How to Wash Silk Linen Blends: Essential Care Tips

Silk linen blend fabrics have become increasingly popular in recent years.

The silk content gives the fabric a beautiful drape and subtle sheen, while the linen provides durability and structure.

However, the blend of these two natural fibers also means these textiles are more delicate and require gentle care.

In this article, I’ll share my best tips for identifying, washing, drying, ironing, and storing silk linen blend items.

Follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be able to keep your silk linens looking pristine for years to come.

My goal is to provide practical advice to help you care for these precious fabrics properly.

elegant pure silk texture

Identifying Your Silk Linen Blend

Before washing or caring for a silk linen blend item, it’s important to confirm the fabric content. Here’s what to look for:

  • Check the garment tag – it should indicate a percentage of silk and linen content. Common blends are 50/50, 70% silk/30% linen or vice versa.
  • Silk linen often has a subtle sheen or luminosity, while feeling lightweight and flowing.
  • Linen contributes texture – you may notice slight slubs or irregularities in the weave.
  • The drape is looser and more fluid compared to 100% linen fabrics.
  • Silk linen blend fabrics are typically used for blouses, dresses, skirts, robes, bedding, and upholstery.

If you’re uncertain of the blend, consult a fabric content identification guide or take it to a dry cleaner for analysis. Proper identification ensures you can provide the right care.

Pre-Wash Care for Silk Linen Blends

Before laundering silk linen items, take a few preparatory steps:

  • Check care labels: Look for the garment tag or sewn-in label indicating recommended washing methods. Follow these instructions carefully.
  • Inspect for stains/soiling: Check for underarm stains, food stains, or heavy soiling. Pretreat as needed.
  • Empty pockets: Ensure all pockets are emptied before washing. Loose items can damage the fabric.
  • Close zippers, hooks, and buttons: Secure all closures to prevent snagging during washing.
  • Use mesh bags: Place delicates like lingerie in a mesh bag for extra protection.

Taking a few moments to prep your silk linens will help prevent damage during washing.

silk fabric care label

Choosing the Right Washing Method

When it comes to laundering silk linen blends, you have three main options:

  • Hand washing – Ideal for delicates like silk lingerie or lightly soiled items. Allowed water temperature up to 86°F.
  • Machine washing – Select a gentle cycle and low spin speed if the fabric care tag indicates machine washable. Use cold water only.
  • Dry cleaning – Recommended for heavy soiling, delicate embroidery, or if the care tag specifies “Dry Clean Only.”

Many silk linen garments indicate “Dry Clean Only” on their labels.

However, with proper precautions, you can carefully hand wash some silk linen at home if needed. Test wash on an inconspicuous area first.

Below are more details on hand and machine washing methods.

detailed silk fabric zoom in

Step-by-Step Guide to Hand-Washing Silk Linen

Follow these instructions to gently hand wash your silk linen blend items:

1. Fill sink/tub with lukewarm water

  • Use cold or lukewarm water up to 86°F maximum. Hot water can damage silk.
  • Add a small amount of liquid detergent designed for delicate fabrics or soap flakes. Avoid regular laundry detergent.
  • Agitate water to form suds.
filling basin with water

Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (link to Amazon) is perfect for silk fabrics. It cleans deeply without harming the delicate nature of silk, keeping it as luxurious as ever.

heritage park silk detergent silk clothes cleaning

2. Soak the silk linen item

  • Submerge and soak for up to 10 minutes allowing dirt to loosen.
  • Do not rub, twist, or scrub the fabric.
  • Gently move the item around occasionally.
hand laundering beige silk cloth
delicate hand wash for beige silk

3. Drain washing tub

  • Drain out the soapy water. Do not wring or twist excess water out.
basin water draining

4. Rinse thoroughly

  • Refill the tub with clean, cool water to remove all traces of soap.
  • Allow the item to soak again for a few minutes.
  • Drain the tub again. Repeat rinse if needed.
gentle hand rubbing of beige silk

5. Roll in a towel to absorb moisture

  • Lay a dry, clean towel on a flat surface.
  • Roll the damp silk linen item in the towel to absorb excess moisture.
  • Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric.
silk garment drying with absorbent towel
towel wrap for drying silk material

6. Dry flat or on a drying rack

  • Lay the item flat or hang it on a drying rack in the shade.
  • Do not place it in direct sunlight.
air drying wet silk garment

Follow these steps, and your silk linen blend should emerge fresh, clean, and free of damage from hand washing.

