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Restoring faded silk ties?


Senior Member
May 28, 2009
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I recently had the unpleasant experience of purchasing two BNWT ties on FS from different sellers and receiving both with fading on the silk, which is significant yet only evident when viewed at a certain angle to the light (I only noticed when I looked down when tying them). Since I was in NYC last weekend, I even stopped by Tie Crafters thinking they could easily clean them, but the affable gentleman who assisted me there said that he wouldn't take my money knowing that there was nothing that could be done about the issue. Athough the tie cleaning expert has given his verdict, does anyone know of any treatment that could restore it? Since the ties came from Loehmann's and some other discount store, do you think they were already defective, and that's why they ended up there in the first place, or perhaps the store applies some cleaning process that ruins them?

I'm not saying the sellers purposely deceived me, but it was an imperfection in the item that wasn't specified and wasn't apparent from the pictures. Caveat emptor...

Viewed normally:


Against the light at an angle:



Senior Member
Jun 18, 2010
Reaction score
Silk can easily fade when subjected to direct, extended sunlight (say when hanging in your car during the day) or direct, extended artificial light (say when hanging in a walk-in closet).

Faded silk cannot be PERMANENTLY RESTORED.

The only way to TEMPORARILY RESTORE faded silk is to soak the ties in a mineral oil bath for say 15 minutes and then hang dry. The mineral oil will leave the tie with a sheen or luster that will "temporarily disguise" the faded area. On the flip side, the mineral oil bath will leave the tie with a slightly oily touch. I use the phrase "temporarily restore" because the mineral oil will dissolve in any dry cleaning fluid when it is dry cleaned the next time and you'll have to go through the entire process all over again.

This is a common "trick" in the dry cleaning business. It's often used by unethical dry cleaners who would rather attempt to "cover up" their mistakes instead of admitting to their client that they didn't have the requisite skills to do the job right and screwed up.

For example, let's say their dry cleaning technician was attempting to remove a stubborn stain from a black silk shirt. Let's also say that, in working the stain, the technician was a little too aggressive and "pulled" the color in the area of the stain. What to do? Dry clean the shirt, soak in mineral oil, hang dry and press. The client then gets the shirts back, wears it a couple of times, and drops it off at a different dry cleaner. The second cleaner dry cleans the garment in good faith, dissolving the mineral oil in the process. The second dry cleaner is then stunned when he is accused by the client of "damaging the shirt".

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