Washing four-ply silk
I have several dresses made of stretch silk (it is silk that feels like four-ply silk and has that same thickness, but has a tiny percentage of lycra or spandex in it, so it stretches a little). I had these made, have had them for five to six years, and have always washed them in the machine, cold, with Woolite. I put them in the dryerr on extra low for three minutes to warm up the wrinkles, then take it out and hang it dry. The dresses have never been harmed, they feel just as slippery and silky and pliable as ever. (Mind you, I washed the yardage before having the item made, so any shrinkage was taken care of then.)
I can't find stretch silk anymore, so have had a dresss made of four-play silk. But when I washed it (same as above) it got very stiff and no longer feels silky etc. etc. I didn't notice at first so had the item made up, and the stiffness and dullness gets worse every time I wash it.
Did I just get a bad piece of silk, or is this what I can expect with four-ply silk? Any thoughts about another way to wash it? It was pretty expensive fabric ($50/yard) from a very reputable store.
I wear these dresses regularly so the ability to wash rather than dry-clean is a wonderful thing.
Thanks in advance for your help.