Your wedding ceremony is over. The gifts have been unpacked and put away. Vendors have been paid. The flowers are beginning to fade. Official wedding albums have been poured over. Every minute of your wedding has been discussed and rehashed. Gossip sessions are done and dusted. Your relatives have all returned to their homes. Life is beginning to fall into a routine. Your heart is overflowing with all the memories you’ve tucked away from those beautiful days. But then you open your cupboard and there, looming larger than life, is your wedding lehenga in all its glory.
It’s glorious, isn’t it? Your designer blouse and lehenga. Or maybe it’s a designer saree. Chosen precisely for its colour, intricate work, and the way it looks on you, your designer saree and designer blouse are a part of your magnificent history, perhaps even an heirloom. Maybe you’ll want to hand your wedding lehenga down to your daughter or daughter-in-law when it is time for their wedding. Perhaps you’ll want to wear it again at someone else’s glorious wedding. Whatever you want to do with it if you want to preserve your lehenga for posterity, you need to first clean it and then make sure you maintain it through the years.
A yellowed wedding dress is a waste of money and a loss of heritage. Here are tips to ensure you preserve your wedding outfit in pristine condition so that it will last forever.
- Ensure you give your wedding dress dry cleaning. This is urgent and of utmost importance. You need to get the sweat, grass and mud stains out of your wedding outfit before it stains your wedding lehenga permanently. Stains, if not removed soon, will cause permanent discolouration.
- Typically, when your wedding dress comes back from the dress cleaners, it should be ironed and neatly folded. Make sure that you re-iron and refold it, if required. Be careful when ironing as you need to use a muslin cloth to prevent burning it.
- Folding your wedding lehenga or designer saree is an art. For the designer blouse, you need to start with the sleeves. Fold them inward towards the rest of the blouse and fold the rest of the blouse over it. For the skirt, you need to start on the outward ends and fold inwards, in small folds. It is important that you insert butter paper between the folds of embroidery to ensure that they remain untarnished.
- When you’re ready to store your wedding dress, you need to wrap it in a muslin cloth to keep it dust-free and without moisture.
- After getting your wedding lehenga or saree from the dress cleaners and ensuring that it is well-ironed and folded properly, you can store it in a simple cardboard box that doesn’t have paint or any kind of varnish. You will need to store it at the back of your cupboard or any storage box that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. You can also use naphthalene balls to keep it safe from insects and critters.
- It is important that you take out your wedding attire once a year and air it out, refold it and put it back. This will ensure that it remains clean and fresh throughout the years.
While it is important to keep your wedding attire clean through the years, retiring it to a crypt where it never sees the light of day seems a great injustice. You should take it out every now and then and wear it for important occasions. You can wear the blouse with another lehenga skirt or with a saree or even in a fusion outfit with harem or regular pants. Ensure you follow the same steps in returning your wedding outfit back to its resting spot. Until next time… happy preserving!
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