How to Store Handloom Sarees: Expert Advice

Handloom sarees are some of the most beautiful, expensive sarees in the world. Handmade with intricate details, they can be quite delicate and require special care when storing them. If you’ve recently purchased a handloom saree, or you’re looking to keep your treasured saree collection safe and secure, then this blog post is for you! We’ve gathered expert advice on how to store your handloom sarees, so you can keep them looking as beautiful as the day you bought them.

Store them in cotton cover

Storing your precious handwoven or handloom sarees is an important part of ensuring their longevity and maintaining their quality. The best way to store these beautiful pieces is in cotton covers. Cotton bags provide protection from wear and tear, dust mites and most importantly, moisture.

When it comes to choosing a cotton bag, it's best to use a pure cotton white bag, which you can easily find on Amazon or use the one that comes with your saree packaging. However, make sure to not stack multiple sarees in one bag as there are chances that the colour may stain one another depending on the dye used in your expensive sarees.

Naturally dyed sarees, in particular, are more prone to fading if they are exposed to moisture or light, making the use of cotton covers even more essential. By keeping your sarees in cotton bags, you can rest assured that they are protected from external factors and will remain in good condition for years to come. So, make sure to store your handloom sarees in cotton covers and keep them safe from any potential damage.

Dry clean only

Simple formula, less the garment is exposed to water, less prone to damage it is! The delicate handloom yarns, the colours, zari, intricated weaving, beautiful motifs can all be preserved for longer time if they are not exposed to water as long as possible. Dry cleaning involves liquid solvent to remover oil, dirt and hard to remove stains and does not utilise any water in the process hence dry cleaning is a safe method to refresh your saree. Most importantly the zari should not be exposed to water and high heat which sometimes makes it black and weak, hence dry cleaning is the best to maintain your precious handloom sarees 

Hang the sarees properly 

If you want to preserve the beauty of your handloom sarees, it's crucial to store them properly. One of the most important things to keep in mind is how you hang them. Do not use metal hangers, chances they might get corroded and spoil the saree. Delicate weaves such as Banarasi saree, chanderi silk saree, organza saree, and Katan silk saree are particularly susceptible to damage, especially at the creases formed from folding and stacking. Therefore, it's recommended that you hang them using padded hangers or thicker wooden hangers to prevent them from slipping off. Hanging your expensive saree will not only prevent creasing but also maintain its shape, making it easier to drape the next time you wear it. By taking the time to hang your handloom sarees properly, you're ensuring that they stay beautiful and last for a long time.

 Use cedar balls

When it comes to storing handloom sarees, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to protect them from moths and other pests that can damage the fabric. While many people use Napthalene balls for this purpose, they are not recommended as they can cause discolouration, particularly in areas with zari work or embroidery on the saree.

Instead, we recommend using cedar balls to protect your sarees. These 100% natural balls are made from red cedarwood and are a great alternative to Napthalene balls. They not only repel moths and other pests, but they also absorb moisture and odours, keeping your sarees fresh and clean.

To use cedar balls, simply place them in a cotton cover along with your handloom saree. You can place them on top of the saree or tuck them into the folds for added protection. Cedar balls are easily available in the market and are an affordable and effective way to keep your sarees safe.

By using cedar balls to protect your handloom sarees, you can ensure that they remain in excellent condition for years to come. So the next time you're wondering how to store chanderi saree, silk saree or any other handloom saree, be sure to add cedar balls to your storage routine.

These homemade spice potlis are a boon

If you’re against using naphthalene and cedar balls and wanting your clothes to be smelling fresh while keeping the pesky worms away as well as letting your garments, here is a solution coming straight from your kitchen.

These little cute ‘potli’ can be hidden away in your wardrobe corners as well be kept inside the cotton covers you use for your sarees and you can travel with them.

You can use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaf, tie them together into a small cloth pouch and keep it hidden. You can also use lavender, orange rinds, apple peels and rosemary and even dried potpourri for the smell. Our favourite is Neem leaves which act as a natural repellent to many pests. Additionally coffee beans in a jar can act as a good deodoriser. Baking soda also does the same trick.  

