When you first buy zari worked fabric, it is a dream – the sparkle and shine of zari (the fine gold or silver coloured thread) embroidery or weave that embellishes fabric on borders or as motifs are something else. But after sometime, it becomes so dull and dark. It is like some disease has affected the delicate thread and turned it dead and it is really heartbreaking to see this.
This darkness that take over zari work may be due to the low quality of zari thread used but mostly you could have done something to prevent this. It is difficult to salvage zari-gone-bad but you can prevent the rot. Other than buy the zari fabric from reputed retailers, what else can you do?
Here are some do’s and don’t’s for taking care of the zari fabric.
How to take care of zari fabric
Do give for drycleaning for the first wash. It is even better if you can give the zari worked fabric for drywash atleast for the first 3 times.
Do not wash zari fabric in the washing machine. After the first few dry washes, you can wash the zari fabric at home. Hand wash ofcourse. Wash each item separately.
Do wash zari only in cold water.
Use a drop of baby shampoo or a ph neutral soap. Do not use regular detergent powder at all. They will discolor the zari. Rinse thoroughly in clear running water to remove all traces of soap
Do not soak the zari fabric for a long time. Not more than 10 minutes. If you want to remove extra sizing from the fabric use a pinch of salt in the water and then soak for 15 minutes and then wash.
Do not scrub the zari with hard cloth brush. You can use a very soft brush on places where there is dry dirt. It is better to remove the dry dirt before washing. This way it wouldnot spread to other parts of the fabric.
Do not use bleach or stain removers on the zari fabric. Give for professional dry cleaning, if you notice stains.
Do not wring the fabric too much after washing – the zari thread will be damaged.
Do not at all put the fabric to dry under direct sunlight. Sunlight will fade the zari and cause thread damage as well. Dry in a well ventilated area with no direct sunlight but enough warmth and wind.
Do not press the zari fabric directly with hot iron. You have to use a pressing cloth over the zari. If you press directly with iron the zari will discolour. You can use a thin cotton like muslin, mulle as a pressing cloth.
Do store the zari as you would any delicate precious clothing – inside cotton bags, separately. And every 2 months or so, take out the fabric, change the folds and keep back in storage. This will prevent zari thread damage at the folds.
Checkout this post on more tips on taking care of delicate and precious clothing here. and How to take wash and care for sarees.