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Once the craziness of New Years dies off, you are literally surrounded by heaps of clothes in your house. I swear that no matter how much I try and keep the house clean, there’s that ¬†one chair in my house which looks like this:

So now, dragging my heels, I’m trying to clean and pack my festive clothes. Which got me thinking, we really don’t know how to care for most of our fabrics. Almost immediately I decided to be Sherlock, and found out as much as I could. You don’t need to take all your clothes to the Dry Cleaners now….there’s a lot you can DIY too.

Here’s a cool infographic I found online –

While this is certainly very helpful, what we don’t know is how to clean our sarees, lace anarkalis etc.

1. Lace Garments:

Lace is extremely delicate and man handling it only means having to say Good Bye forever. If you have any nasty stain on the lace, specially if it’s a long gown, a saree etc, the hem will tend to attract all the dirt. Mix some stain remover with water (equal parts) in a spray bottle and spray the targeted areas with this mixture. Next, immerse your garment gently in a tub filled with mild soap and water. Don’t leave it for longer than 15 minutes. After this, gently remove the garment. If the stains haven’t vanished yet, take a soft terry cloth and rub it gently on the stain taking care not to pull the lace fabric. Once the stains have vanished, immerse the garment once again in plain water, until the lather fades away, and dry in shade on a thick towel. Don’t hang lace garments.

2. Zardozi Embroidery:

This gorgeous looking embroidery is a mighty pain to wash and clean. First off, don’t ever spray any perfume/aerosol near your zardozi or else you will have blackened embroidery. After using any garment with zardozi, air dry the garment, even if it’s not wet. Just leave it ou and then pack it in muslin before storing. The ideal way to store it would be in a vacuum sealed bag, so that we don’t taint the embroidery. To wash, it’s best to dry clean / petrol wash (don’t ask me what that is – but it works wonders. It’s done almost everywhere in India) the garment.

3. Silk:

Wash your silks in tepid water mixed with a little mild detergent. It seems that baby shampoo wokrs wonders, but personally I haven’t tried this yet. As a last rinse, mix some white vinegar into cold water and use that for your last rinse. This will restore great shine and ensure that stains don’t settle into the fabric the next time you wear it! Win-win!

Now I am off to clean and pack some of my clothes using these techniques! Toodles….

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