One way to describe aerial silks is how similar they are to the female form — graceful, feminine, seemingly delicate and beautiful, yet unpredictably strong, resilient and can (literally) hold a human in their sturdy “wombs” of cloth.
When one is in motion, one becomes thrice or five times the body weight. Imagine the strength of that aerial silk to be able to hold multiple times the weight of an adult body — while it is stretching and tugging at it!
The use of aerial silk in either aerial dance, yoga or the circus arts has multiple benefits apart from the thrill of being elevated from the ground. The “high” you get (pun intended) is not only a unique way of staying fit and healthy, but it’s also a form of recreation you will most likely enjoy, especially once you get the “hang” of it (this is the last of the puns).
The Importance of Washing Your Silks
As with any piece of workout wear, the aerial silk needs proper washing. Imagine all the sweat, dirt and grime your body releases during your aerial workouts. There are several important points to take note of when cleaning aerial silks. Based on research including an article from Aerial Yoga Zone on how to wash aerial silks, there are several important points to take note of when cleaning aerial silks.
- Crease can collect dust. The lines where creases form are usually a haven for dust particles. This might be particularly dangerous if you have allergies or respiratory health concerns.
- Porous fabric absorbs bacteria and dirt. The aerial silk’s porous fabric attracts dirt and bacteria from your skin. You wouldn’t want to transfer them back on your body the next time you use your silk, right?
- Not washing silk after use can make them smell musty. If you decide to store your silk now and wash them later, don’t be surprised if they develop a rather musty smell. You won’t appreciate stretching the silk (let alone stretching on the silk) while smelling that unpleasant odor.
- Storing silks for a long time can make them look (and smell) old. Just because you might not use your silks for a while doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly wash them. Make sure they stay fresh by keeping them clean through washing!
How to Wash Your Aerial Silks The Right Way
The lazy way to give your silks a fresher scent is to use fabric fresheners. While that might give your silks an instant fix, it’s the same solution to body odor as spraying on cologne instead of taking a shower.
Wouldn’t it be better to give your silks a “shower” instead? Hygiene-wise, it’s definitely a must.
Washing your aerial silks isn’t as simple as that, however. Here are some tips on how to properly wash your silk fabrics:
- Check your silks before washing them. It would be advisable to inspect your silk thoroughly first before putting them in the wash, in case they may have any stains you need to give special attention to.
- Untangle the knots. Make sure you untie all the knots in your silk as you may not clean all those dirty creases if you keep them tied while washing.
- Wash one silk at a time. Avoid further tangling and a less thorough clean by not washing several silks in a single wash.
- Remove all metals and hardware. Don’t forget to detach the metal hardwire rings or carabiners that are connected to your silks. They might damage your washing machine if you keep them on!
- Use a mild detergent. While the aerial silks are strong and durable, they are equally delicate fabrics. Make sure the detergent you use is gentle on silk.
- Wash them with cold water on a delicate cycle. Avoid using a top-loading machine because the rigorous tumbling can destroy the fabric. Opt for a front loading machine and use cold water on a low spin speed.
How to Clean Those Metal Things
Here’s another tip especially for your aerial hardware: they need cleaning too. It’s a good thing there’s a quick and easy way of cleaning them. Just take a piece of microfibre cloth and use a window cleaning spray (without ammonia). A small amount on the cloth will be enough to tidy up those steel poles and rigs in no time!
How to Dry Your Aerial Silks (Because There’s a Wrong Way, Too!)
You might think after washing your silks, your work is done. The worst thing you can do is storing damp silks without properly drying them. You’ll end up with clean silk that doesn’t smell as good as it looks!
Drying your silks also require necessary precautions to avoid any permanent damage on your silks! Here are some tips to follow to ensure your freshly washed silk is properly dried:
- Don’t put your silks in the drier. The heat from the drier may be too strong for your delicate silks so it might not be a good idea to dry them this way.
- Avoid direct sunlight. While the best way to dry your silks is to air dry them, you should avoid direct sunlight. UV rays can shrink the material and damage the silk fabric and make them less durable, which might compromise your safety when you use them.
- Dry them indoors. The safest way to dry your silks is the natural way, minus sunlight. If your training area is spacious, you can opt to hang your silk there and place a fan underneath until it is fully dry.
The proper washing and drying of your aerial silk is an essential step in making sure you keep its quality for a long period of time. While the silks are undeniably durable, constant use can also affect its quality, especially if they are not properly taken care of.
Keeping your aerial silks clean and well-kept will save you money in the long run, because you’ll be able to use your silks repetitively for many years. With the right products and procedures, you can make sure that your precious silks will last you a long time. Treat them right and they’ll be able to keep carrying you with ease!