It was bright Sunday morning and I recall having seen Grandma go on over and over about how sarees needed to breathe. As a child, I could never quite understand the depth of her concern. Like the chilies that made the food smell divine, the coconut milk that was strained to the right thickness, my grandmother’s sarees too needed the right treatment. Years later when I was bestowed with a trousseau that befitted a queen, I too tried to remember, what were some of the age old ways to preserve those nine yards of magic.
Sooner or later the graceful saree will weave its spell of beauty around all those who have ever teied wearing them. Intricately woven, carefully designed, some heavy, some gossamer light; each saree with its texture, weave, color and pattern and environment, needs a special treatment for storage and this article shall unravel all those doubts that plague our minds, when it comes to storing our sarees.
Saree aficionados would tell you right away that just as human skin breathes so do handmade fabrics and thus each saree needs to be carefully segregated in terms of its
Since sarees range from very heavy Kanjeevarams to light chiffons, each holds a special place in our wardrobe, so let’s delve into each variety and see how well can we manage to keep them looking good as gold!
Be it the fine weaves of Dhakai Jamdanis or the light as air cotton Chanderis, the Narayanpets with their striking contrast border or the vibrant hues of Kanchi cottons-this fabric absorbs moisture the fastest and thus needs regular airing. Here are my top tips for cottons:
With summers as long as we have in India and with summer weddings that demand some heavy Chanderis and Maheshwaris, Organzas and Tissues, there is always a worry that theses fragile beauties with rather fine weaves will suffer storage debacles.
Be all the more careful with ‘light as air’ chiffons and the ‘drape like dream’ georgettes as they are woven very lightly. Tears are common due to over usage of pins or hanging them for too long.
Now that is where the word care really takes on quite another meaning because we are now in the realm of some of the heaviest fabrics like tanchois, silk jamdanis, kanjeevaram, uppadas and so many others that cost us much more than other sarees.
But silks in particular are far more resilient, yet their care is imminent. Like any other natural fabric, silk too needs to breathe and get adequate airing from time to time. Here are the top storage pointers:
Life extension of sarees is possible if you give them fresh air to breathe the cool comfort of a natural fabric wrap, and the cosy yet clean confines of a cupboard or metal trunk. Though what is believed is that wooden chests are always better a option as they allow cloth to breathe.
Like all things that thrive on love and care, sarees are an umbilical part of a Woman’s personal treasures and with these simple and easy to follow steps you can make each worthy saree an heirloom, to be passed on to the next generation; much like the paithani from my grandmother or the Benarasi from my mother!
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