Saree, this 6 yards of grace finds its place in every Indian women’s heart and wardrobe at least once in their lifetime. This garment that’s been passed down for generations in India has managed to become one with India’s culture and tradition. Sarees are the perfect solution for all occasions if one has the confidence to wear it. But maintaining a saree isn’t a piece of cake. So I bring to you the most trusted saree care tips from the saree connoisseurs around my house.
Anybody who owns a saree has tales attached to it. Memories that can only be preserved with that piece of clothing. My grandmother, mother and my aunts take great care of their sarees. My grandma has so many old gems, some even from 50 years back that are preserved so well, you wouldn’t be able to guess their age. That’s the reason why our mothers always have a thing or two to say when we wear their sarees. Saree care is extremely important to prevent our favourite (and expensive) piece of clothing from turning to shreds. Be it silk sarees or cotton, they require equal care and attention. Here are some saree care tips that the ladies in my house swear by, that’ll help you preserve your expensive sarees for years!
7 Saree Care Tips That Every Mother Swears By-
1. Always hang your sarees out to dry once worn if you’re not going to wash them. The moisture and sweat that it retains will start to smell if not dried. Do not hang them to dry in heavy sunlight though. Such exposure to the sun will result in faded colour. You can dry them at room temperature or in low light, from the setting sun preferably. Direct sunlight usually results in loss of colour for delicate clothing.
2. Only wash or dry clean your sarees when you feel you can’t them without it. Always clean stains or dirt that you find immediately. If you treat the spots with homemade stain removers carefully, the saree will be in better shape for a longer period. Washing and dry cleaning your sarees will result in loss of shine and colour with every wash. The fabric damages with each wash. Staining silk sarees can be a real task, avoid staining them at all costs.
3. Do not use perfumes when you wear heavy sarees with zari work or silk sarees. Heavy scents can result in destroying the metal and the sarees will lose the shine in no time. If you must use perfume, you should keep a gap of at least 20 minutes before wrapping the saree but would recommend skipping it for the day altogether.
4. Wash Care and Storage-
– Synthetic sarees are easy to wear and care. Wear, wash, fold and forget, until you need them next.
– Cotton sarees should be hand-washed because their colour bleeds often or you can wash them separately. They should be dipped in starch (for a measured period) for maintaining the shine and the stiffness that cotton sarees need. You can steam press them later for a crisper finish.
– Chiffon and Georgette are delicate fabrics. They need to be hand-washed because they cannot survive the machine tumble as they are prone to easy tear. Refold them in small intervals as long-kept creases might lead to splitting of the fabric.
– Silk sarees require diligent care. These are dry clean only but refer to Tip 2. Do not hang these sarees. Keep them folded and separate from other sarees. Each saree should be stored separately in cloth saree bags, preferably. Reverse fold them when storing, and wrap in a muslin cloth. Refold these sarees every 3 months to avoid splits at creases.
– Net, Organza and Tissue sarees are all the rage these days. Light and flowy, these sarees demand dry clean and frequent refolding to avoid loss of form.
– Zari and Heavy Border Sarees require dry cleaning. They lose their shine if they come in contact with water. Unfold and sun-dry them in regular intervals to avoid fungal growth on the fabric.
5. For managing sarees with zari and heavy work, dye a plain net fabric in the same colour as your saree and cover stitchings of the work to avoid tangling of the saree when folded. For bead-work and other heavy sarees, fold them in such a way that the work doesn’t fall upon each other because the mess it would leave will not be pretty.
6. To keep your wardrobe fresh, and your sarees free of bugs, make sure to use naphthalene balls in your wardrobe. Assure that they do not touch any of your sarees because the damage these balls will do to the fabric will be irreparable. Also, the sarees will start to smell horrible.
7. Use fabric bags to store your sarees. Do not store your silk sarees in plastic covers. The chances of fungal growth in natural fibres make it a real hassle. Cover your neatly folded (reverse- tip 4) silk sarees in a cotton or muslin cloth and then you may store it as you please. If you can invest in an expensive saree, I’d recommend investing in a good quality saree cover as well.
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So these are some tried and tested saree care tips from my personal saree-handling experts. If you have any question for them, do not hesitate to ask so in the comments! I’ll have them answered.