How to wash satin?
February 8, 2007 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I recently had some pyjamas made for me when I was in Vietnam. They are made of satin. How do you wash satin?
posted by yak sox to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It depends what the satin is made of. "Satin" describes a type of weave that results in that smooth fabric surface. Satin can be made of a few types of fibers, the most common of which are silk and polyester. If your pajamas are polyester, you can wash them. If they're silk -- well, some types of silk are washable, but you're probably better off having them dry cleaned. If you don't know what yours are made of, take them to a good cleaners and ask them to identify the fiber for you. If it seems like they're guessing, take them somewhere else.
posted by boomchicka at 7:02 PM on February 8, 2007

If you can find a few loose threads, take them off and burn them. Polyester will plasticize. Silk will turn to ash.

Oh, and what boomchicka said.
posted by alms at 7:05 PM on February 8, 2007

Ooh, nice tip about the different burning qualities, alms. That hadn't occurred to me.
posted by boomchicka at 7:06 PM on February 8, 2007

I gather that satin can also be made of rayon, which is processed cellulose. That would burn rather than melt, too.

I would suggest you contact the tailor and ask the source of the fabric.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:12 PM on February 8, 2007

Satin can also be made of wool, though that's pretty hard to find. And not likely to be what was used for your pajamas. :)

I recommend taking a tiny snip of fabric from one of the seam allowances (if you can, if it's not serged or something) and doing the fiber burn test. You can do this with a few threads as well, as alms suggested, but if you can get a bit more fabric it makes it easier.

It's likely that you can wash the pajamas in the delicate cycle and air-dry, no matter what fiber it is -- but if you are really worried, take it to the cleaner. Lots of items that claim to need dry cleaning really don't, though.
posted by litlnemo at 11:40 PM on February 8, 2007

Acetate is another common fibre for satin. Not washable.

I'm not good at all the other fibre burn tests (crushable bead, non-crushable bead, ash, etc) but the one for silk is easy. It smells like burning hair. Silk is keratin (a form of protein; see and so is hair.
posted by kika at 4:53 AM on February 9, 2007

Vietnam is well-known for their silk goods. I'd lay money you have silk PJs.
posted by Lame_username at 5:45 AM on February 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks folks. Artificial it is. In the machine they go.
posted by yak sox at 5:48 AM on February 9, 2007

I would recommend putting them in a sweater or lingerie bag to keep them from getting snags and pulls, or knotted up with the sleeves or legs of other clothes.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:58 AM on February 9, 2007

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