Tips for Hand Washing Silk

Hand washing Silk Saree is our recommended mode of cleaning silk. Almost all silk can be hand washed (and would not shrink if the silk fabric were pre-shrunk before sewing)

  1. If you have hard water, you may wish to first add a spoonful of borax to the washing water
  2. Use lukewarm water and mild, non-alkaline soap (such as Ivory Liquid) or baby shampoo
  3. While rinsing, you can add a few tablespoonfuls of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralize alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue
  4. Or, add a few drops of hair conditioner to the final rinse water for extra silky feel
  5. Soaking silk for any more than a few minutes should be avoided
  6. Do not use harsh detergents that contain bleaches or brighteners
  7. Washing-SilkDo not wring or twist; roll in towel to extract water

TIPS TO MACHINE WASH YOUR SILK GARMENTS

Make a right choice

Right Choice

There is a no doubt to the fact that Indian Ethnic wear maintains a fan base throughout the globe. Apart from Indians, women from many other countries prefer the styling and wish to adopt the same in special ceremonies. It comes in a grand way with huge versatility, in terms of cut, design, color, and material. In order to fetch a good collection for self-use, the ideal place to collect some unique creations is none other than the online stores.

 

ethnic-wear-online

 

Image Source: fashionbuzzer.com

 

Availability of Indian clothes online not only helps buyers to get in touch with myriad designers to buy their preferred ethnic wear but also helps the sellers get access to a larger customer base and in turn more popularity of the product. There are two major categories of ethnic wear for women in India; Salwar kameez and saree. There are various styles of these basic types like in salwar kameez; one can choose fancy styles, Punjabi style, A-line cuts, Patiala suits, Anarkali suits, etc. whereas in sarees there is a great variety of products from each state or region of the country.

 

One of the best platforms to purchase Indian clothing is the online stores. The reason behind the same includes:

 

A large variety is available on one platform, so accessing larger designer base becomes easy.

Rare designs can be accessed which are normally unavailable in regular wholesale shops.

Quite cheaper clothing since set up cost or infrastructure cost is much less.

Can purchase the product and get it delivered at the preferred address without the trouble of communicating to the showrooms and searching all ends for the ideal clothing.

In a nutshell, Indian designs are presently stealing the hearts worldwide, and the best place to access the same is the online platform.

Kanchipuram Silk Guide

Kanchipuram Silk Buying Guide

“How do I look?” Padma asked me, nonchalantly, staring at her reflection in the large mirror.  We were in a large showroom of Silk Sarees, and a salesgirl carefully folded the saree at the right places, held them in place, and then looked at us noddingly for a reaction.  “Good” I said, “But…”.  My wife cut me off, and declared “I love this saree.  I want to buy this”.  I continued my muted protest – “first of all this is not handloom, and secondly I suspect this has a mix of polyester fiber”.  I got back in a quick retort was “Polyester, silk, handloom – does not matter.  This a beautiful saree, and I love it.”

We were in the temple town of Kanchipuram in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, India, famed as much for its tradition of Homemade silk sarees, as for its majestic temples.  They are the remnants of a weaving and dyeing tradition hundreds of years old, patronised by the Cholas, Pallavas and the Chalukyas and whose riches the West came seeking before the industrial age began.  The Nobility prized these sarees for their myriad colours, lustre, and durability.  For the common woman, it was simply a dream to be at par with the Royals.  Now, the Kanchipuram Sarees even has its own Geographical Indications Tag, offering the artisans who weave them legal protection against fakes.

Padma and I were in Kanchipuram for different reasons.  She came to shop for handloom silk sarees that this town is so famous for, and wanted me to come along for company, and help her in negotiation with the traders. I wanted to understand the silk saree, its designs, production process, raw materials and help rationalize the vast differences in the selling price.  In the process, I wanted to understand the tradition of the hand woven sarees, and track its journey from its roots.  For me, buying any product should entail understanding and breaking down its features, cost structure.  We recently purchased a washing machine, and it was relatively easy to compare the factors – top vs front loading, steel vs plastic drum, belt driven vs direct drive motor, spin speeds of 800 rpm vs 1200 rpm, electronic vs mechanical display, warranty period, cost of spare parts, brand value etc. and then value them.  This was easy.  But anytime I go with Padma to purchase a saree, I would be scratching my head in confusion, not understanding why a certain saree cost Rs 36,000 while a similar looking saree in a competing store was a tenth of that price.

