Now that the season of wearing heavy sarees and clicking social media-worthy pictures is receding, it's time for some fabric care. To complete the steps of the extensive routine your saree seller had explained during purchase. If it's been a while, here's a refresher on some generic saree care tips that could help you pave the way.
Before you begin, remember: It all depends on the fabric of your saree and the years you have owned the piece. Some textiles can be hand-washed, some need to be starched. Some require refolding every few weeks to prevent strong creases. Be careful at understanding the needs of the textile you have in your hands.
Cottons & Silks
Cotton sarees should be hand-washed and drip-dried away from direct sunlight. For silk, dry-cleaning is the advised method of cleaning. If you spot any stain, be sure to remove it before storing the saree in your wardrobe. Wiping the area and quick-drying the saree is the way to go. Always use a mild detergent to wash the saree.
It would help to pay specific attention to the different parts of the saree while washing it. You will have to be more careful around the pallu and the borders. For some cotton sarees, starching helps retain shape and stiffness — for better drapes. For silk ones, you should try re-folding every few weeks or months. It helps decrease the risk of unnecessary creasing.
Linens & Georgettes
All linen, georgette, chiffon and mixed fabric sarees require extra attention while cleaning and storing them. Depending on the sheerness, texture and density, you can decide how gentle you need to be while washing the saree. Lighter fabrics make for beautiful and easy drapes but to require handwashing as it helps keep them so.
If you have a stain, try treating only that area instead of washing the entire saree in one go. It's best not to hang these sarees to dry after a wash. You can place the fabric on a table or supported by a bunch of chairs. These fabrics tend to get heavily creased when wet; it's better to avoid such potential instances. Even while storing, look for flat boxes instead of hanging them in your wardrobe.
Store Them Well
If you are putting them in a bag, ensure it's not a plastic one. The saree needs space to breathe and, thus, a muslin cloth is a better option. It is true irrespective of the fabric but especially true for sarees that have embroidery or golden-zari work. You can store the blouse and the underskirt separately.
Storing sarees can be a hassle, the process being time-consuming. However, it's the little things that can help you increase the shelf-life of your attire. They are worn by generations, after all!
Have some specific saree care tips to share? We are all ears!