Smelly Silk Sweater
July 11, 2006 12:12 AM   Subscribe

How do I get the fishy smell out of a silk (well, silk and cashmere blend) sweater?

I'm not even sure what's causing it. At first I thought the smell was due to some weird reaction between the dry cleaner's chemicals and my perfume or lotion, but I've since caught a whiff of it around store displays of silk shirts. Getting the sweater wet seems to make the smell worse so Fabreeze isn't much help.

Is there anyone who a.) has experienced this and can tell me I'm not smellucinating and b.) found a way to fix the problem?
posted by chickletworks to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This article should answer your question. Also see here.

Good Luck, submitter.
posted by ifranzen at 12:36 AM on July 11, 2006

Thanks for the advice!

I did see the second article when I Googled, but I'm not sure if it's applicable because I'm fairly certain this smell has nothing to do with actual fish (unless they treat the fabric with something derived from fish...?)

Dry cleaning doesn't seem to help (the sweater in question just came back from the cleaners) and I'd like to avoid washing the delicate fabric in any harsh detergents, if possible.

Any other suggestions?
posted by chickletworks at 12:47 AM on July 11, 2006

A comment here says "Turns out that the gummy substance, seracin, that holds a silk cocoon together, smells like fish. If the seracin is not completely removed during processing the silk, the resulting product will smell fishy"

There's a livejournal comment thread on the same problem, here which recommends using Synthrapol to get rid of it without damaging the item.

This page says "The most commonly asked question about noil is about removing the odor. The best way to remove this odor is to rinse the fabric in a baking soda/water solution after each wash. Dry Cleaning is NOT effective."

And here, if all else fails "just wash multiple times and eventually the smell will go away"
posted by slightlybewildered at 1:14 AM on July 11, 2006

And one more, slightly discouraging answer: this fabric expert says that you should return an item to the store if it smells like this.
posted by slightlybewildered at 1:30 AM on July 11, 2006

Thanks, everybody!
posted by chickletworks at 6:48 AM on July 11, 2006

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