I was trying to analyze how Indian women base their silk saree buying decisions.  I am not male chauvinistic, but have to say, it is certainly not based on scientific reasoning.  I get too technical for anything, but Padma looks for something else.  Why do hand crafted sarees cost more than their machine woven counterparts?  What is zari, and why do women fancy it?  Does it really matter if the saree is woven of pure silk, or mixed with poly fiber?  How does thickness and weight of the saree matter?  I did not know the answers when I started asking these questions.  I found no universal truths, but I discovered many facts – about silk, a woman’s identity and the pleasure she derives by draping herself with certain sarees.  I hope to carry the reader with me in uncovering some myths associated with silk sarees.

So this set me on a mission to understand Silk, its supply chain and saree weaving so that they can wear and carry silk saree with grace and  in the process demystify the saree buying process.

Sericulture, the practice of domesticating silk worms for the production of raw silk, has been in existence in China for thousands of  years.  The World was so fascinated by Chinese silk, that silk was traded from one country to another, from one kingdom to another, and eventually reached Europe via a route that is well documented and famous called the Silk Road.  Europe was in the dark ages when Chinese silk was getting popular.  For thousands of years, the Chinese guarded the process of silk making, and threatened its citizens with the death penalty should anyone reveal the secrets to outsiders.

To understand how silk is made, first let us understand the lifecycle of a silk worm.  The silkworm eggs once laid, takes two weeks to hatch into a larva.  The larve feeds continuously on mulberry leaves, and after molting several times, enters the pupa phase. In this phase, the larva (silk worm) produces a fine thread from its salivary glands and wraps itself using this thread.  This fine thread is raw, natural silk.  The larva wraps itself inside a coccoon, that is made using this silk.

To emerge from this phase to an adult Silk Moth, the silkworm has to break out of the coccoon.  Nature has endowed it with a special proteolytic enzyme that it releases, which makes a hole in the silk coccoon.  This enzyme also ruins the silk threads and destroys it.

So the only way for human beings to exploit this natural silk is to kill the silkworm in the pupa phase, and prevent it from damaging the coccoon.  This is done by placing the coccoon in boiling water during which the silkworm dies, and the water makes the coccoon easier to unravel.

So yes, the silk worm is killed in order to produce silk for human consumption. Each coccoon yields anywhere from 300m to 900m of raw silk. Also,  6 – 9 kg of Coccoon is required to yield 1 kg of raw silk yarn.  So depending on the type and weight of the silk saree, anywhere from 5000 to 10000 silkworms are killed in order to produce sufficient raw silk required for one silk saree.  No wonder,  before wearing it for the first time, several Hindus adorn the Silk saree with kumkum and pray. They ask forgiveness for unknowingly snuffing out so many lives in order that he or she could enjoy this beatiful work of art, and also pray for good things to happen while wearing this.

At the time this article is published, prices of Coccoons cultured in India have fallen significantly to Rs 100/kg.  This is a result of the recent Government action lowering import tariffs for coccoons from 30% to 5%, so Chinese cultured coccoons are flooding the Indian market, causing significant grievance to the Indian rearers.  On the contrary, the weavers welcome this move as this enables them to use cheaper silk enabling better prospects for sale of the sarees.  Working backwords, the cost of silk yarn that goes into a (600gm) Saree ranges from Rs 500 to Rs 1500.

The silk yarn is dyed prior to weaving.  Neither the silk yarn is produced in Kanchipuram, nor is it dyed there.  Most of the weavers source the silk yarn from Bangalore.

Since silk is a natural protein generated by a living organism, it behaves similar to other natural proteins, such as hair.  So the best way of testing if it is genuine silk is by what is known as a burn test.  Burning silk smells similar to burning hair, and leaves a grey ash residue that crumbles when crushed.  Polyester or Nylon, when burned, melt, and leave a solid residue with a miniscule amount of ash.

