how to starch cotton sarees

How to Starch Cotton Sarees at Home?

Practical Tips on How to Starch a Saree

A cotton saree looks graceful when it's neatly starched and perfectly draped. The pleats of the saree once properly arranged behave like a well-trained puppy. A starched saree lends a sense of firmness and attitude to your personality.

It is no secret that starching your saree makes it crisp and wrinkle-free. It also makes cleaning easier because dirt and sweat adhere to the starch rather than the fabric.

Starching also helps to keep wrinkles at bay for a long time. It aids in fewer wash cycles, allowing a starched saree to be worn more frequently. No wonder why many women prefer wearing well-starched cotton saree for daily hustle and bustle of life.

Let's take a look at the

Traditional way of starching saree at home:

Materials needed:
Maida/all-purpose flour

1. Fill a vessel halfway with water and place it over a medium flame. There is no need to measure the water.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine 2-3 tbsp all-purpose flour or Maida flour with some water.

3. Slowly add this to the boiling water while stirring with the other hand. Bring this to a boil while constantly stirring. You will notice that the water is slightly thickening.

4. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool. It is ready to use once it has cooled.

5. First, soak your saree in plain water. Make sure to unfold the saree so that it gets wet evenly. Wring it out thoroughly and set it aside.

6. Pour that water out and fill a large vessel or bucket with fresh water. To remove any lumps, strain the fabric starch into the bucket of water. If necessary, add more water to dip the saree.

7. Dip the wet saree in this starch water. Allow it to soak in the starch water completely.

8. After 5 to 7 mins squeeze the water out.

9. Hold the saree on both sides and shake it once to remove any folds before spreading it on the grass or balcony with the help of another person.

10. The cotton saree will dry in 10 minutes if exposed to direct sunlight.

Your saree is now ready for folding and ironing.

Store-bought Starch

Instead of making your own starch, you can buy it at the store. It is available in liquid or powder form.

To starch, a cotton saree, use any starch powder available in the market.

Soak the saree in starch for 10 minutes. If you use store-bought starch powder, follow the directions on the package.

Alternatives to traditional starching methods

Diluted Glue:

A cotton saree that has been dipped in diluted glue will become stiff and shiny. Equal parts clear drying white glue or fabric glue and water should be used.
Because the glue penetrates the fibres of the fabric, the mixture takes a long time to dry but provides a long-lasting finish.


Hairspray is a cheap and effective alternative to fabric stiffener. You can use any type of hairspray on fabric, but an aerosol rather than a spray pump will distribute the hairspray more evenly.

Because alcohol can cause discoloration or bleeding dyes in fabric, use an alcohol-free hairspray. To set the hairspray, use an iron or hair dryer immediately.


Besides properly washing your beloved cotton sarees, another important step in their care is properly storing them. Dumping them in a stack would only increase creases and hinder the weave. The fabric may soon begin to wear away as well!

You can always hang them with a hanger in your closet or store them neatly in saree pouches, which are easily available in the market.

Suggestions for how to maintain the starch in a saree after it has been starched

● It is best to iron the starched saree when it is still damp. Fold the saree in half and iron it along the length with the iron set to medium to high.
● Cotton sarees should be stored in a dark, dry, and moisture-free cupboard.
● Just make sure that starched sarees are dried and ironed immediately after starching.
● To maintain the shine and colour of your cotton saree, starch them after each wash.
● Remember to starch your sarees properly because too much starch can damage the fabric of your sarees.

Tips on How to Store a Saree to prevent Wrinkling

● Washing dark and light coloured sarees separately because dark colours tend to bleed.
● Wrap them in a clean dupatta.
● Store your dark cotton sarees separately from your lighter ones. The colour imprint may get affected by residue moisture.

In summary, there is a lot to be said about learning an old tradition like the art of starching a saree. As more and more people learn about this "lost art," it seems that many are excited to make traditional Indian clothing a part of their daily lives. After all, if you can afford a beautiful cotton saree, then why not learn how to take care of it properly?

Either way, the best way to do any of these things is to start small. So we encourage you to pick one thing this week – maybe only choose to starch your blouse.

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