How to Clean a Sofa's Raw Silk Material

Silk has a rich history that dates back to the Ancient Chinese people who discovered the secret to its production approximately 30 centuries ago. Fine threads spun by the silkworm can reach up to several thousand feet. This silken thread is twisted and joined with additional pieces of thread collected from silkworm cocoons, creating the silk fibers we are familiar with. Raw silk, created by combining 48 twisted fibers, is later weaved into a thick fabric. Often used for clothing and draperies, raw silk also covers some sofa cushions, which require careful cleaning to avoid damaging the weave.

Clean raw silk upholstery carefully.
  1. Vacuum the raw silk sofa regularly. Use your vacuum's brush or upholstery tool to remove dust and residues that build up on the surface of the raw silk.

  2. Dampen a soft cloth with cool water and rub it over dirt or mud stains gently. Work in circular motions until the dirt dissolves. Allow the raw silk to air dry afterward.

  3. Add a squirt of dish soap to the damp cloth for tougher stains. Once again, work only in circular motions and refrain from scrubbing. Remove any soap residue by rinsing the soft cloth with cool water until the water runs clear, rubbing it over the stained area after ringing it out. Allow the raw silk sofa to air dry.

  4. Fill a small spray bottle with a one to one ratio of water and vinegar. Lightly spray the vinegar solution onto the raw silk sofa to clean stains. Allow the vinegar to sit for approximately 10 minutes and rub the area with a soft cloth, working in a circular motion. Rinse the soft cloth with cool water until the water runs clear and gently rub away any vinegar residue. Allow the raw silk sofa to air dry.

  5. Refer tough stains on raw silk upholstery to a professional. If cool water, dish soap and vinegar fail to remove stains on your raw silk sofa, ask a professional upholstery cleaner for advice. A professional dry cleaning may restore your sofa to its pre-stained glory.


  • Never use harsh chemicals, gritty abrasives or a scrub brush on your raw silk sofa. Raw silk is a thick fabric, but not strong enough to hold up to heavy scrubbing.
  • Always use cool water. Hot water has a tendency to set stains.

About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.