Machine Washing Silk Linen Blends

If your silk linen item’s care tag specifies “Machine Washable,” you can launder it in the washing machine. Follow these guidelines:

  • Select gentle cycle: Use the delicate or gentle/slow setting on your machine.
  • Wash in cool or lukewarm water: Use cold or lukewarm water, especially for whites. Warm or hot water can shrink or damage silk.
  • Mild detergent: Opt for a mild, bleach-free detergent or wool wash. Avoid regular laundry detergent.
  • Mesh bag: Place in a mesh bag for extra protection.
  • Low spin speed: Select the lowest spin speed to avoid stress on the fabric.
  • No fabric softener: Avoid fabric softener sheets or liquid softener which can affect the feel.
delicate cycle for silk in washing machine
mesh bag for silk garments in washing machine

With the proper precautions, machine washing can safely clean your silk linen garments and household linens. Remember to follow the item’s care instructions.

Drying and Ironing Silk Linen Blend Fabrics

Special care is also required when drying and ironing your cleaned silk linen items:

Drying Tips

  • Lay flat to air dry or hang on a drying rack out of direct sunlight.
  • Avoid using the dryer, which can damage silk and remove its luster.
  • Iron while still slightly damp to help minimize wrinkling.

Ironing Tips

  • Iron on the reverse side if possible to avoid flattening the pile on the front side.
  • Use the silk/delicate setting on your iron and start with medium heat.
  • Place a cotton press cloth between the iron and fabric.
  • Iron transversely across seams and hemlines to prevent imprinting them onto the fabric.

Check out the best techniques for washing silk and cotton blends.

iron care for blue silk material

Proper drying and ironing methods will keep silk linen fabrics looking smooth with minimal wrinkling. Always check labels since some may say “Dry Clean Only” or “Do Not Iron.”

Addressing Common Concerns

Caring for silk linen does come with some common concerns. Here are my tips for handling key issues:


Silk linen fabrics are prone to wrinkling. Reduce this by line drying flat and proper ironing. For storage, fold neatly or hang on padded hangers.

pure silk fabric swatches


To prevent shrinkage, strictly follow garment washing instructions. Wash in cool water and air dry. Pre-treat any spots rather than vigorous washing.


Avoid direct sunlight when drying. Also, use a mild detergent and avoid bleach, which can fade colors. Handle silks gently to prevent snags which expose threads to light damage.

With proper precautions during washing and drying, you can keep your silk linens wrinkle-free and prevent shrinkage and fading issues.

soft touch pure silk fabric

Long-term Care and Maintenance

Once you’ve washed your silk linen blend pieces, be sure to store them properly:

  • Fold garments and store them in breathable drawers or on padded hangers. Allow air circulation.
  • For linens, store flat in a linen chest or cabinet. Avoid folding tightly.
  • Use fabric protector spray on upholstery or drapes to repel dust and stains between cleanings.
  • Steam or gently iron out wrinkles before wearing or placing them back on the bed.
  • Bring items in for professional dry cleaning every year or two to supplement your home washing.

With some basic care and maintenance habits, your beloved silk linen pieces will retain their beauty for many years.

Avoid excessive handling and harsh laundry products for best results.

close up silk fabric finesse

Is It Okay to Use Fabric Softener on Silk Linen?

No, it’s best to avoid using liquid or sheet fabric softeners on silk linen blends.

The waxy coating left behind by fabric softeners can affect the texture and absorbency of the fabrics.

This is especially important for linen content, which absorbs moisture well.

What Temperature Should I Wash Silk Linen Blends in the Washing Machine?

Always use cold water, even for whites, when machine washing silk linen blends.

Warm or hot water can cause irreversible damage like shrinking or running colors. Play it safe by only using cold water.

silk fabric wash delicate program in machine

How Should I Wash Silk Linen Blend Curtains or Drapes?

It’s best to dry clean full silk linen drapes and curtains. However, you can carefully hand wash smaller silk linen valances or swags at home.

Use a large tub or basin and follow the same hand-washing steps outlined above. Roll up in towels to absorb moisture, then reshape and line dry out of direct sunlight.

Find out the proper way to wash silk polyester blends to preserve their look and feel.


I hope these comprehensive tips give you the confidence to properly care for your silk linen blend garments, linens, and home decor.

While these fabrics are delicate, they can be maintained with gentle hand washing, low-temperature machine washing, and proper drying and storage methods.

Follow the fabric care labels, use cool water, minimize heat exposure, and avoid harsh detergents.

With the right techniques, your silk linen collection will stay looking beautiful for generations!

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