Sunday, May 28, 2023

Keep your brocade silk saris looking new forever with these foolproof tips

Since it is an organic fabric, you must take care of your silk outfits to preserve and save them from agents of deterioration

Know how to keep your silk saris new.Know how to keep your silk saris new. (Pic source: Pinterest/Khinkhwab - The Essence of Benaras)

Recently, Priyanka Chopra made heads turn in a 65-year-old vintage Banarasi brocade sari with silver and gold zari work on khadi silk that was reimagined as a gown by designer Amit Aggarwal. Similarly, Anushka Sharma looked like a vision in a red silk sari with brocade work by Sabyasachi at her reception with cricketer Virat Kohli. While silk saris are a much-treasured piece of clothing owned by various women in the Indian subcontinent and abroad, the fabric is prone to insect attacks, or loss of sheen and colour, among other things. As such, one needs to be extra cautious when taking care of these textile heirlooms.

So, if you too are looking for ways to preserve your cherished sari, we’ve got you covered with a few simple tips.

Speaking with, Dr Divya Singhal Gupta, a textile researcher, and content manager, RTC Project, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi said, “Silk brocade fabrics are vulnerable to damage due to their intrinsic nature. But a good preventive care routine can increase their life and keep them shining bright for a longer time. Investing a little time in taking proper care and storing of these fabrics can help in preventing damage control actions taken once deterioration has taken place”.


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A post shared by Priyanka (@priyankachopra)

Tips to keep your silk sari looking new

Below are tips shared by Dr Singhal to keep silk brocade fabric safe at home:

1. Store the silk brocade sari/suit in a clean and dry muslin or cotton bag to avoid dust accumulation. The muslin or cotton should be de-starched and unbleached. Nowadays, such sari bags are easily available on online marketplaces. One should prefer buying the plain cotton ones in white colour and wash them thoroughly before use.

2. It is better to roll your saris if the space allows. If folding is necessary, white tissue paper should be sandwiched in the folds to avoid sharp creases. When stacking your clothes one above the other, put a sheet of tissue paper between the layers of the folded fabrics.



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A post shared by Allia Al Rufai (@alliaalrufai)

3. In case of a very old brocade sari (family heirloom), invest in an activated charcoal cloth for its storage. This specialised cloth would absorb all air pollutants from the surrounding air and keep the sari safe from various deterioration factors.

4. It is equally important to pay attention to the storage space/area. Your valuable clothes should be stored in a clean and dry place. If required, keep silica gel packets in the storage area (not in direct contact with the object) to absorb moisture and keep the area dry.

5. Before packing away your silk saris for winter, make sure there are no stains on them. Get them dry cleaned, and put them in the sun for a few hours before storing them.


6. Avoid keeping any woolen fabric, plastic items, rubber bands and metallic objects near your silk brocade sari as these can lead to the corrosion/tarnishing/blackening of zari.


7. While wearing your silk brocade saris/suits, do not use any kind of perfumes or deodorants. If you wish to wear a fragrance, it should be applied carefully avoiding any contact with your garment. This might result in loss of shine and discolouration of the zari.


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A post shared by Vidya Balan (@balanvidya)

How often should you wash your silk sari/suits?

Silk brocade saris/suits do need a wash after every use. But you can wash them after 3-4 uses or if there is a stain on them. “It is always better to get them dry-cleaned professionally. If it is not an option, gently hand wash these saris in ezee or genteel or reetha solution. You should be very careful, use light pressure, and not rub them aggressively. The sari should not be wrung or tumble-dried; it should be lightly squeezed to remove excess water and left to dry in the shade. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all the traces of the washing solution used. Detergents and machine washing should never be used,” Dr Singhal suggested.

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First published on: 26-05-2023 at 10:50 IST
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