How to take right care for designer handloom sarees?

Uppada Sarees
18 Feb , 2020

Handloom sarees are one of a kind and require special care and preservation to maintain their luster and charm. These are expensive sarees that are sometimes passed on from one generation to the next given their exquisiteness and royalty. It is important that we care for these sarees properly to ensure their longevity. Handloom sarees are delicate and their fabric is prone to tear, weathering and stains from moisture exposure. Therefore, there are particular instructions and do’s and don’ts on how to care for these pieces.

How to wash and dry your handloom saree?

Designer handloom silk sarees cannot be washed with your regular detergent in a machine. They need to be dry cleaned at a good dry cleaner where conditions are controlled. Such heavy attire should not be washed with hot water or rinsed after washing. You must wash it in cold water and dry it, without squeezing the water out, in a shady place where there is no direct sunlight. You should not use any bleach, dyes or coloring substances to wash your heavy handloom sarees as this can lead to discoloration or staining. You should also soak it in saltwater for an hour before washing it in cold water with a mild detergent. There are detergents that specifically cater to such fabrics. You could get one such detergent to wash your designer handloom saree if you wish to wash it yourself at home. You should never use a brush to clean stains on the saree as it might tear the fabric. Never, wash your designer's clothing in a washing machine. It has to be hand-washed separately following the above-mentioned instructions. However, the best suggestion is to give it to your dry cleaner as they can clean the fabric gently without washing the cloth, to maintain its shine and life both.

How to remove stains?

Staining is common as we usually wear such sarees for occasions where we eat in buffets and step outdoors in open spaces. These circumstances tend to stain your saree sometimes. These stains require immediate attention in order to be removed. If you do not act with haste, these marks will taint your saree forever. In case you drop food/oil on the saree, you must use unflavoured talcum powder on the spot to soak the oil and then gently rub and wash that part only. If you drop some liquid on the saree, then you can clean that part by dipping a cotton ball in pure petrol to remove the stains.

How to iron the saree?

You must use the iron with a medium/low heat depending upon the fabric. If it’s a thin and delicate fabric, you should use the iron on a low heat setting; if the fabric is tough and thick, then you can switch to medium heat to remove the creases. However, never, use the iron on high heat for handloom sarees. It could burn and leave marks on the fabric. Also, you could use a steam iron on such sarees for reducing the harm to the fabric. In case, you are using a normal iron on the saree, use a napkin or some cloth above the saree and press on that. This reduces the risk of heat on the saree which can cause discolored creases and press marks in the saree. Also, you should never spray water on the saree before ironing; it could lead to color bleeding and spoil the entire saree.

How to store the handloom sarees?

To preserve the saree for a long time, such sarees should be stored in a dry place. Any moisture-prone area will affect the fabric and stain or tear the saree. You should use silicone gel pouches in the storing area to lock the moisture and keep the place dry. It is preferred to fold and keep such sarees in separate covers. Also, you should use a thin muslin cloth to wrap the saree in, in order to maintain the shine of the zari. You must never use naphthalene balls in the area where you store these sarees, as this can cause the zari and handwork to blacken and get tainted. You should also ensure that there is no direct sunlight or harsh light where you store these sarees. This can cause the fabric to fade quicker and lose its richness.

Some general tips:

  • Wear sweat absorbent pads while wearing heavy designer clothing in order to prevent the fabric from getting stained
  • It is preferred to approach a good dry cleaner to remove stains and clean the saree
  • Stains can be removed if acted quickly on them. The longer you leave the stain, the tougher it gets to remove them
  • You can use white toothpaste to remove stains as well from such fabrics

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