What Are the Disadvantages of Silk?

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The main disadvantages of silk fabric are that it’s delicate, difficult to clean and raises ecological concerns. Silk tears, discolors and stains easily, often requires dry cleaning and is an animal product shunned by most vegans.

Exposure to sunlight and chemicals, such as chlorine bleach, causes yellowing and weakens silk. Silk clothing isn’t always colorfast, and careless laundering can ruin the fabric. If it is colorfast, silk requires hand washing and air drying. In addition, a hot iron can scorch the fibers. Because silk is obtained from silk worms and is usually imported from Asia and India, silk is an animal product, and its carbon footprint tends to be larger than those of locally produced, natural fabrics.