November 27, 2020

Caring for your Shawls

By Aditi Desai

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  • Keep your shawl folded in a clean, airy drawer or shelf wrapped in soft, non-starched cotton or mull. An old pillow case is ideal.
  • Moth-proof your shawls by keepingcloves,chilies, dry tobacco or neem leaves under the paper lining of the shelf or drawer. Camphor/kapoor or Napthalene balls wrapped in mullare the best and should be placed in several places on the shelf. None of these should come in direct contactthe shawls. Replenish every 6 months.
  • Never wash the jamawar, paisley or embroidered shawl yourself or in a washing machine. Give it to a specialist or a reputed dry-cleaner. Spot clean with white petrol. If it is a tight weave plaincoloured shawl, you can gently hand wash in cold water with gentle soap. Do not wring. Let the excess water drip. Spread flat on sheet or hang over a curtain rod in shade and steam iron when almost dry. 
  • For grease, oil or food stains, apply talcum powder on both sides and pat down gently. After it has absorbed the grease fully, tap or gently brush off. Reapply and repeat if stain persists. Chocolate stains can be washed off with cold water. Otherwise, keep the shawl between white paper sheets till it is taken to a drycleaner.
  • For red wine stains, wash off with generous quantities of soda water, Dry and iron. For silk pashmina, remove stain and then pass shawl through cold water, Drip dry and steam iron.
  • Air your shawls 2-3 times a year, especially after summer and rainy season. Unfold fully and spread in dry, airy place away from direct sunlight for 4-5 hours. Change the folds when repacking.
  • Check your shawls regularly. If you find a hole in a shawl, it may be a bug. Separate it from the other shawls and get it darned and cleaned immediately. When in doubt, get quality dry cleaning done.
  • Shawls can be steam/dry-ironed with a moderately hot iron provided they are pure wool, cotton or silk. Iron on the reverse side or on the right side after placing a thin muslin cloth on the shawl. Iron shawl prior to wearing. Protect from jewellery with sharp edges, food and rubbing against hard or rough surfaces.