Ironing Silk Gloves: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoid Damage

I absolutely love the look and feel of silk gloves, but keeping them in pristine condition can be a challenge.

As a long-time silk glove enthusiast, I’ve learned quite a few tips and tricks for properly ironing them at home without causing any damage.

In this handy guide, I’ll walk you through my tried-and-true method for ironing delicate silk gloves.

With the right tools, techniques, and care, you can unwrinkle your silk accessories like a pro!

luxurious silk gloves

Why Proper Ironing is Crucial for Silk Gloves

Silk fabric is extremely fragile and prone to heat damage. Without careful ironing methods, the high heat can:

  • Cause yellow stains
  • Create shiny spots
  • Burn right through the thin material

Once silk gloves get wrinkly or creased, it also stretches out the fibers. This permanently ruins the fit and shape.

By following the step-by-step instructions below, you can safely unwrinkle and care for your silk glove investment.

Preparing to Iron Silk Gloves

Before we get started, there are a few key things you need to do:

Check the Fabric Care Label

  • Always consult the care label on your silk gloves first. This will indicate the maximum heat levels.
  • Most 100% silk gloves should only be ironed at the lowest setting. Going hotter risks damage.

Ensure Your Iron is Clean

  • Remove any buildup, sticky residue, or tiny melted fibers on the hot plate. These can transfer onto the silk.
  • I recommend using an iron cleaning spray and a soft cloth to wipe the plate before ironing.

Have a Heat-Safe Ironing Surface Ready

  • Choose an ironing board padded with a 100% cotton cover. Avoid thick towels.
  • You can also iron on a heat-safe table, countertop, or even a bed.
cotton cloth iron press technique

Use a Press Cloth as a Protective Barrier

  • Silk can stick and scorch easily when directly ironed. Using a thin 100% cotton cloth prevents this.
  • Lightly dampen the cloth to provide moisture and glide across fabrics.

Essential Tools & Materials for Ironing Silk Gloves

  • Low-heat iron (250°F max)
  • 100% lightweight cotton press cloth
  • Spray bottle with distilled or filtered water
  • Iron cleaner spray (optional)
  • Heat-safe ironing surface
  • Garment steamer (optional alternative)

Step-by-Step Guide to Ironing Silk Gloves

Once you have gathered all your supplies, we can get started! Follow these steps for flawless silk glove care:

1. Test the Iron’s Minimum Heat First

  • Plug in your iron to preheat at the lowest setting, likely “silk” or 80-120°C/250°F at max.
  • Wait until the light indicates it has fully warmed up.
  • Still check the temperature by first hovering the iron over a small, inconspicuous area covered with a cotton press cloth, away from embellishments or trim details.
  • If it doesn’t cause any problems after 10 seconds, it should be safe to proceed.
  • If unsure, allow the iron to cool completely and dial back the heat even further before trying again.

2. Lightly Mist the Gloves With Water

  • Lay your silk gloves flat on the ironing board or cloth. Make sure there are no folds or creases.
  • Lightly mist the silk with distilled or filtered water from the spray bottle.
  • The moisture helps the thin fabric take the shape during ironing.
  • Do not soak the gloves entirely as excess dripping water can damage the silk fibers.

Pro Tip: I keep a mini spray bottle right on my ironing board for easy access.

elegant silk hand gloves

3. Iron With a Cotton Press Cloth as a Barrier

  • Place the lightweight cotton press cloth over the silk glove.
  • In smooth motions, gently glide the heated iron across the fabric.
  • Never leave the hot iron sitting in one spot. Keep it moving slowly.
  • Work in small sections until wrinkles are smoothed out.
  • Repeat on any creased areas until the silk looks crisp with no folds.

The cotton cloth helps regulate the temperature so the silk doesn’t get overheated. Plus, the fabric weave prevents any sticky residue from transferring over.

I like to fold the cloth into a rectangular shape that makes full contact with my iron for maximum control.

4. Allow the Silk to Cool and Dry

  • After ironing, let the silk gloves sit on a flat surface until completely dry and cooled off before wearing or storing them.
  • This helps “set” the shape of the fibers.
  • To speed up cooling, you can lay a fresh towel over the gloves or move to a wire drying rack. Just don’t bunch them up too soon!

