In the last few years, brands have been releasing washable silk fabrics, touting the best of all worlds. Not only do you get a silky, luxurious drape but also a low-maintenance piece that can be machine washed with your standard cotton et. all garments.
I generally lean towards natural fabrics, and have previously written a post comparing silk pieces between popular modern brands. Hopefully, this post will be complementary.
The brands I’ll be reviewing today are: Lunya, Everlane, and Quince. I’ll also include a short note on Amour Vert – unfortunately, the style I ordered didn’t work for me, so I wasn’t able to fully test with washing, etc. For the others, I machine washed on cold with a fragrance-free detergent, air dried on a rack, and steamed to remove wrinkles.
I’ve owned several Everlane silk pieces in the past, as mentioned in my silk comparison review. Their original 100% silk crepe de chine material was lightweight and affordable, which made it perfect for my early professional years. Since then, they have updated to two types of silk materials at similar price points: Clean Silk and Washable Silk.
I decided to try their Washable Silk Relaxed Shirt in a light olive green. The first thing I noticed about the material is its feel – it almost has a crispness to it similar to that of cotton shirting. After washing, there were a number of deeper wrinkles that took several minutes to get out with my mini travel steamer. And even then, I wasn’t able to fully erase all the wrinkles. Traditional ironing (on low) is probably the best option to get that silky smooth look. Admittedly, I was too lazy to break out the iron, but I do feel the fabric is substantial enough to withstand it.
Despite some of the remaining wrinkles, the shirt wears quite nicely. I am wearing it post-steam in the header image above. It still drapes well, much more than a regular cotton or linen shirt, though maybe not as much as a traditional silk version from Everlane. At $150, it is certainly not cheap – but at a comparable price to the non-washable version, I think the value is there.
UPDATE July 2023: Upon closer examination of the care tag, I realized that Everlane recommends tumble dry vs. hang dry. After doing so, the wrinkles disappeared. Additionally, the fabric felt softer and more drapey, with no need to break out a steamer or iron.
Quince has two types of washable silk: a classic Washable Silk and one with 10% spandex for a little stretch. For this review, I went with their Mini Slip Dress which retails for $59.99. According to the description, it is a 19mm weight Mulbery silk made according to OEKO-TEX standards. This feels about right to me – it’s not as lightweight (and sheer) as 16mm weight crepe de chine, but not quite as heavyweight as Cuyana’s 22mm. And particularly in darker colors, I have no concerns around opacity.
Quince’s approach and material is a bit different from the other brands reviewed here – their silk has a shinier finish, more similar to satin or chartreuse. I think this is perfect for their slip dresses, but a little too much for me personally as a shirt, which is why I went with the former.
After washing, the fabric still maintains its sheen. There are a several wrinkles, but mostly surface level and easy to get out with a hand steamer. Overall, I think their Washable Silk is a great option if you are looking for a shinier silk at an affordable price point.
If you’re looking to make your first purchase on Quince, use this link to get $20 off your purchase of $60 or more. Please note that I’ll earn $20 as well, so thank you!
I can’t help but associate Lunya with peak pandemic luxury comfort chic. In the last two years, their ads seemed to be everywhere for their famous silk tank + shorts set, which retails for $188. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the high price point and never jumped onto the bandwagon. However, they continue to get raving reviews, so I decided to give them a try. Instead of buying a full set, I picked up a black tank top (new with tags) separately for about $60 secondhand.
According to their website, Lunya pieces are able to maintain that velvet-y silk feel due to their pre-production process. They pre-wash their silk by sand washing, which helps maintain a texture similar to silk crepe de chine. I can confirm that their washable silk feels the most luxurious of all the options here. It’s thick and has a nice weight, which I was (pleasantly) surprised to see. I spent a few minutes confirming that it is indeed just a single layer fabric and not double, that’s how thick it feels.
After washing, the fabric feels nearly the same. While there were a few wrinkles, it was very easy to get them out with a quick steam. Overall, I think Lunya’s fabric quality is a step above the others both in terms of feel and ease of care, and justifies the higher price tag. I only wish that they produced more styles that can be worn day-to-day. Most of their items are very obviously loungewear, though it seems like they are starting to expand with styles like this bias slip dress.
If you’re interested in purchasing from Lunya, you can use this link to get $20 off your first purchase of $100+. Please note that I’ll get a $20 credit as well!
Last but not least, one of my favorite San Francisco-based brands. I love Amour Vert’s silk prints, and was excited to see they’ve adopted washable silk as well. Unfortunately, the Fantasia Jumpsuit didn’t fit – alas, I knew I was taking a risk with a jumpsuit. So I can only comment on the fresh feel and weight of the fabric. Similar to Everlane’s, Amour Vert’s washable silk has a smoother handfeel than their traditional crepe de chine.
This seems to be a common pattern, which I attribute to the pre-washing process that makes them washable. If you don’t mind that difference in feel, then Amour Vert may be for you, especially if you are looking for vibrant colors and prints.
And that’s a wrap. In summary, each brand’s washable silk options has pros and cons depending on what factors you value most. Here is my tl;dr of the different brands:
|Lunya||$$$||Velvety||Easy, minimal wrinkles|
|Everlane||$$$, but can be found on sale for $$||Matte|
Wrinkle-free if tumble dried
|Amour Vert||$$$, but can be found on sale for $$||Matte||n/a|
|Quince||$||Shiny||Easy, minimal wrinkles|
Ultimately, for my use case of wearing out for work and casual occasions, Everlane’ washable silk wins out. The ability to tumble dry with no need for ironing really cinches the top spot for me!
I hope you find this post helpful, and if I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments!
Partnership Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the brands listed above. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I earn a commission on purchases.