The essential guide to taking proper care of costly outfits
Indian ethnic outfits like sarees, lehengas and designer gowns, have unparalleled beauty. With a myriad of design details, ornate embellishments and expensive fabric, it is not surprising that they look exquisite. High-quality fabric and intricate details also add to their charm.
While we all love such ethnic outfits, they also demand care and attention. By cleaning, storing and using them carefully, they will retain their original beauty and appeal for years.
Here is all that you should know about how to take care of your heavy Indian sarees, lehengas, suits and gowns to extend their lifespan and get the best use from them.
How to clean heavy clothes before putting them away
Your expensive, high-quality dresses are prone to oil, makeup, food and dirt stains whenever you wear them to festivals and parties. Embellishments can also become damaged when exposed to moisture, weather conditions and chemicals.
The longer you leave these garments in contact with the natural environment, the damage will only worsen. You will find it very difficult to get rid of these stains unless you attend to it quickly.
So, it is important to prevent stains while wearing such garments. Also, address stains as soon as you notice them, so you can correct it before the damage gets out of hand.
With immediate spot correction, you should be able to contain the damage. Use a blotting paper to quickly blot oil marks, water stains or liquid stains. You can also sprinkle talcum powder on oil stains. However, take care to never rub the garment. Just dab the affected area gently.
The best way to completely remove any type of stain is to have it cleaned by professional cleaners. They can expertly tackle stains using suitable cleaning solutions and restore the original look.
When it comes to washing and cleaning your ethnic garments, read the label for proper instructions and adhere to it. Normal washing isn’t recommended for fabrics like silk. So, make sure that it is safe to wash your outfits, before you attempt it.
If the label mentions dry cleaning only, never wash the garment with water. Doing so may completely ruin it. If handwashing is recommended, choose a delicate washing formula. Check for color bleeding before immersing the garment entirely.
After washing, do not wring the clothes. Handle them carefully. Roll them out in absorbent cloth to get the excess water out. Don’t hang heavy clothes to line dry as it can cause them to lose their shape. Always dry in the shade.
Ensure the garment is completely dry before ironing it on the lowest possible setting. Then put it safely into storage.
With a little care, you will be able to use the garment more than just once, before having to dry clean or handwash it. Simply air dry between uses and iron it at the lowest setting before storing it. You can send it to the dry cleaners after wearing it two or more times.
Best practices to efficiently store heavy clothes
Efficient storage is critical to keeping your ethnic clothes fresh and new. Here are some general instructions that apply to all types of heavy clothes.
- Always store expensive clothes in a well-ventilated space that is free from moisture and pests. Use a chemical desiccant to protect your clothes from humidity.
- Store these festive clothes separately from your daily wear clothes.
- Always ensure that the garments are completely dry and clean before putting them in storage.
- Expensive garments with elaborate work like embroidery and embellishments should be stored in individual covers to prevent metallic accents from fading or getting tarnished.
- Heavy embellishments in the hemline can weigh down sarees and lehengas and cause them to lose shape. So, these types of clothes should be stored flat. Similarly, store structured garments and knitted fabrics by placing them flat to keep their shape intact.
- Take out these garments occasionally and put them back after airing and changing folds.
Now, let us look at the special recommendations for different types of Indian couture outfits.
It is a good idea to store sarees with the petticoat and blouse to keep them neatly organized.
One of the best ways to prevent sarees from wrinkling is to hang them using good-quality wood or steel hangers. For sarees with metallic accents or embroidery, use fabric or plastic covers to prevent fraying. However, store heavy sarees flat in saree bags or fabric boxes.
Separate sarees made from fine materials like silk and linen from other fabrics. Occasionally take your sarees out, air them and change the folds before putting them back. This will prevent stains and creases.
Lehengas, Anarkali suits and gowns
Heavy, opulent lehengas and designer gowns occupy a lot of storage space. Wrap them in fabric covers and use hangers for storage, only if there is no risk of their losing shape.
In other cases, fold them neatly in a muslin bag and store away from air and moisture. You can also lay it out flat in a box if it cannot be folded properly.
Salwar kameez and kurtis
Kurtis can either be folded and stacked or hung from hangers. Choose the right option by paying attention to the fabric and embellishments in these outfits.
Bottom-heavy pieces and fine fabric are best folded before you stack them up or hang them.
After-use care tips for heavy garments
With a little care, you can enhance the lifespan of your couture Indian garments. Here are some suggestions to consider.
- Always complete your hair and make-up before changing into the outfit.
- Avoid applying perfume to the garment as it can cause stains to set in.
- Maintain good hygiene while wearing expensive garments. Promptly address stains so the damage doesn’t set in.
- Change out of your heavy garments as soon as the occasion is over and leave it out to air dry right away. This will prevent mold and dampness from damaging it.
- Never leave your expensive and high-quality garment piled up or mixed with other garments. The fine embellishments may become frayed and it can lose its original appeal.
Maintain, clean and store ethnic clothes| Expert tips for Lehengas, Sarees and gowns| Raas