Silk is a natural protein fiber which means it needs to be treated delicately. It's very heat sensitive (smells horrible if you burn it), it doesn't absorb dye as easily as natural plant fibers and it's a little bit hard to sew.
The delicacy of the fabric makes it risky to pin which is why I started using mini cloth pins last week to pin my fabric.
But I did realize because it's a protein fiber it's almost like working with hair. I started treating it exactly like I would my hair and it's really turned into an amazing fabric to work with. I read a ton of blog entries and articles on how to wash it and found several opinions - most saying not to do it and a few saying to do so carefully.
I decided to wash most of mine (I don't like washing dupioni since it loses it's crispness). When I washed test swatches I found that regular detergent is a little bit harsh so I switched to baby shampoo and it's worked amazingly well.
|Johnson's Baby Shampoo|
After washing I lay the fabric flat to dry for a few hours and then iron it while it's still a little damp to make sure and remove all wrinkles. You do have to be sure your iron is not letting out steam since gets water stains easily. I like using a silk organza press cloth.