How to take care of Kanchipuram Silk Sarees

Storage and Washing Instructions for Kanjivaram Silk Sarees

Mulberry Silk Yarn:

Panjavarnam weaves Kanchipuram Silk Sarees using pure mulberry silk as yarn. The yarn is seasoned and strengthened by double twisting strands around themselves for improved tensile strength, dyed and then woven on hand operated looms. All our sarees are hand-woven, by highly skilled artisans in the Kanchipuram District of Tamil Nadu. The weaving process is a complex and laborious one, requiring higher order skills in visualisation, imagination and creativity.

While mulberry silk yarn is by nature, delicate and sensitive to moisture, it has withstood the test of time in Kanchipuram Silk Sarees, and with a little care and effort from the owner, these sarees will be heirlooms, retaining their beauty and sheen for generations to come. Consider your Kanjivaram Saree as an investment- one that you can pass on forward to your progeny, not only as a legacy that grows in value, but also as a memory bank evoking moments to savour.

Kanchipuram Silk Sarees, like wine, get better with age. Keep the following Do’s and Don’ts in mind while taking care of your saree, and enjoy the fabric for near perpetuity-

Storage of Kanchipuram Sarees:

  1. Unpack the sari and discard the packing material. Do not store the sari in a card board box, or in proximity of newsprint or in plastic bags.
  2. Knot the tassels after detaching the blouse material (your tailor can do this or you can request us), and fold the sari retaining the fold lines as much as possible. Wrap it in a sheet of muslin cloth and store away from light and heat (from indirect sources like a window or heater)
  3. Store the sari folded on flat shelves, one on top of the other to a maximum of 4-5 sarees in a column. For heavy kanjivarams and bridal saris, do not stack more than 3 in a column. Swap the sari positions once in 3 months- ie move the top sari to the bottom of the pile and vice versa to even out the creasing due to sari weight. Do not suspend the sari on hanger or place napthalene balls or any deodorant in the storage cabinet. Use silica gel sachets to absorb moisture
  4. We recommend that you air your Kanjivaram, once every 3-4 months by opening the sari, spread it out over a cool surface ( like your bed) for about 30 minutes and refold it back to storage. This helps to avoid colour fade along the folds and preserves the yarn along the creases.
  5. Some weavers use a starch-intensive yarn seasoning process, and hence some saris may have a stiff, starched texture when new. These saris soften as the starch falls off, and you can hasten it by opening the sari, waving it like you would shake the dust off a bedsheet and folding it back.

Washing of Kanchipuram Silk Sarees:

  1. Professional Dry cleaning of the sari is recommended always. If you are comfortable with spacing the cleaning intervals to once in 2-3 uses, please do so.
  2. Air the sari as much as possible after every use and dry clean followed by a roller iron to restore the folds.
  3. For stain removal, adopt spot cleaning depending on the nature of stain as follows-
    1. Water soluble stains : Dab a piece of cotton in plain water and apply over the affected area till the stain washes off. Allow to air dry and follow up with a roller iron.
    2. Greasy Stains : For dark coloured saris, dab a piece of cotton in a solvent (acetone or equivalent) and wipe the stain off the affected area. For light coloured saris, first sprinkle some talcum powder over the stained area and allow the pigment to be absorbed. Dust off the excess talcum powder. If the stain is till suborn, test a small area with acetone to check if the stain spreads. If it doesn’t, go ahead with the procedure described for dark colours.

Handle your Kanjivaram with care, and enjoy it for generations!