Caring for the Marilyn: Your Perfect White Silk T Shirt

silk tee shirt for women

I created the Marilyn tee out of sheer frustration. I had spent at least $500 over a two year period trying to find a dressy cotton tee shirt. No matter what brand I bought, they all got holes where the button of my jeans would rub after a few wears. One didn’t even last six hours. I took it out of the package when I got dressed in Charleston in the morning and by the time I got off the plane in New York City a little after noon it had a hole in it.

The Marilyn tee is made from a lightweight silk jersey. It’s super soft and has a wonderful drape. You can also hand-wash it. I don’t always recommend hand-washing silks. I think that the dry cleaner just leaves them looking better or water can fade the dye. Since the Marilyn is white and a lightweight silk jersey you don’t have to worry about either of these things.

I have only tested hand-washing using The Laundress products. If you’ve ordered from Senza Tempo previously, you might have received a sample of their Crease Release (a must for frequent travelers). They only use the highest quality ingredients. I’ve been using their products (almost) since they launched many years ago. I’ve used the wool and cashmere wash for scarves and sweaters for quite sometime to cut down on my dry cleaning bill.

What you’ll need:

The Delicate Wash and Stain Solution. Use the Stain Solution to pre-treat the underarms where your deodorant is to prevent yellowing from building up (as we all know it will). The Stain Solution is great to use for any of your Senza Tempo garments to remove stains or deodorant from the underarms if you don’t want to send it to the dry cleaners.

Stain solution + a steamer = lower dry cleaner bills in general.

Scented Vinegar isn’t necessary, but it smells better than regular vinegar. Sometimes you can find lavender scented vinegar in the grocery store. Martha Stewart recommends using a vinegar rinse when you hand-wash silks to restore their luster and who am I to argue with Martha.

Step 1: In a basin pour 1-2 cap fulls of the Delicate Wash and I pour a little bit of the Stain Solution in the basin with cold water. Some sites say you can wash silk in warm water, I only use cold water. Agitate with your hands to let the detergent soak into the garment fully to remove dirt and stains. If there are any stains, gently work them out with your hands or using the silk or a muslin cloth. You simply want to be careful not be too rough so that you snag or damage the finish of the fabric. I usually only let the garment soak for no more than 10 minutes.

Step 2: After it’s done soaking then you start the rinsing process. You’ll want to rinse it a couple times — until you don’t see any more suds in the basin. I usually fill the basin 2-3 times, swish the shirt around a few times to get the detergent out of the garment. When you have a “clean” rinse then fill the basin again and add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Swish the garment again and let it soak for a few minutes. The vinegar will remove all the soap residue to restore the silk to its original luster. Rinse 1-2 more times to get rid of any residual vinegar smell.

Step 3: Ever so gently squeeze the excess water out of the Marilyn by pushing it against the sides of the basin. DO NOT WRING THE SHIRT! Be gentle. Then lay flat on a towel. I usually cover it with a towel on both sides and roll the towel up to mop up the excess water. Unroll and then lay flat to dry.

Step 4: Steam to remove any excess wrinkles and return it to the original smoothness. If you are determined to iron it, use a cool iron, iron on the inside of the garment and it’s best to put a cloth in between the fabric and the iron. That is a tip I learned from my dry cleaner – all of his irons are padded and covered in cloth so as not to burn the fabrics.

Hang on a soft padded hanger or fold once dry.

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