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Can You Dry Silk in the Dryer Without Ruining It? (2024)

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can you dry silk in the dryerYou’re worried your silk dress might shrink like a raisin if tumble dried improperly. No need to fret! With a few precautions, you can confidently wash your silks without damage.

Follow the garment’s care instructions, wash gently by hand or machine, and line dry only.

Handle wet silk with care, smoothing out wrinkles and shaping garments before they fully dry. With a delicate touch, your silks will keep their vibrant colors and beautiful drape for years to come.

Though delicate, silk responds well to careful washing – no need to waste money on dry cleaning when simple home care will keep your investment as lovely as the day you bought it.

Key Takeaways

  • Machine drying silk is possible, but using low heat helps avoid damage.
  • Put silk items in a mesh bag before machine drying.
  • Letting silk air dry is the best way to dry it.
  • Fold silk clothing loosely and store it in cool, dark places.

Should You Dry Silk in the Dryer?

Should You Dry Silk in the Dryer
Whether machine drying silk bedding is safe often perplexes consumers. We recommend avoiding the dryer when possible because its heat, friction, and dehydration jeopardize silk’s delicate fibers.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Silk in the Dryer

You’d be heartbroken if your treasured silk sheets shrank into useless rags. Experts advise against drying silk in the dryer to avoid five common problems:

  1. Shrinkage
  2. Loss of sheen
  3. Wrinkling
  4. Color fading
  5. Weakening of fibers

Instead, opt for gentler methods like air drying on a line or flat surface out of direct sun.

When You Can Put Silk in the Dryer

You certainly can dry silk in the dryer if needed, but it’s best done cautiously at a low temperature to avoid potential shrinkage and damage. The safest option is air drying, yet the dryer can work when using the low or no heat setting.

First place silk items in a mesh bag, then promptly remove them when dried to prevent overdrying. Closely monitor the drying process, as excess heat risks damaging silk’s delicate fibers and beauty. Proceed carefully when machine drying silk and rely on air drying whenever possible for ideal care of silk pillowcases and sheets.

Hand Washing Silk

Hand Washing Silk
While machine washing silk in cold water on delicate can work, hand washing may be best for your prized silk pieces.

  1. Fill a basin with cool, distilled water and add a tiny amount of mild soap.
  2. Fully immerse and gently swish the silk item to release dirt.
  3. Don’t wring, twist or scrub the silk which can damage delicate fibers.
  4. Drain the water, refill the basin, and rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.

Gently squeeze out excess moisture and lay the silk flat on a towel. Reshape while damp to minimize wrinkles. Air dry out of direct sunlight. With this more meticulous approach, you can keep silk looking beautiful and prevent shrinkage.

Proper hand washing maintains the vibrancy, feel and longevity of your treasured silk pieces.

Machine Washing Silk

Machine Washing Silk
When machine washing silk, treat it like a newborn babe and use only the gentlest of cycles, lest its delicate fibers become damaged.

Cycle Water Temp Detergent Drying Method
Delicate/Handwash Cold Mild, enzyme-free Air dry flat
Delicate/Handwash Cold Silk-specific Low heat dryer
Delicate/Handwash Cold Mild, enzyme-free Hang to dry
Delicate/Handwash Cold Silk-specific Lay flat to dry

Machine washing silk bedding requires special care. Use a gentle cycle, cold water, and mild detergent. Silks should be washed separately from other fabrics. After washing, avoid high heat drying to prevent damage.

Either lay flat or line dry to best maintain silk’s beauty. With proper techniques, your silk bedding can be safely machine washed at home. Handle silk gently, as you would something precious, and it’ll retain its shimmering elegance for years to come.

Drying Silk After Washing

Drying Silk After Washing
There are some precautions needed when drying silk bedding in the dryer. If you must use a dryer, be sure to use the lowest heat setting, and remove items promptly once dry to prevent wrinkling. You can then use a cool iron to gently remove any lingering wrinkles. It’s best to avoid over-drying silk items.

