Most of us own at least one Banarasi saree in our special occasions wardrobe. Either passed on to us as family heirlooms or as a must-have item for weddings or festivals, Banarasi sarees are an integral part of our lives. Like all things beautiful, these Banarasi sarees too need special care to retain their lustre and quality over the years so that we may repeatedly relish wearing these creations. Here are a few handy tips to make sure your precious Banarasi sarees are your best companions for all those special moments in life.
1. Storage - The best way to maintain the elegance of Banarasi silk is to store them in a cool, dry and dark place as exposure to moisture and sunlight can ruin them. Make sure to store these sarees by wrapping them carefully in muslin and cotton cloth. The delicacy of cotton or muslin shears will help preserve the embroidery on Banarasi sarees better. It is also important to remember that these sarees are stored separately. Stacking it among sarees of other material can damage the silk texture.
2. Folding and Hanging care - Zari has metallic components, hence can break if the saree is repeatedly folded in the same pattern over the years. Even the silk gets a stubborn crease if folded at the same place over the years. So, keep changing the folds every time to ensure the saree remains supple. Also, fold the saree inside out to minimise chances of exposure to sunlight. Avoid hanging the saree on metal hangers. Metal hangers are prone to corrode and this can ruin the elegance and shine of the Banrasai silk saree. A smooth wooden or padded hanger, if possible, would be best for the sarees.
3. Washing - When it comes to washing the sarees, dry cleaning is the best option because detergents could ruin the material. If you do not want to go for dry cleaning, consider using petrol to remove the stains. Acetone can be used to remove nail paint stains from the saree and to remove stains of oil, you can rub talcum powder before washing it with a mild detergent.
After cleaning, bear in mind not to dry the saree in direct sunlight because extreme heat can cause the finely woven designs to come apart.
4. Ironing – Use the lowest setting on your iron for your silk sarees as silk and zari can’t tolerate high temperatures. Remember to iron the saree at low heat and should always place a cotton cloth under the saree while ironing.
5. Smell – Since you intend to keep your Banarasi forever, you have to make sure they do not develop a musty smell over time. Keep sachets of your favourite dried flowers and herbs where they are stored to impart a gentle fragrance to their folds. Air them in the shade occasionally to add freshness. Do not spray perfume directly on to your saree when wearing them as it will leave a stain on the silk and may make the zari dark and dull.
Our traditional handlooms are our legacies into the future of a rapidly dwindling skill. Take care of your Banarasi and pass it on to your daughters and younger women in the family to link the past and the future. Buy Now