion varies. For example, fluff more for super-soft cushions and less for harder ones.
Avoid Direct Sunlight on Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs
Avoid exposing your premium fabrics, like leather or leatherette, to direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Sunlight’s UV rays wreak havoc on your upholstery’s quality and lifespan.
Keep your favorite upholstered furniture out of direct sunlight by lowering the blinds or moving it to a more shady location when you need a little sun exposure.
Flip Your Upholstery Cushions Over
Depending on how often they are used, you should rotate your upholstered cushions (both the seat and the back cushions). Your upholstery will wear evenly and your cushions will retain their form for a longer period of time if you follow these tips.
On three-seat upholstered sofas, pay special attention to the cushions in the middle. People tend to avoid sitting in the middle of the plane because they prefer to sit on the side with the armrests. In order to ensure even wear, cushion shape preservation, and protection of the two side seats’ upholstery, swap out the center cushions on your couches with those on the sides on a regular basis if they are comparable.
Invest in Stain Protection Products for Your Upholstery
Ask your furniture retailer and professional upholstery cleaners about the type of upholstery you have and the finest stain protection for it. As a result of the additional layer of protection provided by professional stain protection applied to your upholstery, it becomes easier to clean. UV rays from the sun might also cause damage if you use stain protection like these.
Vacuum Clean Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs Regularly
Your upholstery will suffer more harm if you put it off vacuuming. Everything in your house, including your upholstery, accumulates dust. When you sit on your couches and chairs, the weight of your body pushes the dust further into the upholstery fibers. Without regular cleaning, dust works as an abrasive, causing microscopic cuts and scrapes in your upholstery, resulting in accelerated wear and tear.
It’s a good idea to vacuum your upholstered sofas and chairs every time you do your normal house cleaning.
Keep the Tags Attached to Your Upholstered Furniture
A tag is usually applied to the upholstery of newly purchased or recently reupholstered furniture. In the event that you need to re-upholster or clean your upholstered furniture, you’ll need to know the style, fabric numbers, delivery date, body, and content of the cushions listed on this tag. Make a copy and store it someplace safe in case you ever need it again.
Hire a Professional Upholstery Cleaner to Deep Clean Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs Once a Year
An annual visit from a professional upholstery cleaner guarantees that your upholstered furniture is thoroughly cleaned, something that a simple cleaning will not do. Certain difficult-to-remove stains from upholstery can only be handled by professionals.
It’s important to find an upholstery cleaner that uses hot water extraction and antimicrobial cleaning solutions to ensure that your upholstered furniture looks and smells its best.
The sooner you bring in the pros, the sooner you can get your upholstered furniture back to looking its best. Annual deep cleaning of your upholstered furniture maintains both its aesthetic appeal and comfort. It also extends the life of your upholstery, which is a critical function.
Silk is a beautiful fabric to use in your living room furnishings. You must first learn how to clean a silk sofa to preserve its luxury feel and appearance. Vacuuming is sufficient in most cases, but water and a little detergent can be used as well.
In order to ensure the sofa’s cleanliness, it is important to check the sofa’s cleaning code. There you go. We sincerely hope that this advice has helped you determine whether or not you are capable of caring for a silk couch.