Shopping for a silk saree is always an exciting experience,especially,if you are an Indian woman.
Recently,I had the privilege of buying a silk saree as a gift for a relative. It was one of the few occasions,I went to buy a silk saree,after my marriage. Needless to say,I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
There have been numerous jokes about how women shop for silk sarees. Have seen such jokes in movies and local magazines some years back. One of them had a picture of a man waiting in the lobby of a famous silk saree shop,while his wife goes for shopping inside. She comes out after few days and finds that her husband has grown a beard!!. Of course,this is too much of an exaggeration but fuels the popular perception that women take long time to select a silk saree. Not sure how much of it still holds good,given that women these days don't have that much time themselves.
However,it must be acknowledged that buying a silk saree is still a time-consuming experience,even if it is not going to be up to the scale described above.
If you are a man and are going to accompany a female friend or female family member for buying a silk saree,Beware. Silk sarees shopping is not the same as buying a Jeans. Buying even one silk saree,will take hell lot of time. Women get lost in the world of silks,once they enter the shop. It is costlier and also there is lot of variety to choose from.And,women don't get satisfied easily.
Growing up in Chennai,I am used to seeing multi-floor shopping complexes dedicated to Kancheepuram silk sarees in T.Nagar. The craze in Bangalore seemed to be a bit lesser.
To start with,we zeroed in on a couple of silk saree outlets in our area. One of them,Nalli,was a household name for silk sarees in Chennai. Naturally,that was my first choice. And,I wasn't disappointed.
I found that compared to the other two outlets that I checked,Nalli Silks definitely had more variety and lower price. Of course,it was in no way comparable to the sheer grandeur of the same brand in Chennai.
outlet in my area in Bangalore was only one-tenth of the original showroom in Chennai.
Really,missed the Chennai shop with its endless variety of silk sarees
Of course,we couldn't travel to Chennai for buying just one silk saree. So had to settle for the one here.
Looking at the colorful sarees,made me yearn for getting one for myself. Unable to control any further,I asked my husband,"Can I buy one for myself,also?". He had one look at me and told me what I expected him to tell -"You first wear the silk sarees you already have in your wardrobe. Then you can think of getting one more". That put a full stop to my desire of buying one more silk saree.
Yes,he was right. Like any other working woman,I wear western clothes and Kurtis to work. But my wardrobe is not lacking in silk sarees. I have more than two dozens,mostly purchased at the time of my marriage. Some more got added,when relatives started gifting me silk sarees for various family functions. I hardly get a chance to wear them. I feel a tinge of sadness for keeping them unused. Even the occasional Ethnic Day in office,I have only worn sarees which I deemed fit for a work environment. Kancheepuram Silk Saree was definitely not meant for ordinary office wear.
Yet,the silk sarees really looked enticing. With their bright colours and beautiful designs,it was a sight to behold. Yes,but had to look at practical considerations about my wardrobe also. So no silk saree buying for now. Postponed to the next big occasion in the family. Have to at least preserve the ones which I have.
So for all those who love silks,here are a few tips for preserving your silk saree:
1.Re-fold the silk saree every 2-3 months to avoid tear
2.No need to wash it after wearing it once. Just hanging it in an airy place for sometime is enough
3.If you have to wash it,wash the pallu,body and border separately. Each section may have a different color and washing it together will result in mixing of colours
4.Do not wash it roughly or use a washing machine. The zari will be damaged
5.Use only a mild soap if you have to wash
6.While drying,do not hang the saree in direct sunlight
7.Preferably,remove excess moisture by wrapping the saree in a towel,before you dry it
8.Use medium heat while ironing it
9.Once in a while you can give it for a dry-cleaning
10.Normal stains can be removed by washing in cold water with mild detergent
11.For hard stains,better to seek the help of a dry-cleaner
12.When keeping the sarees folded,make sure they don't rub against each other.Better to keep them in separate paper covers