Drying Silk Pillowcases: Best Practices to Preserve Quality

I absolutely love the luxurious feel and beauty of silk pillowcases.

However, caring for delicate silk fabrics requires some special handling to maintain their quality and extend their lifespan.

As you may know, silk can be easily damaged in the drying process if proper precautions are not taken.

So how should you be drying your silk pillowcases? Are you even supposed to put them in the dryer?

I’m going to walk you through the dos and don’ts of drying silk, the best practices for air drying, what to do if your silk gets wet, whether other types of pillowcases can go in the dryer, and how to care for your silk pillowcases after they’ve dried.

Follow these top tips and you’ll keep your silk pillowcases looking and feeling fabulous for years to come!

breeze dry method for beige silk

The Dos and Don’ts of Drying Silk Pillowcases

Should you dry silk pillowcases?

  • DO air dry silk pillowcases – this is the recommended way to dry them without risking damage.
  • DON’T put silk pillowcases in the dryer – the heat can cause them to shrink, warp, and develop tears.
Air Drying MethodBenefitsRisks
Hanging to dryPrevents shrinkage, maintains shape and drapeNeeds adequate ventilation; keep out of direct sunlight
Laid flat to dryMinimizes wrinkling, easy storage after dryingRequires more space, can take longer to fully dry

Why You Should Never Put Silk Pillowcases in the Dryer

Putting silk pillowcases in the dryer, even on a delicate setting, subjects them to risks of:

  • Shrinkage – silk fibers can shrink up to 10% of their size in high heat!
  • Weakened fibers from dryness – lessening silk’s natural moisture content
  • Loss of sheen – heat damage causes silk to look dull and dingy
  • Permanent wrinkles and creases – high heat locks them in
  • Seam breakage and small tears – agitation causes stressed areas to split
  • Fading of colors – heat exposure hastens dye breakdown

Trust me, putting your silk pillowcases in the dryer is never worth the convenience and will shorten their lifespan. Always opt for an air drying method instead!

silk fabric drying post steaming

The Best Way to Dry Silk Pillowcases

Is it better to air dry silk pillowcases? Absolutely! Air drying prevents the high heat exposure that damages silk fabrics.

It may take longer than machine drying methods but preserves the look, feel, and longevity of your silk pillowcases.

Follow these simple steps for properly air drying silk pillowcases:

  1. Gently squeeze out excess moisture after washing and rinse well – don’t wring or twist silk when wet.
  2. Smooth out the pillowcase to its normal shape. Be careful not to over-stretch the fabric.
  3. Hang the pillowcase over a clothes drying rack, securing it with clothespins at seams or edges as needed. Or lay flat on a non-abrasive surface.
  4. Allow silk to fully air dry out of direct sunlight. Drying times range from 2-8 hours.
  5. Iron on a cool setting if needed to remove any minor wrinkles after drying.
soft detergent wash for beige silk
mild soap cleaning beige silk
beige silk textile cool air drying
silk ironing perfection with cotton layer

I like to lay my silk pillowcases flat over a towel rather than hanging them up.

This prevents them from developing crease lines that are hard to smooth out later even with ironing.

It’s important not to rush the drying process. Silk contains a decent amount of moisture, especially thicker quality fabrics.

Give your pillowcases adequate ventilation and check that they are completely dried through before storing them to prevent mildew risks.

Precautions When Drying Silk

Why should you keep silk pillowcases out of sunlight when drying? Well, direct sun exposure can fade and degrade dyes used to color silk over time.

The UV radiation breaks down the pigments, causing fading unevenly across folds and creases in the fabric.

For bright white pillowcases, sunlight can also give them a dingy yellowish tint after repeated drying sessions.

It’s best to dry silk pillowcases in indirect sunlight or bright shade for the best preservation of colors.

And remember to flip periodically so both sides experience even light exposure if drying in dappled sunlight conditions.

silk wrap with acid free paper

Tips for Hanging & Laying Silk Pillowcases to Dry

Hanging Method:

  • Hang using rustproof clips – plastic clothespins prevent water stains
  • Use a drying rack indoors or a covered area outdoors
  • Give adequate room between hung items so air flows freely
  • Flip halfway through drying for even results
hanging beige silk to air dry

Laying Flat Method:

  • Use a clean towel or sheet over a flat surface
  • Smooth out the pillowcase to prevent creases without overstretching
  • Allow space between items – don’t overlap or fold
  • Place in a well-ventilated room, protected from direct sun
  • Flip periodically for uniform drying on both sides
moisture absorbent towel for beige silk

No matter which air drying method you use, keep silk away from direct heat sources like radiators, dryers, fireplaces, or heating vents as you dry.

