A sari is a traditional dress worn by women in the Indian subcontinent. It is typically a strip of cloth about 20 to 23 feet long. It is worn in a variety of styles and can be heavily embellished for festive occasions or made of plain cotton for everyday wear. Caring for a sari requires packing it in a way that minimises chances of the material getting creased or spoiled. It can be packed in boxes or plastic or cloth wrappers, or sheaths of soft tissue paper.
Packing for a Bridal Trousseau
The idea of packing a sari for a bridal trousseau is to show off the sari to its best advantage. There are many artistic and creative ways of doing this. Care must be taken to fold it so the work or embellishment on the sari does not get spoiled or crushed. Opening the sari material into a fan shape and then setting it on trays is a good way of presenting it to a bride. Traditional Indian weddings take great pride in displaying their wedding finery.
Gift Packing a Saree
If the sari is a gift item, then it need not be displayed openly. There are many interesting and creative ways in which it can be packed. A decorated and colourful packing box or even a plain one but wrapped in paper and tied with ribbons and lace can be the simplest of packages. The sari should be folded in a practical way with its corners tucked in but made to look attractive by accessorising it.
Packing for Storage and Safekeeping
The different materials of saris require the same packing technique, but delicate materials like silk, brocade or tissue (a delicate Indian cloth) need special care. Saris that have embroidery or embellishments also need special packing so the embroidery does not age or wear out with time. Ideally, a sari with gold or silver embroidery work should be packed in an airtight plastic bag so the embroidery does not become discoloured. For silk thread embroidery, the same rule applies, although wrapping and packing in a soft cotton cloth is also a good idea.
Packing for Travel
Packing a sari for travel can be done simply and efficiently. Preventing the sari from getting creased or spoiling its natural fold or fall should be the general idea. This can be done if the sari is folded and then placed on top of other packed material so it is as flat as possible. If the sari is mixed chiffon or georgette (materials that do not crease or wrinkle quickly) then it can also be folded and then rolled to occupy less space. The sari should be put on a hanger to uncrease as soon as it is taken out of the travel case.