A graceful drape can immensely enhance the overall look and feel of a saree. To retain the glory of silk sarees, a great deal of meticulousness is required at every stage. With proper handling and care, silk can be well-maintained for years and can be passed on to the coming generations. Here are a few tips on increasing the longevity of silk sarees.
- Always dry clean for the first wash as the fluids used to remove stains contain little to no water and thus, do not penetrate into the fabric.
- For subsequent washes, wash by hand or on the "delicate mode" in cold water only with a gentle detergent. You can also use a baby shampoo or a protein shampoo. The shampoo protein will nourish the silk.
Note: Do not use soap for the first three washes. Always use a mild detergent to clean silk.
- Avoid washing silk sarees with other bright colour fabrics that are likely to leave their hue.
- Strictly avoid any usage of chemicals during washes as it can cause serious damage to the saree and reduce the lifespan of silk.
- Immediately wash off the stain with cold running water.
- For tougher stains, soak the stained area in petrol and gently rub with a soft cloth.
- Stained silk must be dry cleaned as soon as possible.
- Nail polish stains: can be removed with acetone.
- Lipstick stains: can be dealt with using dry cleaning fluids followed by water.
- Food stains: can be cleaned with dry cleaning solvents followed by waster. Next, use hot water to clean further.
- Do not hang dry silk or wring silk dry, as the saree can lose its shape and newness.
- Do not put silk in the dryer. Instead, let it dry naturally.
- Use moisture absorbents in the storage area.
- Store silk sarees in a muslin cloth.
- Do not bundle up silk sarees as it may lead to damage to the fabric and can tear the zari.
- It is best to store silk sarees in a hanging position to avoid friction between the fabrics.
OTHER HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS
- Periodically expose silk sarees to natural atmosphere (not direct sunlight).
- Iron on 'silk' setting only. Preferably, press the silk saree while it is still damp.
- Do not spray perfume on a zari silk saree.