Lehengas

What Is a Lehenga Choli & How Do You Maintain It?

What Is a Lehenga Choli & How Do You Maintain It?

One of the best ways to stay connected to familial culture, whether you live near home or across the world, is through the styles and materials of that culture. 

Fashion brings us together and helps us to pass our favorite outfits, styles, and traditional ethnic wear down to the next generation

Whether you’re dressing up for special occasions like an Indian wedding or you’re on the search for readymade earrings you can wear every day, Lashkaraa has you covered. We’re the team you can rely on for a wide range of traditional Indian outfits with a modern twist, from the saree to the salwar.

We’re bringing Indian fashion right to your door. It’s easy to order the latest lehenga choli and get it in the best possible condition with Lashkaraa.

What Is a Lehenga Choli: History and Introduction 

An Indian lehenga choli is one of the most esteemed and beautiful outfits you can add to your wardrobe. Indian women typically wear lehenga cholis at weddings as bridal lehengas; however, lehengas can also be party wear for honored guests and bridesmaids. 

They are three-piece garments and traditionally include the long skirt, or lehenga, which typically reaches down to the ankles, the choli, or crop top blouse, and the dupatta, or scarf or shawl. 

Lehengas are versatile, coming in various materials and styles with distinct designs and motifs. They typically have embellishments, like mirror work, sequins, or embroidery work with zari thread

You can find lehenga choli outfits in materials like georgette, brocade, chiffon, or even crepe. There are even different types of lehengas when it comes to shape, including an A-Line lehenga, flared, mermaid, and straight silhouettes. 

No matter your personal style, there are lehenga choli designs to fit, and you can pick out the pieces you like best here at Lashkaraa today. 

How Do You Wear Lehenga Choli? 

We don’t just carry the best Indian clothing for women here at Lashkaraa: We also want to help you keep those pieces in the best possible condition for many years. 

To protect and maintain your wedding lehenga choli or party wear lehenga, consider some of the following tips and recommendations. 

Avoid Fragrances

While we love pairing our special occasion outfits with sweet or spicy scents, it’s best to avoid fragrances when wearing most formal garments. Formal attire, while high-quality, are also made by hand and should be treated with care. Upscale clothing can feature additions like lace or a net dupatta, like in the case of the net lehenga. 

These garments are often made out of delicate materials that can become stained or damaged by perfumes or lotions. Many perfumes are alcohol-based, which can result in oily stains settling into the fabric.

Some people opt to spray perfume on fabric to keep the scent around, but this isn’t a great plan. Not only is this damaging to the fabric, but some synthetic fabrics don’t even absorb perfumes in the first place. 

Apply lotion and perfume and allow them to dry before getting dressed. 

Put On Makeup First

Traditional lehengas are outfits for special occasions, so you’ll often get your hair and makeup done to match. When possible, you want to do your makeup application and hair styling before putting on your lehenga. 

Donning the lehenga after this will help prevent the transfer of makeup and the damaging effects of hairsprays and lotions, leaving you looking like a Bollywood star on your special day.

Be Careful When Washing 

Another way to extend the life of your crepe or silk lehenga is to avoid washing. It’s not necessary to wash Lehenga cholis after every wear — in fact, doing so can cause the color to fade and affect the condition of the embellishments and drapes. 

Rather than washing your lehenga after every use, try to avoid stains or contamination. If a wash is needed, head to a dry cleaner who specializes in traditional formal attire or hand wash them with care.

Ultimately, washing techniques depend on the material. If the lehenga choli says dry clean only, follow the directive. If it allows for hand washing, you can wash it at home or send it off for cleaning. 

The washing instructions can vary greatly, depending on what kind of fabric your lehenga choli is made from and what embellishments it has. 

If you do decide to wash your lehenga choli at home, make sure that you always use cold water. This will help to protect the fabric and keep the vibrant colors of your lehenga choli from fading or running. Cold water can help keep your lehenga choli bold and beautiful for a long time. 

Treat Stains Right Away

Still, accidents happen. If you get a stain on your lehenga choli, it’s important to spot treat them as soon as possible. Since you don’t wash lehenga cholis after each use, you risk the stain setting if you wait too long.

You want to ensure that you’re treating the different stains properly and avoiding any products with excess fragrances that can damage the materials and fabrics. Always do your research when spot treating, and contact your designer if you’re worried about the best way to treat the stain. Check the label for instructions too. 

Steam Iron 

Some fabrics used in traditional lehengas, like pleated linen, wrinkle easily, which can distract from their beauty and elegance at your next special event. If you decide to iron your lehenga choli, a simple steam iron is the best way to do so without damaging the fabric.

Always avoid applying heat directly to the surface of your lehenga choli. A steam iron (unlike a traditional iron) will protect the fine detailing work. 