Materials Primer: Zari

Every traditional silk sari has a shiny component that is referred to as Jari or Zari.  In South India, Jari is also known as Pattu.  In ancient times, the Royals found a way of showing off their wealth by mixing Gold and Silver in their clothing. Strips of Gold and Silver were cut into fine wires and incorporated into the clothing,  Even today, Real Jari/Zari/Pattu refers to pure Gold or Silver tinsel threads used in clothing.

The practice of mixing real Jari into sarees continued almost until the 19th century.  Then a Silk saree was made of pure silk mixed with real Jari. This was painstakingly hand crafted over several months, and each saree was unique and a masterpiece. So if you inherited any ancestral silk sarees, chances are they are precious.

The way Zari is made is by flattening a Silver Wire of 50 SWG using rollers, and coiling it around a silk core converting it into silver thread. This thread is electroplated with 24 Carat Gold in a Cyanide solution, and the resultant Zari is Reeled, Flattened and Packed.  Most of the Zari in India is produced in Surat. The flattening of the Silver wire is a unique process, and its technique is a closely guarded secret held by a few families living in Surat. So most Zari producers source it from there.

Zari is usually measured in a unit called Marc.  One Marc is 19,200 meters or approximately 242 grams.   As commodity prices are on the rise, the current price of zari is Rs. 11,500 per Marc  as compared to Rs. 3,150 in 2005.  According to the government standards, one Marc of zari should contain 55 to 57% silver and 0.2 to 0.6% gold and 24% silk, but in order to cut costs the private owners use spurious zari. The artificial zari costs Rs. 250-300 per Marc, substantially reducing the overall cost of a duplicate saree.

A good way of testing if Zari is pure is by a technique called X-Ray Fluoroscence.  The Tamil Nadu Government has set up an analyzer in Kanchipuram that could be availed to test if a silk saree contains pure Zari at a nominal cost.

It is essential to note that it is not possible for anyone to sell a genuine handwoven silk saree with real zari for a cheap price, say Rs 8,000.  Just the cost of the silk,  zari and labour would amount to that price.  It is difficult to generalize as it really depends on the saree design, and how much zari is used in it.

Design:

Weavers in Kanchipuram continue to face the wrath of the capitalist markets. If machines can mass produce what the traditional weavers of yore hand crafted for centuries, at a lower cost, and offer more choices, the weavers have no choice but bow before the market forces.  Weavers children who normally follow the family tradition, are now seeking greener pastures.  The penetration of mass media, internet and mobile telephony has certainly shrunk the World and raised the hopes and aspirations of these craftsmen, and aided them to seek alternative professions.

Traditional motifs on Kanchipuram Saree depicted stories from folklore, royal animals such as elephants and horses, majestic birds such as peacocks and parrots, flowers such as lotus, diamond, temples and other art forms. In other words, sarees worn by the nobility conveyed who they are  – majesty, grandeur and pomp.  Cotton sarees are ornamented with threads and some silk sarees are also woven with thread instead of pure zari.

The industrial revolution changed the rules of production.  Mass production of everything from yarn to fabrics gradually made everything affordable and widely used.  New discoveries in Chemistry led to textile yarns such as Nylon and Polyester after the First World War.  In a well written article on the plight of Kanchipuram weavers (referenced below), three journalists describe the working conditions and wages of weavers. It is heartbreaking to note that weavers do not earn even minimum wages for the effort they put in.

The number of handlooms in India is estimated at 300,000 while the number of power looms at around 30,000.The handlooms are in dire straits as they are affected from two sides – one one side, their children shy away from the tradition of weaving, and are pursuing other vocations for a career.  On the other side, power looms and imports are hitting hard and making it more difficult for handlooms to be commercially viable.

Customers today face all these choices when they go to purchase a saree.  Silk is an age old natural fiber and has been used for textiles for milleniums.  In today’s age, with all the choices of textile fibers, is it still worth to wear Silk Sarees? Well, the answer depends on what you really want to wear.