The ambient warmth will speed evaporation without risking damage that concentrated heat could cause.

I found the perfect technique for drying silk pajamas that ensures they’re always ready for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Dealing with Wet Silk: What To Do If Your Pillowcase Gets Wet

What happens if you sleep with wet hair on a silk pillowcase? This is a common concern for silk pillowcase users!

Sleeping with damp hair against your pillowcase means moisture transferring directly to the fabric for hours.

If left wet for too long, silk fibers can weaken and potentially develop water stains.

Whenever your pillowcase gets wet whether from showering before bed or an accidental spill, it’s important to air dry it right away.

Simply hang or lay it flat until fully dry before its next use. For minor dampness, using a blow dryer on a cool setting can speed up drying time.

Just keep the tool moving continuously to avoid concentrated heat in one spot.

selecting lower setting on hair dryer
silk smoothing with hair dryer

Is It OK for Silk Pillowcases to Get Wet?

While silk does have a high moisture absorption capacity, you want to avoid soaking or repeatedly wetting the fabric.

Do not treat silk pillowcases as you would a bath towel for drying off or wiping messes! Water can pool in crevices like seams and cause hidden mildew damage over time.

For best results, spot clean stains immediately and limit liquid exposure whenever possible.

If your silk does end up drenched from a spill, rinse thoroughly under cold running water to flush out all traces of the staining substance.

Do not rub excessively, but drain and gently press the water out prior to complete air drying. Do not put wet silk pillowcases into the dryer!

Air dry only, even if it takes overnight.

Can You Put Any Pillowcases in the Dryer?

What about non-silk pillowcase fabrics like cotton, linen, and polyester pillowcases – can they go in the dryer safely?

Most standard pillowcases made from woven or knit fabrics like cotton, poly-cotton blends, and synthetic materials can withstand machine drying without risk of damage, especially on medium or low heat settings.

However, there are still certain instances where air drying is recommended for non-silk pillowcase fabrics:

  • Sturdy linen and cotton – Safe for dryer but may last longer with air drying
  • Delicate laces or embroidered accents – Decor elements can fracture or melt from heat
  • Specialty fabrics like microfiber – Prone to clumping from excess heat
  • New or brightly colored cases – Prevent accelerated fading of dyes

Check garment tags of non-silk pillowcases for specific drying guidelines.

But when in doubt, letting them air dry is the surest way to prevent unwanted shrinkage, snags, or heat damage during machine drying.

air drying beige silk indoors

Caring for Your Silk Pillowcases After Drying

Once your silk pillowcases have completely air dried, follow these care steps to keep them looking fresh between uses:

  • Smooth out any minor wrinkles by pressing with a cool iron or steaming lightly
  • Store folded in a breathable, clean environment – avoid musty areas
  • Refrain from using fabric softeners or aggressive laundry detergents in subsequent washes
  • Use a silk protector spray to guard from oils and renew the sheen
  • Spot clean as needed with cold water and mild soap
  • Follow air drying best practices, never putting back in the dryer again!

Properly caring for your silk pillowcases doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply remember to always air dry, handle gently, and store neatly.

Avoiding damage while drying is the number one thing you can do to keep silk fabrics maintaining that coveted luxury feel and appearance over many years of use.

After some trial and error, I discovered how to effectively dry silk duvets and maintain their quality.

genuine silk fabric material


I hope these complete guidelines give you confidence in safely drying your silk pillowcases at home.

While it does require some extra time and care compared to standard fabrics, properly air dried silk will retain its special sheen, softness, and durability to be treasured for years to come.

Implement these best practices for laying flat or hanging to dry, keeping away from direct sunlight and heat, and properly caring for silk textiles even after drying.

Avoid putting silk pillowcases in the dryer at all costs, and even let non-silk fabrics like cotton or poly-cotton benefit from air drying whenever possible.

Your patience will be rewarded many times over by the longevity of your beautiful silk pillowcases!

So take the extra time to let them air dry and then relax into luxurious slumber. Pleasant dreams!

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