Silk is notoriously easy to crease and it’s quite unfortunate that so many men find themselves with a wardrobe full of expensive, wrinkly, unwearable ties. While a deep-seated wrinkle usually spells the end of a silk tie’s functional life in a wardrobe, lighter creases can usually be removed with a little dedication, a fine hand, and a bit of finesse along the way.
Ironing a silk tie should only be considered as a last ditch option when no other result works and/or exists in the first place. As the first port of call, a garment steamer should be used on its lightest possible setting. Gentle, downward strokes without making direct contact with the tie can almost always loosen stubborn creases to the point the tie becomes far more presentable. It is very important not to make direct contact with the tie as the delicate nature of silk can easily tarnish or become discoloured under the high pressure of a garment steamer (even on its lightest setting).
When a garment steamer isn’t an available option, then hanging the tie in a bathroom during a hot, steamy shower may also provide some loosening of creases. The tie should be hung as close to the shower as possible, but men should take care not to splash the tie with hot water, which can result in deeper creases later on as the tie dries.
Using a clothes iron should always be the last resort for a silk tie as, simply put, the slightest error can produce the most catastrophic result. Like garment steaming, the iron should never make direct contact with the tie and it should always be used on its coolest setting. It’s also a good idea to put some kind of barrier between the silk tie and the base of the iron; and it’s usually recommended to use a lightly moistened cloth, which will help produce a gentle burst of steam as the iron glides over it and loosens creases.
Unfortunately, silk isn’t a material that’s robust or particularly hardy. There will be times that silk ties simply need to be replaced altogether as some creases, particularly ones that have been left to sit for a long while, won’t be removed. Thanks to the Internet and auction websites, though, silk ties are readily imported, replaced, and can be sourced quite cheaply in comparison to premium silk ties bought locally.