Here we've put together important things to know to take good care of your handloom sarees:
Once an exquisite piece of seven yards is bought it requires intelligent care for it runs the risk of getting ruined through improper storage or wash. Here are some keys points you should note when cleaning your sarees.
There is nothing more refreshing than draping a pristine white tant, jamdani or garad saree to a ceremony or function. Yet during a careless moment, a drop of curry from your plate onto the plush fabric might ruin all your joy. Some food stains are too stubborn to soaps and detergents, which have little or no effect on them. Here's a handy tip on how to deal with such stains.
Wet the stain areas with water and apply a thick coat of white toothpaste over the stains on both sides of the fabric. Hang the saree to dry for 3-4 days. Now wash off the toothpaste. If the stain is completely gone, then good. If the stain is lighter, but still visible, repeat the process until the stain vanishes. Most oil, turmeric and other food stains can be completely removed from white clothes in this manner, without causing any discoloration to the fabric. Use a toothpaste containing bleach for better effect.
Whether you wash your silk sarees at home or send them to the dry-cleaners, there is often a chance that the saree may lose its shine during the wash. You can follow these simple steps to restore some of the lost lustre in your silk sarees.
Make a dilute solution of distilled white vinegar and lukewarm water in a clean bucket (Use 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every litre of water). Soak the saree thoroughly in the vinegar solution for 3-5 minutes. Remove the saree from the solution and rinse it thoroughly in cold, running water. Make sure that all of the vinegar and its smell are washed off. Squeeze the saree gently without twisting or wringing.
Now dry the saree by wrapping it in a large, fluffy towel. You may need to fold the saree to fit it along the length of the towel. Gently roll and press the towel to remove excess water from the saree. Remove the saree from the towel and hang it to dry completely. Do not hang it in direct sunlight, as it may cause some discoloration. Silk sarees dry very quickly, and once dry, the lost sheen of the saree is restored.
If the saree needs ironing, then don’t wait for it to dry fully. When still damp, iron it on the inside or using the ‘silk’ setting on the iron. It is always advisable to spot test a small, hidden area of the saree before ironing it completely.
Caution: Never use a machine dryer to dry a silk saree. The dry, intense heat from the dryer can ruin the silk irreversibly.
It is always a pleasure to drape crisp cotton sarees, when properly starched and ironed, to meetings and formal events. However, the stiffness in starched sarees can make them rather unmanageable too. This is often the case with brand new cotton sarees or some very fine silks such as garad or tussar. Here are some simple ways in which you can reduce the stiffness in your starched sarees.
1. If you want to soften the saree without removing the starch completely, then steam iron the saree. Remember to use the correct setting in your iron based on the saree fabric.
2. If you want to remove the starch completely, then soak the saree in cold water for 30 minutes. Then rinse, dry and steam iron the saree to remove all traces of starch.
3. For heavily starched sarees, add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to a bucket of cold water and soak the saree in it for 30 minutes. Then rinse, dry and steam iron the saree. It is now soft and starch-free!
All sarees, and especially the white ones, run the risk of getting your lipstick accidentally smudged onto it, when you are putting on your makeup in a hurry! Don't worry! Even the darkest of lip colour stains can be removed if you can take action quickly.