Caring For Habotai (aka China Silk)
Habotai has a soft, graceful drape that falls close to the body and may be gathered or shirred into a limp fullness. It is moderately easy to cut and sew, but requires a gentle touch. Choose semi-fitted, loose-fitting or very loose-fitting styles of dresses and blouses. Often used for lining. Drycleaning is strongly recommended.
What to expect with Habotai:
- fabric is reversible; both sides of the fabric look the same
- creases easily
- wears evenly
- resists snags
- tends to wrinkle
Sewing rating (easy to hard): easy
Suggested clothing fit: semi-fitted, loose-fitting, or very loose-fitting
Suggested styles: soft and limp gathers; elasticized shirring; loose and full; soft and flowing; draped
Silk is regarded as nature's most perfect fiber, but even perfection has its limitations:
and agitation - Silk's smooth surface does not attract dirt and is
easily cleaned, but silk can be damaged by most laundry detergents -
so always dry clean your silk. Silk loses strength when wet, so do not
wring or agitate.
- Bleach - Silk is easily damaged by strong
bleaches that contain sodium hypochlorite.
- Heat and light - Silk is sensitive to heat and begins to decompose at 330 degrees fahrenheit. Use a warm (not hot) iron.
- Mildew and moths - Silk will not mildew except in extreme conditions. Moths don't care for it, but carpet beetles do.
- Perspiration causes silk to deteriorate and affects the color,
causing staining. Any silk worn next to the skin should be cleaned