Taking care of your silk sarees

Are you a saree lover or a saree collector? If yes, then this article is for you.

Precious hand-woven silk sarees – a family heirloom

Most of us have worn our mother’s or grandmother’s sarees. We have seen many celebrities getting married wearing their mother’s wedding saree. While good quality handloom silk sarees last for several decades, all handloom silk sarees need proper care and maintenance for preserving the quality, colour and shine. Here are some tips from Arteastic for our patrons.

Store your sarees correctly

  • Keep the silk sarees securely in a plastic packet/ saree container. Saree containers are available in many shops. It saves the sarees from moisture and dust.
  • Air the sarees frequently so they breathe. We would suggest airing your silk sarees in a cool and dry place every 3 months. It can be in a closed balcony or inside your bedroom.
  • It is better to keep the silk sarees inside a closed cupboard. During monsoon, put moisture absorbent in the cupboard to avoid fungus or stains.
  • Air freshener pouches and naphthalene balls are helpful to protect the silk from insects. Some prefer to use neem leaves as well, as natural disinfectant. However, do not put anything directly on the body of the saree. Put all these agents in a pouch and put the pouch on the shelf next to the sarees.

Cleaning or Washing the silk

  • Some people suggest dry washing silk sarees regularly. However, dry cleaning process uses chemical cleaning agents. So, we will not suggest it. Dry clean the saree only when it has been worn and needs to be cleaned.
  • If instead of dry cleaning, you want to wash the saree at home, then follow easy wash method i.e., wash in cold water using a gentle detergent. Do not soak the saree in detergent for long or use any brush. Once washed/rinsed in cold water, just hang the saree on a clean clothesline and allow it to drip-dry.
  • Never put a silk saree directly under sun. It might lose the color and luster

Some other tips

  • Fall Pico are essential features to keep the saree in good condition.
  • Most of the time the saree comes back from the laundry nicely pressed and folded. We love the folds because they help us greatly in making pleats. It makes our saree wearing exercise easy. However, it is necessary to change the folds occasionally. Else gradually the saree might start getting thinner along the fold.

During the colonial rule of India, we lost a substantive part of our handloom sector to facilitate the market for machine woven fabric. After independence, many such sectors were revived with help from the Govt as well as private enterprises. Many well-preserved antique handloom sarees have helped the modern weavers recreate the lost designs and craft of the last century and bring back some of the glory.


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