The Authenticity of Handwoven Wonders by the Indian Artisans
Handwoven has been an intrinsic part of the Indian heritage since time immemorial. Artisans labor for days and burn the midnight oil to come up with one piece of handwoven wonder into which they have put their heart and soul.
However, this rich culture is ebbing away and is being slowly buried under the pile of replicas that are being power-loomed and being passed off as hand-loomed by indigenous manufacturers for easy profit.
In the year 2016, the Quality Control Division threw light on a shocking fact about the so-called ‘hand-woven pashminas’, that are famous in the valley of Kashmir. The wing outrightly stated that most of them were power-loomed replicas that were meant to dupe the tourists.
In fact, yarns for the famous banarasi silks are being imported from China! The soft silks hailing from the soil of India is being rapidly replaced by the Chinese yarns that have a blend of polyester.
How to Distinguish Between an Authentic Handwoven Saree and Its Replica
There are few methods that can be applied to keep yourself from getting duped or bring home power-loomed apparel at the cost of handwovened ones.
handwovened or hand-woven apparels are made with a lot of labour. They are marvelous to behold but they are often characterized by little asymmetries and irregularities. These little imperfections add beauty to the overall ensemble: Power-loomed products are often too symmetrical and lack the warm touch of a hand loom.
Another way to churn out spurious products is to look for govt. authorized tags such as silk-mark, wool-marks, and seal of cotton. These products are passed through various quality checks before being held up for sale. If you buy any certified product, be sure of its authenticity.
Maintenance of Handwoven Sarees
The best way to tend for your delicate handwovens is to give them for a dry wash where they would be taken care of. They would be pressed, polished and neatly folded before being delivered to you.
But if you want to wash your handwoven apparels at home, here is how you can do it:-
Do not give handwoven sarees for machine wash
Soak your handwoven saree in salt water for about 15 minutes
Invest in a good quality detergent
Wash the salt water thoroughly and then dip it in detergent water for a short while
Do not leave the saree in the detergent water for long, wash it off quickly
Do not wring them to squeeze water out, as it might crease it irreversibly
Do not use a brush, even in case of stains
Drying Handwoven Saree
Avoid drying it under direct sunlight by all means
Dry your delicate handwoven saree in an area that has a partial shade
Ironing a Handwoven Saree
Do not spray water before ironing these sarees, as they can leave stains
Wrap the handwoven saree in a towel before ironing
Set the temperature of your iron to mild, as high heat can damage these sarees
Storing a Handwoven Saree
Do not gather or pile up handwoven sarees
Make sure that your saree is completely dry before storing it
Fold neatly and store it inside a cotton or muslin bag
You might use neem leaves in the middle of its folds as they serve as a pest repellent