You’re back from the honeymoon. You’re unpacking and setting up your new life. Ah, what’s that in the corner? Your wedding lehenga. Isn’t it a thing of beauty? You sit with it for a few minutes, appreciating the colours you love so much. You gently move your hands over the embroidery and think about all that time spent looking for “the one” (the lehenga, silly, not the boy!) Then you think about how much money you spent on it *gulp* and wonder “should I even be touching something so precious with my bare hands?!” Wait a minute. How am I supposed to store this thing? Hang it? Fold it? Are naphthalene balls ok or will they spoil the embroidery?
First, congratulate yourself. You’re married. You pulled off an awesome wedding!
Next, just read this guide on storing your wedding lehenga the correct way, and you can get back to enjoying newlywed life!
#1 Dry Clean
Do not delay in dry cleaning the lehenga after the wedding. You may think the garment is spotless but there may be a few stains. Grass & mud stains are the most commonly found ones! If you store your lehenga without getting rid of them, it could get discoloured or patchy over time. Sweat marks also need to be cleaned. So send the lehenga to a reputed dry cleaner as soon as you get some time to do so. If there is a large, visible stain, send it to the dry cleaner right away, preferably the very next day after your wedding!
When the lehenga comes back from the laundry and before you store it away, if you see any visible creases, you may want to iron them out. However, you have to be extremely cautious and use a good iron to do the job. Place a muslin cloth over the lehenga and put the iron at the lowest temperature. Be very gentle as the cloth is quite delicate.
#3 Fold, Do Not Hang
Unless you want to frame your dress and pass it off as wall art, it is not advisable for you to hang your wedding lehenga while storing it! A bridal lehenga is usually very heavy and the weight will pull down the garment. This could lead to the dress losing its shape over time. Always fold your lehenga when you store it. This will keep the shape intact and will also protect the fabric as well as delicate, embellished work on the outfit.
#4 Fold It Correctly
You cannot just fold your lehenga in any way and stuff it at the back of your closet. You need to carefully fold the garment before you put it away. How? Start with the sleeves of the blouse. Fold them inwards and then fold the rest of the blouse over it. The skirt needs extra care since it is the part that contains most of the embroidery. Fold it in small folds, starting from the outer edges. THE most important step is to put sheets of acid-free tissue paper (or even simple butter paper) between each fold. This will protect the fabric and the embroidery from getting entangled and pulling each other out. Also, try and fold along the panel lines so that creases don’t get formed in the centre of the panels.
#5 Use A Muslin Cloth
Once you have carefully folded your lehenga, wrap it in a muslin cloth. Make sure the muslin is unbleached and soft. Use a muslin cloth large enough to properly wrap the entire lehenga. This is an essential step as the muslin will envelop your garment and protect it from moisture and help it stay in a good condition.
#6 Get A Cardboard Box
Your bridal lehenga needs to be stored away from direct light to preserve its rich colour. So rather than keeping it in a cloth bag or in the closet, store it away in a sturdy cardboard box that will prevent light from reaching the garment. Get a box that is made of acid-free cardboard and store the muslin-wrapped lehenga in it carefully.
Photo Courtesy: JADE By Monica & Karishma
#7 Store The Box In The Right Place
You aren’t likely to use your bridal lehenga regularly so keep the box properly in a safe place. You can store it under the bed, inside a large cupboard or even in the closet. Just ensure the place is not subject to too many temperature changes, dust and humidity.
#8 Keep Insects Away
Use cloves, lavender sachets, cedar oil or naphthalene balls to keep the space pest-free!
#9 Let It Out Yearly
Take it out once in a while to let the fabric breathe and re-fold it so that creases don’t become permanent!
Follow these easy steps to store your wedding lehenga and the garment will remain in a sparkling new condition for many years. If however, you plan to wear the garment anytime soon after the wedding, do not pack it like this. Constant packing and unpacking can lead to heavy damage to the garment. Keep it away only when you are sure you won’t wear it again until you get a special invitation later on. Your wedding lehenga is precious, after all, and you want to store it as carefully as possible!
Did we miss any tips on storing your lehenga correctly?