Two reasons why silk satin ribbon is so beloved are because it is shiny and soft, but improper washing can ruin these effects. It is necessary to clean silk satin ribbon by hand, and while satin ribbon made from synthetic material can be washed in a machine, it’s still important to treat it gently!
When Is Satin Machine Washable?
Washing satin ribbon depends on the material of which it's made. Many satin ribbons on the market are now made out of polyester or other synthetic fibres, making them machine washable. If clothing, bedding, or other washable items include synthetic satin ribbon, dial the machine to a gentle or delicate setting. This ribbon can also be put in the dryer on a low-temperature setting.
Pure silk or silk-blend satin is very delicate, however. Washing this material in a machine can damage its texture and shape. This is especially true if the satin is pure silk because when silk ribbon is improperly cleaned, it can shrink and fade.
If silk satin ribbon is part of clothing or a craft, remove it before the other materials go into the wash. You can safely wash this part by hand, and all you need is water, vinegar, a gentle soap, and conditioner.
Handwashing Satin Ribbon
Whether or not the satin is pure silk, the best way to keep it looking great is by handwashing it as soon as you notice it dirty. Fill a clean container with lukewarm water and add a non-alkaline liquid soap or baby shampoo to it. A gentle soap is very important because alkalinity can affect the colours of the ribbon. Soak the ribbon in the water and soap only for a few minutes, then drain the soapy water. Refill the container with clean water to rinse the ribbon.
Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the rinse water, because this helps wash away any remaining soap residue from the silk. Give the ribbon a final rinse of water mixed with a few drops of conditioner. This will add some softness to the ribbon, which is especially important if it's silk.
You can either let the silk satin ribbon air-dry or roll it gently in a clean towel. At no time should you wring the ribbon out or pop it in the dryer, because the high heat can shrink it. However, you can iron your ribbon using a dry iron set to low-medium (many irons have a silk setting). If you’ve let the silk air-dry, it might feel a bit stiff, so fluff it up by gently rumpling it with your fingers.
If you’re not sure what your satin ribbon is made of, err on the side of caution and wash it by hand. It's still an effective way to clean it, and you'll help keep the ribbon from fading!