Drying Silk Pajamas: Preserve Their Luxury & Softness

Silk pajamas are a luxurious garment that feels absolutely wonderful against the skin. 

However, because silk is a delicate material made from natural protein fibers, it requires special care when laundering and drying to maintain its soft and lustrous quality.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the proper techniques for drying your silk pajamas.

With some basic knowledge and the right approach, you can safely dry your silk bedwear while preserving that supple silk goodness for years of cozy slumber.

towel drying beige silk shirt gently

Why Proper Drying Matters for Your Silk Pajamas

Silk has an extremely fine, smooth texture that needs gentle handling, especially when wet.

If not dried properly, silk fabric can weaken, shrink, lose its shape, and become less vibrant over time.

Potential risks of incorrect drying methods include:

  • Fabric damage – Silk fibers are fragile when wet and can break if handled roughly or exposed to friction and heat. This causes tears, snags, and irreversible harm.
  • Shrinkage – Silk shrinks very easily if dried quickly or exposed to high heat. Even a 5% change in size can ruin the fit and drape of pajamas.
  • Yellowing – Heat damage during drying can give silk a yellowish tinge that ruins the luminous appearance.

So clearly, specific precautions are needed when drying your expensive silk nightwear if you want to enjoy them for years while maintaining that coveted silk sheen.

real silk fabric texture

Pre-Drying Steps: Prepare Your Silk Pajamas

Before drying silk pajamas, it’s essential to prep the garments properly:

  • Wash gently beforehand – Handwash or use the delicate cycle on your washing machine. Avoid detergents with dyes, fragrances, or brightening agents. Use a specialty soap for silk instead and wash in cool water.
  • Avoid wringing or twisting – Roll the wet pajamas in a towel to blot moisture instead of wringing, which can strain delicate silk fibers.
  • Check the care label – Follow any special washing or drying instructions from the manufacturer.
silk fabric care label

Gentle washing preserves the quality of silk and removes body oils and dirt that can stain fabric over time.

Just take care to minimize friction and leave plenty of moisture in the silk material for safe drying.

Can You Put Silk Pajamas in the Dryer?

I do not recommend machine drying for silk pajamas. Ever.

The tumbling motion and heat of a dryer, even on low settings, can damage fragile silk fabric and cause it to shrink excessively due to the loss of elasticity in silk fibers at high temperatures.

There’s also potential for snagging delicate material on the inside surface of the dryer drum. The metal heating element poses a burn risk too.

However, there may be some exceptions where machine drying silk is possible:

  • If the garment label specifically states “tumble dry low”.
  • Using a mesh bag may prevent some friction and shrinkage issues.
  • Adding several clean tennis balls can minimize tumbling action.
  • Taking the pajamas out several times through the cycle to check for any issues.

But for high-quality silk pieces, I’d stick to hand drying to be 100% safe.

silk cooling post iron process

The Best Way to Dry Silk Pajamas: Air Drying

Air drying is the single best method for drying silk garments like pajamas safely. It eliminates risks of mechanical damage and heat while being gentle on fabric.

Here is a foolproof process:

Choose the Right Location

Pick an indoor spot away from direct light or heating vents:

  • Do: On a drying rack in a shady, well-ventilated room
  • Do: Laid flat over bath towels on a spare bed
  • Avoid: Direct sunlight can fade colors and damage silk
  • Avoid: Near heaters where temperatures exceed 85°F

Prepare the Silk Fabric Properly

After gentle washing:

  • Roll pajamas in a towel to absorb excess moisture. Do not wring or twist silk material.
  • Smooth out garments and shape them to their original dimensions before drying. Silk stretches readily when wet.
  • For faster drying, use mesh hangers, towel roll inserts, or net bags to maximize airflow around silk fabric.
towel wrap drying beige silk shirt
beige silk shirt soft towel press
beige silk shirt careful towel padding

Allow Plenty of Drying Time

  • Silk takes longer to air dry than cotton fabrics.
  • Expect thick silk pieces like pajama sets to take 12-24 hours to dry fully this way.
  • Check periodically and smooth out wrinkles for best results.

With this method, your silk pajamas will dry slowly at safe temperatures without risk of shrinkage or damage.

indoor air drying beige silk shirt

Alternative Drying Methods

If air drying silk pajamas indoors won’t work with your timeline or environment, here are a couple gentle shortcuts:

Blotting with Towels

  • After washing, roll garments in a large towel to soak up moisture
  • Replace inner towels as needed to keep blotting fabric dry
  • Helps remove up to 50% of moisture quickly

Low Heat from Hairdryer

  • Use the no heat/cool setting only
  • Keep the dryer constantly moving over the fabric
  • Maintain a 12” distance to prevent localized heat damage
  • Still air dry the remainder of the moisture
silk smoothing with hair dryer

These techniques can rapidly remove excess moisture from silk after washing when needed.

But allowing pajamas to finish air drying is vital to prevent heat damage and shrinkage issues.