A silk saree selling for Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000 or less, is unlikely to be a genuine kanchipuram handwoven silk saree.  So how do you ensure you are buying a real one?  First, buy from a reputed store or cooperative.  The Silk Board of India, a Government of India institute designated to promote Silk, has come with the concept of a “Silk Mark” label that it confers on genuine silk sarees.  They will test any saree with such a label in order to promote and protect that label.  Similarly, for testing genuineness of zari, the Tamil Nadu Government’s Zari Test facility in Kanchipuram  can test zari for genuiness for a nominal payment of Rs 40 per test.  Several shops also let you cut out a few filaments and do your own burn test if they are confident it is genuine silk.

If you were misinformed that silk worms are not killed during the production of silk, and you care about this, you should not be using silk.  Please do note that every other material is a culprit of some sort – for example, another natural fiber that is widely used, cotton, is guilty of consuming ten times more water than say tomatoes, and is making matters worse in a country which is already reeling under water scarcity.

How do you distinguish between a handloom vs a powerloom saree?  Handlooms have a different touch and feel compared to powerloom sarees.  Also, most powerlooms tend to mix manmade fibers with silk in their production, so that gives it a different texture.  No powerloom saree uses 100% silk.

Does it matter if it is handloom or powerloom?  To answer this, you should look at it from different perspectives.

From a design perspective, today, it does not matter so much.  Several centuries back, only skilled weavers could produce stunning motifs and designs, while powerlooms spitted out bland versions.  The computer controlled powerlooms of today are capable of reproducing anything that a skilled weaver can handcraft. From an economy perspective, yes generations of weavers are involved in the weaving trade, and their subsistence is threatened by the powerlooms.  So handcrafted sarees give them an avenue to sustain their profession, and express their creativity.

Is it really beneficial to wear silk?  Not really. it was fancied by the World over when the only choice was cotton.  With advances in technology, clothing today can be made using a slew of manmade fibers such as polyester, nylon, viscose and rayon; and natural fibers such as cotton, silk, wool etc.  Cotton has certain properties that keep us comfortable.  Wool keeps our body warm.  Silk is soft and durable.  In contrast, manmade fibers are not liked as much by most people.  The  reason they are so widely used is cost.  With an indefinite supply of raw materials, highly mechanised production, and and endless variety of colors and designs, manmade fibers have found mass appeal and widespread acceptance.  Natural fibers supply is dependant on the crop or the animals that produce them.

Tradition in India dictates the use of silk sares for special occasions, and the tradition keeps the industry going.  The advantages of silk sarees are they are very durable, and they have a resale value while all other sarees have no resale value.  Additionally, handcrafted silk sarees can be unique and makes you stand out.

How to Care your Silk Saree

Maintaining Silk Saree
It’s not easy to have a silk saree at home, it requires smart work to maintain a silk saree with little care.

Care & Maintenance of Silk Saree

It’s not easy to have a silk saree at home, it requires smart work to maintain a silk saree with little care.

Silk Saree Care and Maintenance
Silk Sarees Care and Maintenance

 

Washing

  • Silk Sarees must be dry cleaned for initial washes, rather than washing with detergents.
  • After few uses you may use mild detergent
  • Try not to brush the saree rigorously
  • Never mix and wash Silk saree with other clothes, this may damage the quality of Zari
  • You can also use mild shampoo to retain the shine of the silk saree
  • Do not fold in an improper way and throw away after wearing
  • Let dry the sweat under the fan or in sun for 5-10 minutes then fold it upside down.
  • This will make the saree stay shinning and perfect for decades to come.

Drying

After dry-cleaning or washing, dry the saree in really less sunny time or in shade, or else the color will shade early.

  • Roll the saree in dry cotton cloth and remove water
  • Hang on hanger
  • Avoid direct sun light

Dry cleaning

Dry cleaning is the best way to remove any stains from saree.

