Cottoning On: How To Ensure Your Saree Looks Its Best

Image Credits: RubyGoes

If there’s anything quintessentially Indian, it’s the saree.

In the film ‘English Vinglish’, Sridevi takes on the role of a housewife in New York beautifully. Naturally, she wears perfectly starched cotton sarees throughout the movie, and looks like the epitome of grace and poise.

Your love affair with sarees probably started with your mother’s closet, and was fed by Bollywood’s obsession with the desi girl. Who doesn’t want to look like Priyanka Chopra in a dance sequence?

Since life isn’t an item number, your mum’s simple, elegant, cotton sarees are better suited to everyday life

Cotton sarees are a staple in every woman’s wardrobe, but they also need a lot of upkeep. You want them to look as good as new after every wash, and maintain them for a long time to come.
So, here are a couple of tips that’ll help you care for your gorgeous sarees:

A Dry Run

Is your saree brand new?

Don’t wash it with water.

For the first few times, get your saree dry cleaned, to help the colour set and keep the fibres safe.
You’ll probably find this as part of the vendor instructions when you buy your cotton sarees from Rediff.Com.

But even if you don’t, remember that the best way to ensure that your cottons will last is by being gentle with them right from the start.

A Grain Of Salt

Apart from dry cleaning, another thing that helps lock in the dye on cotton clothes is rock salt.

After handing your saree over to the cleaners the first few times, you can wash your cotton saree at home. But before you add detergent to the mix, soak your saree in lukewarm water with rock salt.

This ensures that the colours featured on your saree won’t fade even in the later washes.

Nuts To You

Ritha, or soap nut, is commonly known as the laundry tree. Since your cotton saree won’t survive the usage of harsh chemicals, you could use ritha as a fabric conditioner.

The nut is extremely gentle on fabric, and is a boon to anyone with sensitive skin.

Just add a few to a bucket of water and soak your saree in it. It will come out clean, fresh-smelling, and remain in perfect condition for a long time.

Starched Stiff

You don’t actually need to starch your cottons till they’re as stiff as a board.  However, cotton does get softer with every wash, so if you want to keep it as crisp as ever, you’ll have to starch it. Besides, starch protects your saree from most stains, so you should definitely starch your cotton sarees each time they are washed.

All you have to do is mix approximately a tablespoon of cornstarch for every two cups of cold water. Let it dissolve completely and store it in a spray bottle for easy usage.

Shady Business

Cotton sarees will fade with direct exposure to sunlight. Now, you can’t avoid direct sunlight, but you can avoid drying them in the sun.

Find a shaded area to hang them up and you’ll be able to maintain the colour better.

With the proper maintenance, your brand new cotton saree from Rediff.Com will last you for years, and will look the same as the day you first bought it.

So, buy a lovely handloom cotton saree today, and make sure you treat it well.