So you spent an excessive amount of time researching colors, fabrics, cuts and necklines, visited one too many stores and now you’ve purchased your dream bridal lehenga for the wedding season of the year. You’re going to twirl and laugh and dance the night away, treasuring your memories and your lehenga - after all, it makes you look like the best version of yourself! Here’s the reality though - bangles can get caught in embroidery threads, you’re definitely going to get some dirt on the bottom of the lehenga as you dance, maybe accidentally spill some of that delicious wine you’ve been craving all night? Anything can happen and your lehenga needs to be built for a night of fun; supporting you in your happiness instead of being the reason why you can’t twirl to Pasoori with your girls.
So how do you make sure your lehenga survives not just your wedding but the years to come where you will re-wear the lehenga in creative ways? Here are some tips on lehenga aftercare that actually work because we asked the bridal wear designers themselves!
1. Do Not Dry Clean Your Lehenga
Yes, I know every blog on Google screams “your lehenga needs to be dry cleaned, not machine washed” and we’re here to tell you that that’s not entirely correct. The exact term you’re looking for is “petrol wash”. Petrol wash does not mean that your clothes are being washed by petrol, but by petroleum based solvents. Petrol wash is currently the most effective way of getting stains out, no matter what kind of fabric or embroidery has been used. 3000 sequins? Not a problem.
2. Check For Anything That Needs Fixing
An important step that most brides miss out on is to check your lehenga after your wedding or any event that you wore it out to. Did the threads come loose? Are a few beads/sequins missing? Did you get a small tear you didn’t notice? It’s a better idea to have these issues fixed right away by your original design team so that your lehenga’s beauty lasts longer!
3. Folding Your Lehenga
While there are multiple ways of folding your lehenga, we recommend learning from your design studio the best way to do it for your particular style and fabric. However, there are a few steps that will be common no matter what type of lehenga you have:
a. If your lehenga has no stains, air dry it for at least one day, maybe two. Make sure to not hang your lehenga up on a clothesline, especially if it has delicate fabric or heavy embroidery as that will stretch and damage the work.
b. Steam iron your lehenga only.
c. Fold your lehenga with muslin cloth (or at least acid free paper with no color) between each fold so that the embroidery does not interact with the fabric below it.
d. Keep each piece in separate garment bags provided by your design studio.
4. Take Care Of Where You Store Your Lehenga
Regardless of fabric or type of work, it’s generally good practice to ensure you are storing your lehenga away from harsh sunlight, termites, extreme cold or any other natural conditions that might prevail in your area. Speak to your design studio about how to preserve the type of fabric that’s used in your lehenga but generally, for silk, it’s a good idea to avoid moth balls (think cedar wood boxes for storage if you’re afraid of termites or insects) and to avoid moisture