From sheer fabrics to zari embroidery or metallic foil prints, ethnic wear tends to be a lot more delicate, meaning caring for your attire has to be a bit different from how you would care for your daily wear. Whether it is a sari or lehenga choli, here are 6 tips for maintaining your ethnic wear…
1. Follow the washing instructions
The place you want to start for ethnic wear care tips is reading the label. Different fabrics come with different washing instructions and even ironing instructions. Knowing whether you can machine wash, hand wash or dry clean your clothes will give you an idea of just how delicate the fabric is and how much care is needed to clean them. Using the wrong wash or heat setting could ruin the material and look of your ethnic wear.
2. Avoid washing too often
If your ethnic wear is not soiled or stained after you’ve worn it, you don’t need to wash your delicate clothes after every occasion. You can just hang it outside so any moisture or sweat can naturally dry out. Even when you’re hanging your clothes outside, take care not to hang them under direct sunlight. Instead, hang them in the shade.
If there are any stains on the cloth, simply wash those areas as soon as possible. Use a gentle detergent and lightly scrub the fabric to remove any marks.
3. Store the right way
Storing your ethnic wear the right way is equally important as how you wash them. The first thing to ensure is that your clothes are stored in a dry, dark cupboard away from any moisture or dampness. You can prevent moisture from affecting your clothes by keeping naphthalene or silica gel pouches in your wardrobe.
The shape of your more delicate ethnic wear is retained naturally by the fabric, so avoid using hangers to store your clothes and make use of cloth bags or airtight plastic bags to stack your clothes in your wardrobe.
4. Patch test
If you’re using a detergent, fabric softener or any other chemical for the first time on your ethnic wear, it’s always safer to patch test it. Find a corner that won’t be visible when you wear the apparel and test out the chemical on it to see how the fabric reacts. If it doesn’t get damaged or change in any way, you can use the product on the rest of the material.
When it comes to ethnic wear fabrics, it’s always best practice to stay away from strong chemicals and use natural or lighter products made for delicate clothes.
5. Avoid fragrances
As with all clothes, spraying perfume directly on your ethnic wear could damage the fabric. The chemicals in the perfume or deodorant can react with the fibres and cause the material to fade or stain, so another tip for maintaining your ethnic wear is to always remember to spray your perfume on your wrists and neck.
6. Iron carefully
Excess heat can also damage delicate fabrics, which is why it is important to always read the label to see what heat settings suit your outfit the best. For ethnic wear with zari work, sequins or other embellishments, steam ironing is a better bet. This way, you’re not directly exposing the material to heat, and at the same time, the steam will remove any creases or fine lines.