Needlessly to say, prized heirloom sarees hold a great sentimental value for all. Most families pass these nine yards number down generations. Whether it is worn for the first time or for the twentieth time, it should be preserved well. Maintaining it requires great care but this responsibility should not be deemed as heavy-duty. If you are not sure about preserving the Indian drape wear, then we have shared great tips from top Indian designers.
5 Top Designers Share Their Tips on Preserving Heirloom Sarees:
Scroll below to learn more:
1. Using Dry Neem Leaves for Preserving Sarees as Shared by Ritu Kumar:
Ritu Kumar advices on seeking help from professionals to repair saree damages. She further recommends storing the heritage pieces in cotton or muslin bags after folding them and cautions on using polyester bags. Another advice she gives on maintaining heavily embroidered number is to use a net lining to save the embroidery from getting knotted.
But perhaps the most interesting piece of her advice is of using dry neem leaves instead of naphthalene balls to preserve the sarees and maintains its zari work.
This is not all; the designer suggests washing the drape wear with cold water in case of a stain situation or to use talcum powder for soaking up the oil, while following up with a warm water wash and soap.
2. Storing Heritage Sarees in Mulmul as Shared by Anju Modi:
Vintage heirloom sarees are mostly handcrafted in pure silver zari work and gold depictions. Most of us make the mistake of stacking them together. However designer Anju Modi do not support this idea as it tears up the sari folds and makes them hard to maintain. Instead, her advice is storing them in single cases covered in mulmul. Or if the fabric has already been damaged, then use the pallu, borders, and motifs on a new fabric. She finishes off by saying – “treasure and value these saris if you are lucky enough to own them—they are a rarity in today’s age!”
3. Approach Experts or Weavers for Quick Fixes as Shared by Palak Shah:
Palak Shah, the CEO of Ekaya Banaras has great tips on preserving heirloom sarees for long duration. It is a common thing to fold and store away sarees for an extended period of time. When they’re taken out finally, discoloration or cracks, and worn out zari are some of the issues faced. To fix these issues, the expert designer advices on approaching seasoned experts like the weavers because they can understand the nuances of a heritage number and restore the damaged pieces while preserving its originality.
Another important advice the designer shares is on repurposing sarees. She suggests transforming vintage pieces into anarkalis and lehengas or using them to adorn blouses.
4. How to Preserve Antique Sarees as Shared by Swati Agarwal:
Swati Agarwal, the co-founder of Swati and Sunaina has some useful tips to share on preserving antique sarees. If the vintage number is beyond repair, then they can be trimmed and used as embellishments on blouse borders. Or if the color has developed blotches, then she recommends re-dyeing them.
The designer also shares advices on storing the heirlooms. She recommends keeping them vertically, inside out,rolled up in a plastic rod wrapped with tissue paper. It is important to keep the wrong side on top to prevent any weathering on the zari.
Dry these heritage pieces in the mild winter sun once a year. Leave them out to dry under a fan during the night before keeping them away.
5. How to Restore Old Sarees as Shared by K. Radharaman:
K. Radharaman, founder, CEO, and Principal Designer, House of Angadi has a great advice on restoring vintage sarees by taking help from the experts. They are quite tactful in stitching the tears from the pieces. In its place, he recommends cutting a vintage number to transform a new outfit.
Other than that, he suggests donating the heritage pieces to a museum where it can be preserved.
Try these expert tips to increase the longevity of your treasured heirloom weaves and to keep your vintage pieces in prime shape.