Do Silk Pajamas Shrink When Dried?

Silk shrinks readily when dried incorrectly:

  • High heat causes silk fibers to contract and deform.
  • Agitation like machine drying strains and tightens threads.
  • Overdrying makes silk fabric lose elasticity permanently.

To minimize shrinkage when drying:

  • Limit temperature to under 85°F
  • Smooth, shape and lay flat while still damp
  • Allow longer drying times

With care, pre-shrunk high-quality silk pajamas should experience ≤1% shrinkage over their lifetime.

soft real silk material

Is It Better to Air Dry Silk Pajamas?

Here is a comparison table of different drying methods for silk pajamas:

Drying MethodGentlenessAppearanceLifespan
Air DryingExcellentPreservedExtended
Tumble DryingPoorDiminishedShortened
Towel BlottingGoodMaintainedUnaffected
Cool HairdryerModerateAt RiskPotentially Reduced


  • Air drying is the gentlest method, keeping the silk fabric intact without friction or heat exposure that could damage fibers or visual appeal. It allows the longest usable lifespan.
  • Tumble drying introduces mechanical stress and heat that can shred, shrink, or discolor delicate silk. It severely shortens how long pajamas remain usable.
  • Blotting with towels removes moisture relatively gently without heat risks but does nothing to extend garment durability.
  • A cool hairdryer can be moderately gentle if used carefully but still poses some risk of uneven drying or localized heat damage. Too much exposure shortens lifespan somewhat.

So in summary, air drying provides the greatest fabric care for preservation of both the physical integrity and visual beauty of high-quality silk pajamas over many years of wear.

I’ve mastered the art of drying silk scarves to keep them vibrant and wrinkle-free.

silk fabric texture detail

Can You Dry Silk Pajamas With Heat?

It’s possible but risky to machine or tumble dry silk pajamas, even on warm or low heat settings. Direct heat can:

  • Cause 5-15% shrinkage
  • Strip oils that protect silk fibers
  • Introduce brittle areas through uneven drying
  • Give the fabric a dull, lifeless look over time

Minimize damage by:

  • Choosing a cool/delicate setting only
  • Removing promptly when the cycle ends
  • Laying flat immediately to cool
  • Spot heat smoothing remaining damp areas

With strict precautions, brief machine drying may work but air drying is far safer for keeping silk pajamas feeling supple and cozy for years.

elegant pure silk texture

Maintaining Silk Pajamas: Washing & Care Tips

To enjoy your silk pajamas for decades, integrate these care practices:


  • Handwash or delicate cycle only
  • Use a detergent designed for silk fabrics
  • Wash in cool water every 3-4 weeks (or less if soiled)

I swear by Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) for all my silk garments. It’s gentle, effective, and leaves the silk feeling wonderfully smooth and looking vibrant.

using heritage park detergent for silk washing


  • Follow this guide’s air drying recommendations
  • Refresh between washes by airing out


  • Fold loosely rather than hanging to prevent stretching shoulder seams
  • Store in a breathable garment bag, not plastic
  • Avoid direct light exposure

Common Spills

  • Spot clean immediately with cool, distilled water
  • Blot the area gently with a microfiber cloth
  • Do not scrub silk fabric
silk fabric stain blotting method

With a little TLC, your silk pajamas will maintain their vibrant colors, sumptuously soft feel, and flawless drape for years of blissful beauty rest.

Can I Dry My Silk Pajamas on a Clothesline Outside?

I don’t recommend drying silk pajamas outdoors as the sunlight can damage and fade the fabric over time.

Even in the shade, outside drying introduces risks of pollen, dirt, or other contaminants sticking to the silk fabric. Your best bet is drying flat indoors.

How Can I Speed Up Drying My Silk Pajamas?

To cut down on the 12-24 hour timeline for air drying silk, use a portable fan directed on the drying pajamas to improve airflow.

Position it 6-10 feet away on low or medium speed and shift garments periodically to expose damp sections.

Just take care not to aim the fan too close or at high speeds that may overdry portions of the fabric.

beige silk shirt cool air dry

Can I Iron My Silk Pajamas While Drying?

It’s best not to iron silk pajamas until fully dried as the added heat and pressure can cause permanent imprints, shine marks, or even scorching on damp fabric.

If the pajamas are dry and wrinkled, use a cool iron on the silk setting with plenty of steam. Iron inside out first as a precaution too.

Let me share my tips for drying silk pillowcases without causing wrinkles to help you enjoy their silky smoothness longer.

Let’s Review Proper Silk Pajama Drying

Drying your silk pajamas properly is simple when you follow a few guidelines:

  • Always air dry instead of machine drying
  • Keep away from direct heat or sunlight
  • Blot excess moisture with towels
  • Lay flat to dry over 12-24 hours
  • Store out of light in breathable packaging

Following this silk pajama drying guide will help these luxurious garments retain their sensational softness and magnificent sheen for many years of serene slumber.

Handle with care and enjoy!

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