Care for Embellishments 

Lehenga cholis are known for their elegant embroidery and embellishments, and a long cultural history of beadwork and mirror work helps to make them so unique. 

Whether your lehenga choli is made with chiffon, art silk, or brocade, you always want to take care when washing around the embellishments. 

If you notice they’re coming loose, tarnished, or worn, schedule a repair appointment with the artisan who first created your designer lehenga choli to get repairs immediately. 

One of the reasons most lehenga cholis are not machine washable is the unique zari and mirror work elements that make the piece so remarkable. 

Roll To Dry 

Lehenga cholis are typically made with layers of fabric that are often pleated and can be very porous. That means they absorb water easily and can quickly become very heavy during the washing process.

While it may be your first instinct to wring out your lehenga choli after it becomes wet, skip it! Wringing out your lehenga choli or otherwise drying it by hand can cause damage to the bead and thread work and affect the shape of the skirt and choli and how they sit on your body. 

Instead, you’ll want to gently lay your lehenga choli onto a large towel and roll it up. This will help absorb some excess water before you begin the drying process and protect the shape and condition of your lehenga choli. 

Dry in the Shade

The drying process is as important as the washing process regarding the condition and longevity of your lehenga choli. After you have towel dried your lehenga choli of the excess water, you’ll want to allow it to air dry the rest of the way. But there are a few essential things to consider while air drying. 

To start, lay your lehenga choli down on a flat surface. While it can be tempting to hang it to air dry, the fabric is still very wet and heavy. 

Hanging the garment dry could cause pulling, affecting the outfit's shape and the way it drapes on your body. It may also put excess strain or pressure on the threads and cause damage or unnecessary wear. By laying it out in a safe place, you’ll ensure it completely dries without sacrificing longevity or fit. 

When picking out that safe place, make sure to avoid direct sunlight. Lehenga cholis are often crafted in vibrant, beautiful colors that make you stand out in a crowd.

When left in direct sunlight, those colors can fade and dim, removing some of what makes the piece so special and unique and even causing premature damage to the fabric. Make sure to dry in the shade to protect your lehenga’s vibrancy. 

Separate Colors

During the washing and drying process, you always want to make sure you keep different colored lehengas, cholis, and dupattas separate. That’s because the rich colors can run, which can cause staining and discoloration to the whole outfit.

Wash and dry your maroon and navy blue pieces separately, for example, to ensure the colors are protected and that your lehenga choli continues to look as bold and beautiful as the day you first tried it on. 

Store Properly 

After you have danced the night away at a wedding or special event, it’s time to pack up your lehenga choli until the next party — and the way you store it can make all the difference. 

Remember, certain lehenga styles and fabrics need to be stored differently, so always consult your care instructions and check in with your designer if you’re unsure. 

A good rule of thumb is that you want to avoid storing your lehenga choli on a hanger, as this can cause the piece to lose its shape and expose it to potential allergens and environmental factors.

Begin by ensuring the lehenga choli is as clean and dry as possible. Remove any food stains and address damage before storing. Then find a cool, try environment where your lehenga cholis can be safely laid flat. As the materials are often very large, you want to ensure that you’re not squishing or forcing the outfit into a drawer or storage container. 

Most importantly, you’ll want to go back into storage and take your lehenga choli out regularly to be refolded. This will help to protect the fabric and prevent creases or wrinkles. It will also help you to notice any damage from moisture or environmental factors, which can then be addressed right away. 


Properly stored lehenga cholis will remain in good condition for longer, so you can continue to wear the outfits you love for many more special occasions. 

How To Keep Your Storage Area Dry

The best storage areas are dry and free from moisture.

To start, you always want to avoid products like mothballs that can cause damage to the materials over time. If you’re worried about retaining a lovely scent, store your items with dried neem leaves, silica gel packets, or camphor. These additives will help prevent clothes-damaging mold. 




Handle With Care

The right outfit can make all the difference, which is why our team here at Lashkaraa is dedicated to matching you with the clothes you and your family are sure to like best. 

Not only do we carry a growing collection of pieces for parents and children alike, including kurtis and kurtas, salwar kameezes, and shararas, but we’re also sharing all you need to know about caring for them. 

With the proper maintenance and care, you can keep your special occasion outfits, like bridal lehenga cholis, in the best possible condition for many years to come. Simple steps can make all the difference, like properly washing and drying your lehenga choli, spot treating stains, and ensuring the outfit is appropriately stored. 

It all starts right here at Lashkaraa. Explore our growing collection of lehenga cholis and a lot more, and find trendy and traditional Indian fashion pieces for every exciting event. What will you try on first? 

 

Sources:

Helping Children Develop a Sense of Cultural Identity | ParentMap

How Is A Pure Zari Silk Saree Made? | VOGUE India

Everything you need to know about the ancient craft of mirror work | Vogue India

#MonsoonHacks: How to keep your wardrobe fresh and fragrant | Times of India