Silk is a natural fiber produced by insects as a material for their nests and cocoons. There are several types of insects that produce silk, including silkworms (the most common type of silk), beetles, honey bees, bumble bees, hornets, weaver ants, and many more. Made primarily of a protein called fibroin, silk is known for its shine and softness as a material.
The fabric shrinks in the wash so a silk clothing item should always be dry-cleaned.
If you do opt to wash silk, always hand wash in cold water to avoid any shrinkage. Use a mild detergent and gently work it into the fabric. Do not wring or squeeze the item so as not to stretch it. Rinse and shake out the water and hang it or lay it flat to dry.