How to handwash handloom sarees at home  - cold water only

Handlooms have existed for a long time before dry cleaning, and we still these precious pieces at museums, some beauties are passed on to lucky ones from grandmas as well. How did they wash, maintain and store these precious silks and purest cottons?

Well, handwashing the sarees at your home yourself is the best way to preserve the precious yarns for long time.

All you have to do is, firstly soak in salt water, this will preserve the colour of the saree and then use a mild liquid soap may be a baby shampoo dissolved in cold water to soak the sarees in, only for a few minutes. If there are stains, treat the area separately and then rise it off in cold water again. Followed by drying them in shade avoiding direct sunlight.

If you’re refreshing cotton sarees, starching at home is pretty easy and efficient, but make sure you starch the whole saree evenly or else the white starch patches leave a very nasty place on the six yards. Or just get it done with your local dhobi for a stiff and efficient starching.

But remember frequent washing ruins the silk sarees, the lesser they are exposed to water and detergents, longer they survive. Never wash your handloom, cotton or silk sarees in washing machine it will leave them lifeless and reduce their sheen while spoiling the zari and may even shrink the saree.

Also avoid any fabric softeners while you wash the saree, the molecules tend to remain in the fibre and does not let them breathe in the long term.

Do not dry them directly under sun

Silk Sarees should never be exposed to direct sunlight as long exposure to UV rays and heat will ruin the protein structure in it, and hence the silk won't be silky any more, and it will also lose its shiny appearance.

Silk is a natural fibre and needs to breathe, drying under sun also causes fading in colour as our sarees are azo free dyes and natural dyes, its more susceptible to fading. Premium sarees like Kanjeevaram silk sarees, Chanderi silk sarees, Maheshwari Sarees etc need attention and care since they employ mulberry silk fibres.

Drying under shade for about 1-2 hours is sufficient for any saree.

Handle the stain by hand washing the stained area immediately  and dry in shade to avoid any damage

Also avoid harsh detergents and chemicals while handwashing silk and especially handloom sarees as they are delicate and harsh chemicals tend remain the fibres and leach them, rendering them lifeless.

Handpainted/naturally dyed/ Blockprinted sarees needs delicate washing

 Natural dyed, Blockprinted, Ajrakh, Handpainted sarees need special attention when it comes to washing. Dry clean is definitely recommended but with petrol wash to prevent seeping of the dyes.

Best way would be soak these kind of sarees in salt water followed by washing them with soapnut or mild baby shampoo and rinsing in cold water.

Stain on these sarees could be very harmful as it may leave the dyes also to be ruined while washing, hence ask your local dry cleaner to treat the stained area with petrol wash compulsorily.

Take them out and air them once in a while

Creases! When it comes to any garment is not a good sight and certainly not good for handmade. Imagine your precious silk sarees have creases when you take them out to wear and they refuse to give away with ironing at home! It can be a nightmare.

Best way to avoid damages at the delicate yarns at the creases is unfold them every 2-3 months spread it in the shade before refolding them and putting them in almirah. Natural fibres like silk and cotton etc needs airing and natural environment for survival just like our human skin does. Also as mentioned before, using hangers is the best way to store any saree to preserve them for a long time.

Perfumes are the worst enemy

Perfumes tend to leave a stain on these precious sarees and tug on to the yarns that are delicately woven together, hence never spray perfume directly on to the saree. Instead try spraying on to your blouse in-lines or your skin. Perfume may harm the zari resulting them turning black.



Wow, really an interesting and informative blog, the suggestions are really helpful.

Arunimaweaves June 19, 2024

Thanks for the blog loaded with so much information. It’s really informative.
wholesale salwar suit suppliers

Jayvijayprints February 21, 2024

Thanks for the blog loaded with so much information. It’s really informative.
wholesale saree usa

SheBazaar January 19, 2024

Thanks for the blog loaded with so much information. It’s really informative.
wholesale saree usa

SheBazaar January 19, 2024

Leave a comment