5. Touch Up Any Remaining Wrinkles

  • Check over your silk gloves and see if any creases still remain. This is common along seams or embroidered areas.
  • Slightly dampen those spots only and repeat the press cloth ironing method until smooth.
  • Be very gentle when ironing embellished glove details to protect their shape.

And that’s it – your silk gloves are now perfectly crisp and wrinkle-free!

After some effort, I’ve mastered how to keep silk curtains wrinkle-free, enhancing my room’s ambiance.

Preventing Heat Damage on Delicate Silk

Ironing silk can go horribly wrong without caution. Here are my top tips for keeping your gloves safe:

  • Always use a press cloth – it’s cheap silk glove insurance!
  • Let the heated iron sit too long and risk scorch marks. Keep it moving.
  • Double-check the temp dial if the iron seems too hot.
  • Iron embellishments very gently and avoid catching beads or crystals.
  • Let gloves cool and dry out before wearing or folding up.
soft silk gloves for elegance

Alternatives to Ironing Silk Gloves

While the press cloth method works beautifully, some prefer unwrinkling silk gloves without an iron. Here are two options:

Use a Garment Steamer

  • Handheld fabric steamers provide heat and moisture to relax wrinkles.
  • Work slowly over the gloves, without letting the steamer head make direct contact.
  • Ensure your model doesn’t get too hot for delicate silk. Read the product specs first.

Hang in the Bathroom While Showering

  • Simply hang up wrinkled silk gloves in a steamy bathroom while you shower.
  • The humidity helps relax the fibers.
  • Come back after your bath and the gloves should be smoother.
  • You can assist by gently tugging on hems or smoothing creased spots by hand.

I’ve had success with both hacks for quick silk glove touch-ups!

Caring for Your Silk Gloves After Ironing

  • Allow the ironed gloves to fully dry out before storing or wearing them. Moisture weakens threads.
  • Keep them stored flat in a cool, dark place like a dresser drawer.
  • If hanging in the closet, pad the hanger and avoid bunching the fabric.
  • Wash infrequently according to care label instructions only.
  • When in doubt, head to the dry cleaners for professional glove cleaning.

Can You Iron Silk Gloves That Have Embellishments or Embroidery?

Yes, you can still iron small embellishments or embroidery on silk gloves. Just take extra care and go very slowly with the iron around decorative details.

Use light pressure and hover over beads, sequins, or rhinestones rather than pressing directly. This prevents catching and damaging any add-ons.

elegant genuine silk fabric

How Do You Get Shine or Discoloration Out of Silk Gloves from Ironing?

If your silk gloves become shiny or discolored from incorrect ironing, don’t panic. Simply pre-treat any dull, yellowed, or shiny spots with a diluted mild laundry detergent solution. 

Gently rub it in and let soak for a few minutes. Then rinse out the detergent. This should remove any residue or staining.

You can then re-iron following the press cloth method at a low temp.

Can You Put Silk Gloves in the Dryer if Wrinkled?

Never put silk gloves in the dryer! High heat damages silk fibers and using a tumble setting stretches the shape.

Dry cleaners can professionally steam silk gloves wrinkle-free. At home, use an iron with a press cloth or garment steamer instead.

How Can You Iron Ruffles or Tiers on Silk Gloves?

Intricate details like ruffles, flounces, and puffed tiers on silk gloves can be tricky. Insert a glove form or tightly cram with acid-free tissue paper to help maintain the 3D shape.

Gently manipulate the details as you hover a low-heat iron over them. The moisture from steam helps set the form without direct contact risking flattening. Work in small sections.

My journey to restore the elegance of my silk kimono with ironing taught me valuable lessons.

Let’s Recap!

Caring for fine silk gloves with proper ironing techniques preserves their delicate fabric and flawless shape for many wears.

To safely iron silk gloves:

  • Use low heat (250°F max)
  • Always have a cotton press cloth barrier
  • Lightly steam – but don’t oversaturate
  • Keep the iron moving constantly
  • Work in sections until wrinkle-free
  • Allow to fully cool and dry before wear

With the right tools and care, your silk gloves can stay pristine for seasons to come!

Now that you know my best DIY ironing tips, you can gently slip on your wrinkle-free silk gloves feeling fabulous.

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