I Can Haz Nice Things?
March 27, 2015 4:56 PM   Subscribe

Thinking about using silk in two bedding projects. I have two cats and a toddler. Is this a terrible idea?

I have several small cuts of dupioni silk, most of it pretty, iridescent and with a nice slubby texture (not the smooth, satin-y stuff). [Example]. My understanding is that to retain the sheen, dupioni should be dry-cleaned. Also, I'm aware of the water-spotting issue, though the information I've found suggests that washing the fabric before sewing with it can eliminate the water-spotting problem. My larger question is whether this type of fabric is a really bad idea to use for a quilt and pillowcases for my bed. One of my cats likes to knead and sleeps with me. I also have a toddler who doesn't sleep with us, but does play on the bed a fair amount. Now, he's not eating peanut butter sandwiches there, but he's a kid and sometimes has stuff on his hands or whatever. The info I can find on silk is pretty mixed. One the one hand, some people recommend it for upholstery since it seems to repel cat hair, but on the other hand people seem to say it's delicate and finicky. I don't think snags would be as much as a problem with the thicker, slubby weave, but I really have no idea. Can anyone enlighten me on how silk lives with cats and babies? Should I just make myself a lot of coin purses?
posted by Kitty Stardust to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Dry cleaning, nah. Silk likes heat and acid, so you could wash it in a hot vinegar solution.

Silk has a lot of tensile strength (against ripping/tearing), but not a lot of strength against abrasion. Dense quilting can protect a quilt from wear, so if you were planning on machine quilting the quilt, that could work. If your cat's likely to knead pillowcases, I wouldn't use the silk for those.
posted by clavicle at 5:11 PM on March 27, 2015

I have washed dupioni before. It comes out much less crisp and MUCH less shiny. Watch a swatch and see how you like that texture. It doesn't lose any strength, but the hand does change significantly.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:38 PM on March 27, 2015

We have silk pillowcases my mother sewed from leftover fabric from my wedding dress. We put them on the extra two pillows that go on the bed during the day and are not used at night.

Or if you have a guest room that you keep made up, you could use the silk stuff in there, and either switch it out when you actually have guests stay, or just let them use it, knowing that at least that's probably only a few times a year instead of every night.
posted by lollusc at 5:59 PM on March 27, 2015

My family had a bunch of random silk shirts among the three of us, then I bought a few yards of an incredible magenta spotted green silk at a yard sale. The spotted silk became the backing for two quilted throws that stay folded up unless in use. Some of the other became a long quilted shawl, which is great to wrap up in while reading, or holding a little one. They have great use but are stored clear of the cats. I love these items, and use them all the time. I have worn out many bed quilts, hand made by my mom, these remain intact because of limited use.
posted by Oyéah at 8:03 PM on March 27, 2015

I would just make the things, and use them, and if they wear, they wear. Beautiful fabric, especially fabric that is beautiful because of how it feels, should be used, in my opinion. What good does it do put away safely?
posted by mythical anthropomorphic amphibian at 5:03 PM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

« Older My husband wants to build a house. I don't. Help.   |   Great Eggspectations Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.