A raw silk saree is a prized possession in our wardrobe. For most of us, it isn’t just a six-yard saree or its aesthetic value, it is the nostalgia and memories of the grandmother or mother interspersed with its threads. And if it is not that, it is the hard-earned paycheck that we have invested in it. A silk saree demands great care. After all, you look like a dream in it and this is the least you could do! To optimise the value of the raw silk fabric and saree and to ensure that it looks the same today and after 10 years, follow this comprehensive care guide.
Follow the label.
Or wash care instructions, if you have a handmade raw silk fabric. Some fabrics are meant for ‘dry clean only’ because they are sensitive to water. They can shrink, lose their sheen and get frayed-rendering your investment and memories down the drain. You may find numerous guide on washing raw silk and silk fabrics at home, but it is better to send them off to the dry cleaner’s to ensure their longevity.
Just in case.
If you are in a hurry and a dry cleaner seems a bit impractical, you can give home laundering a try and disobey the care instructions only after doing your homework on the fabric. A washing machine and dryer is a big NO! Use a gentle detergent in the least possible amount to wash it. Gently put the fabric in detergent and take it out immediately. You can rub your raw silk dress gently around the corners and sleeves. Use only cold water. You can give home laundering a test run by testing it on a small corner.
Don’t wring the wet fabric. Just take it out and lay it out flat under the shade. You can use white towels between the layers and folds to absorb the extra moisture.
No plastic, please.
Most of us are guilty of getting the clothes from the dry cleaner and store it in the same plastic sheet. While there is no data to back it up, but garment care experts are the opinion that the clothes should be stripped off the plastic sheet to expose the fabric to air and let it breathe. This will also help with the musky odour people generally complain of. Instead of plastic, you can use cardboard pipes to roll the handloom sarees and fabric on.
Tackling the stains.
It is quite ironic how silk and stains don’t agree with each other but seem to share a secret camaraderie that you aren’t a part of. Each time you wear a raw silk dress to work, a stain magically appears right in front. If you get a stain on your silk fabric, it is better to dab it gently with liquid soap. You can also use any spot cleanser to wipe it off. Whatever you do, just don’t use bleach. Use cold water to wipe the stain off. Some experts also suggest using saliva on the stain as an SOS. However, each stain demands different treatment and it is recommended that you rush to the professional laundromat at the first chance you get.
Some basic stuff.
Don’t use deodorant or perfumes directly on your silk clothes. Silk tends to stain immediately. It is recommended to use a padded hanger to hang your raw silk sarees. However, this can give your raw silk kurtas and tops pointy shoulders. Hence, it is better to fold them and stacked in the wardrobe. Your treasured sarees shouldn’t be a treasure that you don’t get to wear but store. If you aren’t finding an appropriate occasion to sport them, take them out, change their folds and show them some fresh air.