Project LooM

Caring for your Kanchipuram Silk Saree

As told by Sabita Radhakrishna and Vejai Ganesh.

  • First of all, don’t send it to the dry cleaner. Or at least, send it only one– for the first time. After that wash your weaves by hand.
  • Soak some soap nut (reeta, as it called) overnight in a bucket till it froths.
  • Dip your Kanchipuram silk saree into the water and pull out. Wring excess water out.
    Spread out on a drying rack in the shade.
  • The more you hand wash, the softer the silk will become, till it gains the patina of age and wellbeing.
  • This is why we are attracted to our grandmother’s old sarees. They have that sheen of softness, the lustre that comes from being loved, the well-worn texture of the well worn saree.
  • Folds are folly.
  • Don’t hang your sarees from a hanger.
  • Don’t stack them up using the same ironed folds, because those are the folds from which they will tear. Instead roll-up your sarees and rotate them frequently so that they breathe.
  • Don’t allow naphthalene balls to touch them or they will stain. Instead, use dried neem leaves to ward off insects.

Best of all, wear them often. Let them air out.

Let them get their moment in the sun. As will you when you wear a much-loved weave.

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