Updated: Jul 2
Handloom sarees such as Kanjivaram, Banarasi, Patola, and Paithanis are the crown jewel of Indian sarees. These silk sarees are beautiful symbols of traditions and emotions. Their gorgeous embellishments can transform you from simple to an elegant woman. Caring them the right way is very important for their shelf life.
As handloom sarees come with embellishments and delicate craft that require handling with a lot of attention and care as they are easy to get damaged. These sarees are easily susceptible to environmental corrosion, staining, and wear & tear, and maintaining them can be quite tricky. You may have to pay more but it’s your money’s worth as your saree will be tended for with utmost care with dry cleaners.
But if you cannot have your saree dry cleaned, then you must take matters into your own hands, literally. Follow these expert tips to care for your handloom sarees and avoid primal laundry mistakes that can damage them permanently.
How to wash a handloom saree at home:
Before the first wash, dip the saree in salt water to lock the colours and avoid bleeding
But do not keep them soaked in water overnight, or even for a longer duration as it may lead to discoloration
After soaking, rinse in cold water several times before proceeding to wash with a light detergent
Mild branded detergents are good to hand wash your sarees.
Don’t let the soap stay on the garment for long. Wash it off quickly
Try not to bundle up the saree when washing it because it may lead to creasing of the fabric
Always use cold water. Remember, handloom sarees are very delicate so do not use hot water to wash your sarees.
Washing machine is a big No No when it comes to handloom and silk sarees.
How to remove stain from a handloom saree:
For an oil stain, sprinkle talcum powder on it and wait till it soaks up the oil. Then rub it gently and wash it off.
For beverages or curry stains, dip a cotton ball in pure alcohol and wipe it off
For harder stains, a dry cleaner would be the better choice for a more professional wash
How to dry a handloom saree after washing:
Drying a handloom saree post-wash takes time and patience.
Never wring the saree to avoid permanent damages
Wrap the handloom silk saree in clean, absorbent, light coloured muslin cloth before storage
Spread it out under shade to dry.
Dont dry the saree under direct sunlight as well
Always dry your saree separately. Garments with bleeding colours may damage the fabric.
How to iron a handloom saree:
Always iron your sarees keeping in medium to low heat
Spraying water before ironing can leave permanent marks on the handloom saree
Keep a cotton cloth under the saree before ironing them
How to store a handloom saree:
Storing a handloom saree depends a lot on how you store it.
Always ensure your saree is absolutely dry before storing them as moisture can cause severe damage
Always keep the saree wrapped in Muslin cloth or pure cotton which lets the air pass through but protects the saree from moisture.
Store the saree in a dark and dry place to avoid the eventual fading of the fabric
Store it in a vertical, hanging position in your cupboard but refrain from using metal hangers as they can leave rust stains on the fabric
Keep it away from your regular clothes, preferably in a long-term storage spot since it’s for special occasions and regular handling can leave unwanted spots on it
Keep changing the saree folds to avoid creases that can cause tear through the folds
How To Preserve A Saree:
Perfumes, deodorants, or other types of chemicals you tend to use must not be applied directly on your handloom sarees
Avoid washing them too frequently as they tend to lose their sheen from over-wash. I
If you sweat a lot, it may leave stains on your sarees. To avoid this, always wear sweat-absorbing pads under your blouses.
If you notice a flaw/tear/loose embellishment, immediately get it fixed professionally
Do you have expert tips to share with us on how to care for your sarees?
Share it with us in the comments below