Kancheepuram silk sarees are world-renowned and timeless pieces of clothing that have captured the attention of fashionistas for centuries. With their gorgeous colors and zari, it is no wonder that people consider this an absolute staple for their wardrobe! These sarees are often considered heirlooms and are kept in pristine condition so they can be passed down from generation to generation.
With that said it can be hard to maintain these heirlooms' beauty for an extended period. So, we are here to help you learn how to do it! In the following paragraphs, we’ll outline how you can wash, store, and iron out your Kancheepuram silk sarees so that they will be in perfect condition for years to come.
You can also learn about the effects of poor maintenance and learn how to avoid those. Many of these effects can be avoided by washing the saree properly. Read on to learn how to do so!
How can you wash them?
It is very important to be careful with washing your Kanjeevaram as it’s easy to damage the saree to the point that nothing can be done about it!
A general rule of thumb in fabric care is to not wash the Kancheepuram saree at home as the fabric requires gentle detergent and tender washing. Finding the right type of detergent and cleaning method when washing the saree is very difficult, so we recommend that it be dry-cleaned instead of washed.
However, we understand that sometimes dry-cleaning may not be an option, so here are some tips for washing your saree:
- Wash it with cold water only.
- Use the mildest possible shampoo or detergent you can find.
- Usage of harsh detergents must be avoided at all costs at the risk of damaging your saree
- Never wring the saree once you are done washing it! This will cause stubborn wrinkles to form and can cause long-term damage to the saree.
When it comes to drying the saree, there are some precautions to be taken into consideration. Since wringing the water out of the saree is not an option, we recommend that you roll the saree along a dry towel which will absorb all the excess water, and then hang the saree up to dry. Do not dry them in direct sunlight as this may cause the rich color of the fabric to fade or lose its sheen. It is better to dry the saree inside the house, out of the scope of sunlight.
How do you store them?
After you are done gently washing the Kanchipuram saree, you will need to store it. There are some tips and steps to follow when it comes to this which we will list below:
- It is best to wrap your saree in something like cotton or muslin as it will help increase its longevity. On this note, if you're purchasing Kanchipuram silk sarees from Anya, you can rest assured knowing that they come in a woven cotton bag specifically designed to help protect and preserve the fabric.
- Store your Kancheepuram sarees away from your other sarees.
- Make sure not to hang the saree from a metal hanger like you would with your other sarees. This is so that there are no marks formed along the crease of the hanging; it might not be possible to smooth these away.
- It is also important to keep changing the folds every three months or so. This is so that the creases do not set and can be fixed.
- Air out your saree once every 3-4 months by spreading it out on a cool surface for 30 minutes before refolding them.
- Do not use naphthalene balls when it comes to moth repellant. Use silica gel packs or neem leaves. Make sure to dry the neem leaves before putting them between the saree as the moisture might seep into the saree and cause harm.
- Store the sarees in a dry and dark place, away from the sunlight. This will help preserve their color.
At Anya, we understand the value of these beautiful garments and strive to provide not only high-quality products but also the tools and accessories needed to keep them looking their best. So make sure that you keep your sarees stored snugly in our woven cotton bags and away from direct sunlight.
How can a Kanchipuram silk be ironed?
Going about ironing a Kancheepuram saree requires as much care as washing it! Here we will list some precautions to keep in mind before you set out:
- Always use a cotton cloth as a shield between the saree and the iron. This will make sure that the saree does not burn.
- Make sure to use as little pressure as possible when you are ironing the saree. Anything too much can, once again, burn the saree.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of the iron and make sure that it is at the ideal temperature for silk.
- We recommend using a steam iron; this makes sure that any wrinkles are taken care of and gives your saree a clean look.
What could happen if they are not maintained properly?
There are many things that can go wrong with your saree if it is not taken care of properly:
- Faded colors: this is the most common problem faced by people who own Kancheepuram sarees. Improper washing of the sarees or continued exposure to direct sunlight are the main causes of this problem. One way of dealing with this would be to wash the saree in a bucket of water with a quarter cup of vinegar in it. Make sure to wash the saree well so that the vinegar is rinsed out.
- Wrinkles: As previously mentioned, this comes from either writing out the saree after washing or from improper folding before storage. The easiest way to deal with this would be to steam it or use a steam iron to iron them out.
- Fungus growth and foul smells This problem usually comes when the saree has not been dried properly before being stored or if the saree is stored in a place with dampness. This can also be caused by neem leaves if they are not dried properly before being placed in the saree.
These are some of the most common problems which can destroy your Kancheepuram saree. All of this can be avoided using the methods mentioned in the previous sections regarding their washing and storage. A bit of care while handling your saree can go a long way!
Kancheepuram sarees are priceless heirlooms and should be taken care of as such. We hope that this blog taught you how to take care of them and helped you understand the level of care that should be put into maintaining these works of art!
A lot of the tips given in this blog apply to all sorts of silk sarees like Banarasi silk sarees, Tussar silk sarees, Chanderi silk sarees, and more! You can take a look at some of our other blogs to learn more about sarees like the Sarees of South India and you can also learn more about Kancheepuram sarees in our blog, How to Identify a Kancheepuram Saree.