BY RAJMAHAL SILK
The popular belief, silk sarees are not that hard or expensive to maintain.
Silk sarees are usually bought for memorable occasions and are often associated with memories and sentiments.
- Women, who are stout, should go in for softer fabrics like Chiffons, Georgettes and Crepes that drape well. Mysore Silk also helps give a slimmer effect. Organza’s, Kora, Tissue silks, must be avoided since they tend to flare.
- To get a fuller look, slim-built women can preferably choose Organza, Cotton, Tissue and Tussar Sarees.
- Shorter women need to wear sarees with slim borders or even no borders.
- Sarees with bigger borders suit women with a tall profile.
- Shades like Maroon, Green, Pink, and other dark shades go well with women who are on the darker side.
- On formal occasions & at work, it makes better sense to pin up the saree, which makes it not only manageable but helps you look smart as well.
- At functions, pin up the tip of the saree and let the rest fall on your hand for a graceful look.
- Pinning up at the back of the shoulder will conceal the pin and also keep the saree intact.
- Avoid wearing a flared petticoat.
- Make sure starched sarees, especially cotton and tissue, are ironed properly. The pleats also should be carefully pressed and shaped while draping.
- Do not use soap for the first three washes. Gently rinse in plain cold water.
- For the subsequent washes, use a mild detergent.
- Wash the pallu, border and body separately.
- Avoid washing the saree with inferior quality material or bright colours.
- You can use a protein shampoo with warm/cold water. The shampoo protein will feed the protein in the silk.
- Avoid using chemicals – these may damage and reduce the lifespan of the silk.
- Do not brush or lash the silk saree; it might lead to tearing the zari.
- Avoid twisting or wringing the silk.
- Do not bundle and keep wet for long durations.
- After washing, the saree must be dried immediately.
- First, roll the saree in a dry towel to remove the excess moisture.
- Then, hang it on to a padded hanger.
- Ensure that the silk saree is out of direct sunlight.
- In dry-cleaning, fluids are used to remove stains from the fabric.
- The fluids contain little or no water and do not penetrate the fiber as water does.
- Dry-cleaning is the best way to care for silk, since the solvents used do not affect silk.
- The following points must be kept in mind when taking your silk clothes to the dry-cleaner.
- While pressing, keep the iron in medium heat only.
- Press silk while it is still damp with a warm iron, or use a steam iron.
- Take special care to iron starched material.
Packing / Placement
- The saree should be stored in a cool, dry place.
- Unfold your silk sarees and change the folding preferably every month.
- All silk outfits must be wrapped in muslin cloth.
- Ensure minimal friction between the cloth and the embroidery when you fold embroidered outfits.
- Silk outfits are best maintained if kept in a hanging position.
- For wrinkle-free outfits, delicate handling is required.
Dealing with Stains
- Firstly, wash with cold water immediately.
- For hard stains, soak the stained area with petrol and brush with a soft cloth.
- Stained silk must be dry-cleaned as soon as possible.
- By rubbing acetone on the area, nail polish stains can be removed.
- For lipstick stains, use dry-cleaning fluids, followed by washing soap and water.
- Greasy stains can be removed by dabbing talc. Once this is done, the talc should be brushed off and stain remover applied. The stain can then be washed off in the hottest water possible.
- For treating food stains like milk, ice-cream, chocolate, gravy, etc., use a dry-clean solvent. By applying detergent and then washing off with cold water, the protein part of the stain can be removed. After using a stain remover, it should be washed off in hot water.
- Protein stains like blood, deodorant, egg, meat juices and perspiration can be cleared with detergent. They should be soaked in cool water and laundered. If they persist, try rubbing a mixture of a few drops of Nh2 with hydrogen peroxide.