by Aarti Kapur Singh
Now silk sarees get a chic makeover. Read on to know what all you can do to your own piece!
There is an increasing number of people who reject the modern tendency to throw out items as soon as they start to look a little worn. Sarees are so beautiful that it seems a shame to throw them out, even when they are well past their best. A well-worn saree probably holds lots of lovely memories that you are reluctant to let go of. Fortunately, you don’t have to! There are lots of ways to re-use your saree into other things instead of tossing it away. You could give a whole new lease of life to your silk sarees by repurposing them – things that not only look chic and trendy but also allow you to be environmentally consciousness Stay ahead of the trend by recycling your old sarees into functional and decorative items.
1. Home Utilities: Make cushion, pillow or bolster covers with the body of the saree and use up borders as piping or patches. More ornate sarees can be used as window or door drapes. Use the tassels of sarees as borders of table runners. Quilt up thick silk sarees for dressing up your table for daily use or for a special occasion like Diwali. Cut up the pallus to make throws to warm up your reading chair or couch. Screen off your bedroom with sarees mounted in wooden frames. You could also frame the pallu of a silk saree with folk patterns to create beautiful wall art. Quilts and bedsheets are also a functional rebirth of a silk saree.
2. Clothing: With 12 or more feet of heavily decorated fabric, this will lend itself to being formed into a variety of clothes. An old saree can be converted into a complete and beautiful salwaar set. You can also make long and free-flowing skirts or tops from them. The trick is to make good use of the border, the patterns and the train of the saree. If you don’t have enough for a complete garment then team the saree fabric with some complementary material. Add your creativity like some embroidery, mirror, stone or bead-work and it will look like an expensive costume, also giving a new look to your old saree. Recycle your favorite saree into a dupatta that you can use anytime. Zari as trim for sleeve edges, kurti hems, salwaar bottoms and skirt ruffles will also make your saree find use multiple times over.
3. Fashion Accessories: Craft kitschy hairbands with old silk sarees. Cover cheap plastic hairbands with your old sarees – broader the bands, the better they look. Make the most of bright colors and bold patterns on your old sari to create beautiful scarves for yourself, your friends and your family. One saree can be cut into wide strips and edged to make several scarves. You can repurpose scraps of silk from your recycled sari into a beautiful bracelet. Create very thin ribbons of silk from your old sari and wrap them around a piece of copper wire to give them shape. The ends of the wire can be fashioned into a catch that opens to fit the bracelet snugly onto your wrist. A boring hair clip or grip can be turned into a beautiful feature by the addition of a flower fashioned from colorful saree fabric. Simply cut three circles of material from your synthetic silk saree, each one slightly smaller than the last. Then, using a pair of scissors, cut a few small slits pointing towards the center of each circle to separate the petals. Your slits should extend only about a third of the distance to the center of the circle. Hold each circle two inches above the flame of a candle to melt the silk so that it crinkles like a flower petal. Do this for each petal, being careful not to let the material burn. Place the three layers on top of each other and thread a hair pin or a piece of wire through the center of the flower.
4. Utilities: Bags, pouches, purses – a silk saree can still be so useful in a brand new avatar. Cut a large piece of material to form the body of the bag. Stitch up the sides of the bag and add a long strap that comfortably loops over the shoulder. If you’re skilled with a sewing machine, you can add a zipper and pockets to create a multi-purpose bag that is perfect for carrying everything you need. Protect your iPad from scratches with a sleeve made from your favorite silk saree. Simply cut a piece of material that is slightly wider and just over twice as long as your iPad, fold it over and neatly stitch the sides into seams. Add some buttons or a drawstring fastening at the open end to keep your iPad secured in place
5. Restore: You could simply restore the old-looking border or pallu by getting a professional to embroider it with sequins, crystals or beads. But this should only be done if the main body of the saree is still strong enough.
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