At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

How do I Care for Silk Curtains?

Caring for silk curtains requires a gentle touch. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading, and dust regularly with a soft brush. For cleaning, opt for professional dry cleaning or hand wash with a mild detergent. Iron on a low setting with a cloth barrier. How you maintain your silk curtains can extend their elegance and life—what's your next step in silk care?
Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

Silk curtains, though beautiful, can be both expensive to purchase and maintain, and to be sure that your draperies hold up over time, it is important to give them some special attention. Many silk fabrics are dyed and finished so they will be more resistant to fading caused by sun exposure, but it is still a good idea to use a protective set of drapes behind the silk curtains. These backing curtains are often called insulating draperies, and can be purchased at most home improvement centers or home furnishing retailers. Some silk curtains come already lined, in which case, additional backing is not necessary. Ideally, silk curtains should be professionally dry-cleaned, but with special care, they can also be hand washed at home.

Ideally, your silk curtains will not require frequent cleaning, but like many other types of window treatments, silk curtains are often a magnet for dust. To remove dust from hanging curtains, you can use a hand-held vacuum. To keep the vacuum from taking in too much of the curtain, grab hold of the fabric well below where you have the vacuum positioned. By holding the lower part of the fabric taut, you can make sure the vacuum only skims the surface of the drapery. This protects the fabric from picking up any dirt that may be inside the vacuum itself.

Silk fabric.
Silk fabric.

If your curtains have picked up a dirty smudge, but do not need a complete cleaning, you might want to try spot cleaning. Using a sponge, apply warm soapy water to the dirty area and gently rub until it has been removed. You should pat the area as dry as possible. If you think it is still too damp, you can use a hair blow dryer to finish drying it. As silk fabric is so sensitive, you should keep the dryer set on low heat, and hold it well away from the surface of the drapery.

Silk cocoons, which can be used to make fabric.
Silk cocoons, which can be used to make fabric.

Spot cleaning with soapy water works best on silk curtains that are printed. This is because silk is sometimes sensitive to water spots, so even after you clean the smudge, the area that became wet may be a slightly different color than the rest of the fabric. This will be more noticeable if your fabric is solid colored, so for solid colored silk curtains, it may be a good idea to use a dry application to remove smudges. Most dry spot removers use chemicals that work to lift the dirt out of the draperies. Typically, you leave the cleaner on for a specified amount of time, and then simply brush off the residue, which should include any dirt it lifts out of the fabric.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I have a set of silk curtains with ruffles, and I have found that sometimes if it difficult to get all of the dust off of them when using a vacuum. However, sometimes you just need to get the dust off of them without washing them to make them look fresh.

Another easy way to freshen up silk curtains and remove dust and debris from them is to take them off the curtain rods and give them a good shake. I take mine outside and hang them up for a while after shaking them. As long as your silk curtains aren't dirty enough to need washed, this is an easy way to make them look their best.


The article has some good advice for keeping silk curtains free of dust, and for removing small stains. However, I think that major cleaning should be left to the professionals.

I use to have silk curtains, and I tried to wash them with soap and water to save money. After a few washings, my curtains began to look faded and old.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Silk fabric.
      By: felinda
      Silk fabric.
    • Silk cocoons, which can be used to make fabric.
      By: phiseksit
      Silk cocoons, which can be used to make fabric.
    • Silk curtains can be very expensive to maintain.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Silk curtains can be very expensive to maintain.