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Though exclusive in their appearance to mark festivities, ethnic wears are a closet staple. 

While they adorn the part of our wardrobe that’s closest to heart and home, it rarely goes unspoken that it takes significant behind-the-scenes work to preserve these ornate, embellished garments in perfect condition for posterity. 

Read below for a few no-fail tips to store your ethnic clothes to keep them looking their best. 

• Wrap and store. Wrapping fine clothes in muslin or storing them in a clear plastic zipper bag is a good way to protect them from pest, mold, and moth. Airtight packaging will keep the moisture away and prevent oxidation of the zari, the fine gold or silver used in traditional weaves in the Indian subcontinent, as well as silk fabrics.

• Be gentle. Fold the garments with care to prevent creases and kinks.

• Expose lightly worn clothes to the sunlight before storing them away. Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation that will kill germs and microbiomes and remove any remaining talcum powder, sweat, and natural oil stains on the clothes. 

• Use broad hangers so that the shoulders remain stiff. Do not hang heavy garments over long periods.

• Cautiously remove safety pins, brooches, and other metallic accessories off the clothing before putting them away. 

• Store in a dry and cool place. Allocate a location in your closet exclusively for ethnic wear so that they are not constantly touched and moved. 

• Place silica gels, rosemary or lavender sachets, and naphthalene balls in the closet to keep away moths and other fabric pests. But, be careful not to place naphthalene balls in the folds of the clothing as it may leave stains on the fabric while evaporating. 

• Check on the clothes. It is also advised to refold them at regular intervals to prevent permanent wrinkling. Some garments should be occasionally steamed and ironed.

• The cardinal rule is to dry clean ethnic garments after heavy use. Though not built for constant wash, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Dry-cleaning is the inarguably best way to care for expensive and exquisite garments. The majority of traditional clothing is made of silk, cotton, and other natural fibers that require meticulous professional care while cleaning. However, traditional clothing may not always come with clear washing and care instructions. 

it’s safe to assume that home washing is not the wisest choice. Taking them to a regular dry cleaner without any expertise in cleaning ethnic and traditional wear would also be folly.

Keeping your ethnic clothes fresh and flawless demands investing time in researching and finding an eco-friendly and natural dry cleaning service that has previous experience offering customized dry cleaning, alteration, and restoration services for traditional and ethnic clothing. 
At Urban Cleaners, our expertise spans over cultures and geography; we peruse the latest technology to provide the finest care for your favorite clothes. If you are in the Chicagoland area, download our app (Android, iPhone) and schedule a free pick for your saris, lehengas, gowns, kimonos, and huipils, or visit our website to check out our complete array of services.