  • Solvents are used which don’t affect the quality or color of the fabric
  • Silk isn’t affected by these dry cleaning materials, helping in retaining the shine through ages

Ironing

We, at home generally doesn’t iron the silk saree ourselves, as it’s really a big & important task. Little absence of mind the silk thread burn away. Anyways,

  • Use Iron on low or medium heat
  • Use White paper for best crease and folding.
  • Steam Iron is best for silk sarees
  • Take extra care with extra soft materials
  • Never use news-paper, as the black Ink sticks to cloth while ironing

Storing

  • Keep you saree away from insects, in a dry place
  • Do not just leave your saree just like that, instead remove the fold once in a while and fold again
  • Fold upside down, preferably
  • Wrap in muslin cloth
  • Use white paper for folding to ensure wrinkle free saree

Stains

  • Rinse immediately in case of stain
  • Use Talcum Powder if any greasy thing falls on it. Let it soak for some time and then wash it later. Read on How to Remove Stains from Silk Saree.

Conclusion:

Take care of your Silk Sarees which you buy online or at any retail store. Wash, Dry clean, Store, take care of stains too.

Tell us in comments if you have similar or some different points to share.

Style Of Wealthy Krishna Tanjore Paintings

Style Of Wealthy Krishna Tanjore Paintings

Crafted with meticulous care the Thanjavoor (Tanjore) photos distinctive. What sets them except for Indian paintings generally the elaborations remodeled the fundamental drawings with precious and semi-precious stones still because the relief work which provides them a 3 dimensional impact. The painting would be bright and colourful and breathtakingly stunning. The impact in a very darken area is that of a glowing presence The wealthy vivacious colours, dashes of gold, semi-precious stones and fine creative work square measure characteristics of those paintings. This add beauty and culture to a range of surroundings and decor.

Know more about Tanjore Krishna Painting – A Rich Painting

History of Krishna Tanjore Painting

The art flourished in Tanjavoor, pronounced Tanjore, the capital town of the Chola kinsfolk, and so got its name. Indian princes, Nayaks of Vijaynagar kinsfolk, Rajus communities of Tanjore and Trichi and Naidus of Madurai patronised the art of Tanjore painting from sixteen to eighteenth centuries. Tanjore paintings square measure deeply frozen in tradition and still innovative inside limits. This art is sacred and dedicated.

Tracing its roots to the historical golden era of the first eighteenth century, Tanjore design is one in every of the various native art forms that India is noted. Originating in Tanjore concerning three hundred kms from Chennai( Madras), that was the then capital of the Gupta empire, this way of art developed at the peak of cultural evolvement achieved throughout that amount.

The paintings enhance the puja rooms in residences, arcades in major hotels and lobbies in company Offices. They conjointly build nice gifts for Diwali, Weddings and alternative special occasions. 

The Heritage- Krishna Tanjore Paintings

Tanjore paintings square measure the last word styles of expression of affection of Godhead, truth, beauty and devotion. Many devoted artists from state have unbroken alive this stunning variety of art and have caused new innovations to that.

What do you know more about Krishna Paintings?

Few amazing points about Inspiring dinning table

Inspiring dinning table

I get extraordinarily confuse once it involves consumption tables. Not as a results of I don’t understand them, it’s just because i prefer too many of them! such an oversized quantity of utterly completely different styles, finishings and honestly, i need i could modification mine lots of usually. usually i need that I had associate degree antique, a house table, a french country… my heart merely can’t extraordinarily decide. i like the one I even have right away. Nothing explicit, but totally special to American state as a results of it’s where we’ve got an inclination to any or all near celebrate the tip of each day. Mind you that usually it’s going to be somewhat crazy, since I even have a pair of babies and one in each of them simply despises veggies. Then, arguments ar inevitable usually. but this is often family life, around our table. Glass Dining Table set, Dining Room Tables and Chairs, Dining benches are best choice.

Click here for Cost of A Fine Place to Dine and Proportion for Dining Tables.

I found some gorgeous tables which i like variety of them. i would like to grasp your preference. By the way, do i regularly match the chairs with the table? i like the thought of mixing somewhat to feature some interest. which i assume mistreatment benches instead of chairs can bring your dinning space to following level, significantly once it’s a sublime and engaging bench. And please, you would like to feel comfortable whereas sitting! ready to be able to build a post relating to consumption chairs shortly, but currently let’s get affected by these outstanding consumption Tables. I hope you fancy it!

