How to preserve timeless elegance of saris
Whether it's a Banarasi variety or the six-yard wonder in chanderi or tissue, saris need to be kept well to be preserved for years altogether, say experts.
For koras, organzas and chanderis: They should be rolled around tall wooden sticks wrapped in mulmul and stored flat beneath a stack of heavy saris. From time to time, refold them to avoid tears appearing along the creases. Never hang your koras and organzas in hangers for a long time.
For tissue saris: It is always advisable to get your expensive tissue saris washed from Banarasi karigars. A normal dry cleaning can put crinkles in your tissues, whereas they wash them on long tables.
Chiffon saris: They need more care than most other sarees. Whether or not to roller dry (charak) chiffons/georgettes depends on the individual's taste. A hard roller-ironing removes the natural crinkle in expensive diamond chiffons. But often ordinary chiffons have no crinkles, so roller-ironing is a must to provide an artificial crinkle.
It is always advisable not to put sari pins with your saris, especially with chiffons. They shouldn't be worn tightly as the cloth is very delicate. Don't hang chiffons and georgettes with heavy embroidery or borders as with time, the weight of the work itself could tear the sari.
Cotton sari: This variety can be washed at home or at a laundry depending on how much you have paid for them, how often you wear them and how passionately you feel attached to them.
It is advisable to get your fancy cottons or cottons with zari dry cleaned. Colours like turquoise blue, shocking pink and black almost and always bleed and require special precautions when washed at home. Starch often kills a cotton sari's longevity, but then the beauty of a cotton sari lies in its crisp look.
For preserving Banarasi silks:
Wrap them carefully in muslin cloth as it will protect the sari from foul smell and unwanted dust.
Don't use metal hangers so that the saris don't get corroded. In case you are not using hangers, stack it up one over another with ony one fold. Too many folds may lead to sticking up the weaves or the cloth, resulting in ruining a sari.
Dry cleaning is preferred because detergents could ruin it. If dry cleaning does not come in handy, wash it with a mix of baby shampoo and a spoon of liquid daily detergent.
Never dry the sari in direct sunlight unless you want to see the colours fade away.
To remove hard stains, you could consider using petrol if you don't go for dry cleaning. Acetone can be used to remove nail paint stains. To get rid of oil stains, rub talcum powder before washing it with a mild detergent.
If you are willing to keep intact you heavy work saris, always fold them inside out.
Using perfumes, deodorants or any form of fragrance directly on the sari may leave an non-removable stain. Hence, it is advised to spray a bit on your wrist.
Always keep it in mind to iron your saris on low to medium heat. High heat may leave a patch.
Avoid keeping naphthalene balls around it to avoid moths. Instead, use neem leaves over muslin cloth to keep it fresh and odour free.