If your question is not answered below, please contact us, and we'll do our best to help!

How do I wash silk so that it stays soft and strong? 

Option 1, Best Method:

  • hand wash silk with lukewarm water and a pH neutral soap/laundry wash
  • rinse thoroughly
  • air dry
  •  If you don't know that your laundry soap is pH neutral, the best choice is to use a couple drops of regular dish soap (like Dawn) or hair shampoo, baby shampoo, etc.  All of these are likely to be pH neutral and won't contain detergent enzymes.
  • Easy no brainer way to get it done:  just fill a small bowl or bathroom sink with a couple drops of dish soap or shampoo and lukewarm water; add the silk pillowcases and swish around, maybe soak a minute or two.  Rinse.  Roll the silk in a dry towel to remove most of the wetness.  Lay it flat to dry, (on a dry towel or drying rack or any place you have) or turn it inside-out and hang from the french seams.  Silk dries very quickly, so none of this takes as long as it sounds!

Option 2:  

  • put silk pillowcase into a mesh lingerie bag or turn the pillow case inside-out and machine wash on a short, gentle, cool cycle.  Use the same information above about soap and how to dry.  Drying in a machine is NOT recommended.

What about using fabric softener?  

A small amount of quality liquid fabric softener (or even hair conditioner) can help restore lustre and softness after washing, but maybe only use it on occasion, not every wash.  

What about ironing my silk pillowcases?  

Wrinkles usually fall out of silk as it dries, but yes, you can iron silk if you take care.  Using a low heat setting, iron inside-out or with a press cloth, while DAMP or spritz with water to dampen before you iron.  Use a light touch and keep your iron moving.  No steam, way too hot.

How else should I care for my naturally dyed silk?  

Like we say on the care tags, MOONLIGHT YES/SUNLIGHT LESS.  Protect your silk from direct sunlight.  Simply tucking your silk pillowcase behind another during the daytime, or under the covers, is an easy way to reduce the chance of fading from light exposure.  I take every step in the dye process to ensure lightfastness, but silk should be protected from daily direct sunlight and temperature extremes.

Will the color of my naturally-dyed silk fade or change?  

Like all dyes, if regularly exposed to direct sunlight or aggressively laundered, the colors might fade.  I take many steps in the dye process to ensure maximum light and color-fastness, but some fading can happen.  I take this into account in the original dye and patterning process, so that it remains beautiful and cohesive even if there is fade.  Hibiscus flowers and black/blue berries can shift over time from a blue to a grey.  I stick to dye materials that have been used for centuries and are known for their stability.  If I use a material that has a likelihood of shifting over time, I make it clear on the product description.

Will my pillowcase be exactly like the one in the photo?

Each pillowcase is one of a kind, so it will not be exactly like the one in the photo. Even when patterned and dyed the exact same way, there will be variances in pattern, tone, and shade.  It might be a little lighter or darker.  On solid color pillowcases, there will probably be variations, lighter or darker patches.  There might not be.  But if you are buying naturally dyed goods, you probably expect and cherish this aspect of the handmade.  If a design or color comes out substantially different, then I create a new listing and name for it.

Do you take custom orders?

Sure, just get in touch and tell me what you're dreaming up!

Who makes these products?

I do!  I sew the pillowcases from silk yardage, and then I naturally dye them.  I use whole dyestuffs, not liquid extracts.  I dye and sew the scrunchies, including hand stitching the closure.

Are you an expert at natural dyeing?

I want to make a distinction about my work.  I am a student of natural dyes.  I am always learning.  There are masters in this world, and they come from a heritage and tradition far beyond anything I could approach in a lifetime.  These masters are often born into this study, and they are some of the main people responsible for keeping the knowledge alive, even as theft, slavery, synthetic dyes, and climate change ravage their traditions, communities, and environment.  These masters come from places across the world, many of their ancestors torn from their homelands because of the knowledge they possessed.  The history of cochineal and most indigo, for example, their “discovery” by foreigners, is an area of study important for anyone to learn.  If you have an interest in natural dyes, seek out these masters, and if they sell their work, pay full price, and pass down your heirloom and its story to another generation.  If not, admire it, respectful of what it represents. 

Not all dyers come from an ancestral tradition, or they come from one that was lost to them.  There are many expert natural dyers who teach and spread the respect, joy, beauty, and benefits of natural dye throughout the world.  I love learning and practicing, and I seek out opportunities to learn more from these people as often as I can.  There are also many new and old books from which to learn.  Natural dye is not a trend.  Sure big waves come along, the fast fashions try to grab at it, but they pass and the ocean remains.  The beauty, benefits, necessity, traditions persist.  They are the ocean. 

T H A N K  Y O U for visiting. 

Please contact me, Laura, with questions at hello@nightshadesworkshop.com