My wife has a penchant for collecting sarees just like an art collector. You would probably find at least fifteen to twenty saree varieties of traditional styles and modern versions adorning her cupboard more time in the last ten years than her body.
Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, Mysore Silk, Banarasi, Chanderi, Orissa handlooms like the Bomkai, the Bengal handlooms like Jamdhani, Baluchari, and most probably at least one from each known silk variety from across India. Cottons from Kerala, Assam and even places distant like Nagaland, Kerala all are all part of a sizeable collection added to every time we visit a new place in the course of our holiday destinations each year.
My friend’s wife gave a brilliant suggestion the other day when we had visited them. Practical and implementable, she recycles all her sarees without giving any away and puts them to use in simple appreciable ways. Here are her gems:
Sarees are big decorative canvas with a lot of floral prints, designer patterns, embroidery, borders and even themes painted on them with good fast colours which take time to dull slightly if maintained well. So if there are sarees in good condition which you have lost taste for, have sightly dulled over the years, are too familiar for your circle to notice, here are avenues for their continued utility.
1) Silk and cotton sarees with lot of design and adornments could be fashioned into the lesser cloth-requiring salwar kameez. An entire new wardrobe could be created as designer wear with a little imagination.
2) Tasteful scarves of sorts could also be fashioned out of a bright or medium coloured floral or designer silk saree.
3) You need look no further for replacements for your curtains. The beautiful floral print sarees of art silks would make for good fresh curtains. Transparent to translucent they serve nicely for doorways, windows and even as space separators or room partitions. Surveying the requirements of the house, several sarees could be earmarked for a tasteful change now and then.
4) Cotton sarees with good prints or embroidery would serve well for pillow covers in sets.
5) Silk and Cotton saris could be made into
a) diapers for babies,
b) soft cotton handkerchiefs for daily use,
c) soft bags
d) head bands,
e) aprons for the kitchen
f) good wipes or dust cloths
g) a soft quilt with several sewn together
h) floor mats
i) water filter, (tied over the mouth of the tap)
j) wall hanging in a dull room to brighten its look.
There could probably be very many more uses that other minds could conceive of.
She certainly started my wife thinking and we should see many changes about our house soon.
Kudos to her practical thinking!