This store has regularly been a favorite of mine to envision out, as they regularly have distinctive things and pretty finished furnishings for cheap prices.

Ten minutes before closing, we’ve got an inclination to created it there, and it took American state a whole of two minutes to hunt out the table! Happy recreation, jumping up and down and high ar all one or two of of the things I did right then and there. And even higher all the same, we’ve got an inclination to could take it home that very day! And even higher the table was the foremost effective price we’ve got an inclination to had found.

But my husband got timidity. The table didn’t provide any leaves to expand or shrink down. And there are little imperfections inside the wood. thus he aforesaid no. He said, we have a tendency to needed to sleep on that. All of that running and searching out and he was making American state wait… Ugh! Darn logical thinkers!

So I begged the kind people at the search to hold it which i secure to permit them to acknowledge directly our decision inside the morning.

My husband which i chatted and chatted and went over all of the execs and cons. The table was the proper color, match and price. it fully was accessible presently and it fully was product of REAL wood. That was my biggest argument. Real wood that might be bent and dinged and broken and conjointly identical dark gorgeous wood would be below the surface. Real wood that might be refinished someday. It wasn’t veneer and it’d have love marks and character over the years of obtaining utilized by our family.

But my husband was still concerned relating to the dimensions and conjointly the lack to shrink it if we have a tendency to needed to. the entire size of the table was the same as a result of the total size of our previous table. that we’ve got an inclination to exclusively removed the leaves from double in our years and years of mistreatment it. In the end, all of the execs outweighed the one con, which we have a tendency to went back for our new consumption space table.

Did you ever wanted some other Glass Table Dining Set but ‘coz of some constraints dropped the idea?

Simple Steps to Beautify Pooja Space

How to Beautify Pooja space

Each morning when awakening and having our bathtub we have a tendency to pray to god. we have a tendency to convey him and request his blessings for a stronger and happy life. each Hindu home encompasses a pooja space. It will be a separate space, a cupboard or simply an easy shelf.

Did you know New Pooja Room Vastu Tips you didn’t know.

Step 1

Discovered your pooja room; select a correct place within the North-East corner of your house. If you have already got a pooja space, then make a choice from white, yellow, blue or violet color and paint it. Avoid mistreatment dark shades.

If you want to own any spiritual symbols or mantras to be painted on the wall, add them. notwithstanding what we should always keep our pooja space clean and embellished. never keep or store gratuitous things in your pooja space.

Step 2

Buy mandir/mandap and place it in your pooja space. There ar awing wood, glass and marble mandaps offered within the market these days. Some even have gold coating and Swarovski crystals on them.

You can simply get one with the selection of style and size you yearning for. If you don’t desire a mandap, then select cupboards or open shelves.

Step 3

Now it’s time to lightweight it up. Lighting holds the key to your pooja room’s beauty and serenity. Keep your pooja space properly lit and aired to permit the flow of positive energy. Add a pendant within the centre to form it prettier. you’ll be able to add vibrant junction rectifier lights within the mandap or round the shelf to embellish them.

Step 4

Add a door to your pooja space. select an easy picket door or select one with knotty carvings and bells on them. you’ll be able to even install glass doors and keep your pooja space visible from outside even once the doors ar closed.

Decorate the doorway by inserting flower vases or oil lamps on either facet of the doorway. suspend flower or paper door hangings on the doorway door.

Choose lovely idols, paintings or pic of your god. Adorn them with laced (gota) clothes and jewelry. place laced unfold on the shelves of Pooja Mandir, cupboard or shelf before inserting the idols on them.

You can additionally add a throne (singhasan) made from wood, glass, brass, silver or gold and place the idols on them. See to that that you just don’t place countless idols in your pooja space and build it incommodious.

Step 5

In conclusion, use flowers to embellish your pooja space. build rangoli mistreatment flower, flower petals, rice flour, colored saw dirt and different similar things. Rangoli, kolam, muggu and pookalam are created to embellish our homes and pooja rooms since history.

Create beautiful patterns and styles on the ground or in a very vessel crammed with water and place it in your pooja space.

Hope the following tips on the way to beautify pooja space should have helped you.