STORING AND MAINTAINING SAREES
Sarees are a woman's pride and joy. It is a drape that instantly makes you look gorgeous and sexy at the same time.
Since I joined online groups of Saree enthusiasts, the number of sarees I own has increased and it's posing a threat to occupy any empty space it gets.
Extra Shelves have been made in my cupboard, I got a king size under bed storage.
The cabinets are starting to complain of the overload.
Luckily, I got my cabinets custom made to bear more weight, otherwise, the poor shelves would have given way.
Need to keep the treasures away from the prying eyes of my family(Especially my husband,😜😜 else he would say, you have so many, yet, you want to buy one), that was completely in humor. I have an eye to encroach upon a space in his cabinet too.
Posting something different for a change. Since its the locked-In period, I thought people can put to good use this period by tending to their precious weaves.
I would like to share with you'll.....
Tips in Storing and Maintaining Sarees:
Storing the sarees
I pack my sarees in saree covers made from Fabric with a front plastic sheet window panel for me to see the sarees inside. Some of them are in see through Plastic covers.
But the Fabric ones are long lasting compared to the Plastic ones and Eco-friendly too.
Planning to change all into Fabric covers soon.
I have been buying my saree covers for ages from a street vendor. It's done with the idea to support small time vendors as they depend on this as a source of income. I don't ever bargain with him, although he knows I live abroad, he's honest and charges me what he charges other customers. He doesn't even like to keep the change if I offer him out of goodwill. That's another reason to support him. Honesty and Integrity.
Care of the Sarees after use
- Every saree I wear will be air dried after I wear them, then ironed and then placed inside the respective saree bag. Do not place the saree hot from the iron into the bags. Allow them to cool down first.
- If there is a stain, only that part of the stain will be washed using a mild baby shampoo/soap and dried.
- All sarees get a much needed Sunbath once every 3 months and the folds are changed and placed back into Saree covers. (This is important, as the humidity levels in Singapore are quite high and there's a chance to get fungus or silver fish).
- Don't put them in the hot Afternoon sun, but mild morning sun or evening sun.
- Again, do not place the saree hot inside the bags, let it cool down.
- Changing of folds are important to avoid dust lines. Always change the crease every now and then to avoid deep creasing and permanent fold that may be difficult to iron out easily.
When there is a population explosion of sarees in your house, it gets important to sort them; this, makes it easier to choose the saree based on the event and the crowd that would be attending it.
Example - My Kanjivarams, south silks would be worn for a party with the South Indians, Navaratri Festival(Haldi kumkum) etc.
My Banarasi sarees would be kept for North Indian functions/festivals.
My Bandhini's & Leheriyas for Teej/other festivals.
South Cottons and the likes for general events etc. And so on and so forth.....
You can sort it your way....
Now that all are sorted, I label the bags.
Expensive silk sarees are individually wrapped in cotton Fabric(My mom used to use old mulmul dhotis).
Even old cotton pillowcases can be converted to saree holders.
I sort the sarees based on Fabrics as well. Silk sarees are stored separately and cottons separately.
I also color sort the sarees into the bags, so when I'm in a rush I know exactly which bag I have to check to choose the saree for the day.
The dark sarees and pastel sarees are "not" kept together for fear of staining.
- I use cloves for the protection of my sarees. Cloves are good insect repellents and will protect your weaves. Instead of dropping them around, i put the cloves in small organza pouches and put the pouches in my saree bag. One pouch for one saree bag is enough. Every year the cloves get replaced.
- An even better option is to use dry neem leaves as they have anti-pest and anti-fungal properties. Do not use fresh leaves as they could stain the fabric.
- Neem has anti-pesticidal and anti-fungal properties.
- Avoid using naphthalene balls or chemicals for protection from insects.
- I also place De-humidifiers in my cupboard /cabinet where I keep my silk sarees. Always store in a cool & dehumidified space and away from direct sunlight.
- Do not dry clean and roll press at the same time. The fabric will loose it's natural crispness and start to tear. I think if possible avoid the laundry, when it comes to your precious weaves.
- Ironing at home is better than ironing at the laundry as they press very hard causing deep crease lines/folds.
My sarees are my treasure troves. Some of the sarees have sentimental value like my wedding sarees, the sarees gifted to me on special occasions, the sarees passed down by my mother(She passed away in 2017).
Every time I wear them, i feel like my mother is hugging me.
With love and care, the sarees will last longer. With these simple steps you can make each worthy saree an heirloom, to be passed on to the next generation. An expensive saree is like an expensive car. So nurture it and enjoy the returns.