Take them out periodically to check if they are dry. This will help prevent damage from excess heat. Hang drying silk bedding is ideal if you have the space and time. It allows the fabric to dry slowly without exposure to heat.

Just make sure to hang items flat or on a drying rack to prevent stretching the delicate material.

How to Dry Silk Bedding in the Dryer

It’s best to be cautious if you must dry your silk sheets in the machine. Use the air fluff or no heat setting. Toss the sheets in a mesh bag first to prevent friction damage. Stop the dryer every 5-10 minutes to check for wrinkles and remove them promptly before they set.

Silk dries fast, so don’t over-dry. Quickly line dry or steam any remaining moisture to restore luster.

Remove Wrinkles With an Iron

After drying silk in the low heat dryer, grab the steam iron and gently release wrinkles by hovering over the fabric.

  • Set the iron to the silk or delicate setting.
  • Place a press cloth between the iron and silk.
  • Use an up and down motion rather than pushing and pulling to prevent stretching the delicate fibers.

    Ironing silk requires care to avoid damaging the material. Test on an inconspicuous area before ironing visible portions. Allow the silk to cool completely before wearing or storing it to lock in the shape.

Best Drying Methods for Silk

Best Drying Methods for Silk
Isn’t line drying the safest bet for preserving your silk’s sheen? By letting it air dry naturally, you protect those precious threads from heat damage. The key to silk preservation is never exposing it to high temperatures that could harm its fibers.

Air drying on a clothesline or using a fan is ideal for drying your silk pillowcase while maintaining its beauty and durability. For faster drying, you can also hang silk in a steamy bathroom where the moisture helps release wrinkles.

If heat’s unavoidable, use the lowest setting on your dryer or carefully iron with a cool iron. However you choose to dry your silk, always handle it gently and avoid direct sunlight to keep it looking its best for years to come.

With some simple care, your silk can retain its luxurious feel and luminous look.

Storing Silk Items

Storing Silk Items
You’ll want to store your silk items properly to maintain their beauty. Fold silk clothing loosely before placing in drawers or on shelves. Use acid-free tissue paper between folds to prevent creasing. Store silk in cool, dark places away from direct light and heat which can damage fibers over time.

Place silk items in breathable cotton pillowcases or garment bags, never plastic. Hang silk clothing on wide, padded hangers to retain shape. Button closures, tie sashes, and wrap waist ties to prevent strain.

Check stored silk regularly for pest damage. Freshen with cedar blocks, dried lavender sachets, or vodka-soaked cotton balls.

With proper storage, silk can remain pristine for decades, becoming heirlooms to pass down.

Caring for Silk Bedding

Caring for Silk Bedding
You can dry your silk pillowcases in the dryer, but it’s best to avoid it. The heat of the dryer can damage the delicate silk fibers, causing them to become dry and brittle. For the preservation of silk, air drying is always preferable. Hang or lay your silk pillowcases flat to dry, away from direct sunlight.

If you must use the dryer, place your silk pillowcases in a mesh bag and use the lowest heat setting.

Proper care is key for your silk bedding. To maintain their beauty, wash in cold water with a gentle detergent. Avoid bleach or fabric softener. If wrinkles develop, use a cool iron on the reverse side with a press cloth.

With some simple precautions, you can enjoy the luxurious feel of silk pillowcases for years to come.


You can dry silk in the dryer, but it’s best to avoid it if possible. Silk is delicate and can be easily damaged by heat and tumbling. If you must use the dryer, wash and dry silk separately from other fabrics. Use the lowest heat setting, a mesh bag, and remove promptly when dry.

With proper care, your beautiful silk pillowcases, sheets and clothing can remain luxurious and last for years. Handle silk gently, wash in cool water with a mild detergent, and let it dry naturally.

Silk rewards those who care for it properly.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.