Top 5 Hacks for Softening a Stiff Silk Saree

how to soften a stiff silk saree

The elegance and timeless beauty of the silk sarees are unmatched. But sometimes, the very quality that makes silk so desirable – its crisp structure – can also be a challenge. A stiff silk saree can be uncomfortable to wear and difficult to drape. But fear not! Here are 5 hacks to help you soften a stiff silk saree and transform it into a luxuriously flowing masterpiece.

1. A Gentle Soak for Subtle Softening

Water is a natural fabric softener, and it can work wonders on slightly stiff silk sarees. However, remember, silk is a delicate fibre, so harsh treatment is a no-no. Here's how to achieve a gentle softening effect:

  • Fill a large basin with cool or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the silk fibres.
  • Add a mild detergent or a natural fabric softener (like white vinegar) to the water. Use a very small amount, as too much detergent can leave a residue on the saree.
  • Submerge the saree gently in the water and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. Avoid agitating or rubbing the fabric, as this can cause snags and tears.
  • Rinse the saree thoroughly with cool water to remove any leftover detergent or softener.

2. A Quick and Effective Method

Steam is another excellent option for softening a stiff silk saree. Here's how to do it safely:

  • Hang the saree on a sturdy hanger in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using a metal hanger, as it can rust and stain the silk.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and then remove it from the heat source.
  • Hold the steamer (or a pot with boiling water) at a safe distance from the saree. Be careful not to touch the fabric directly with the steam, as it can scorch.
  • Gently steam the saree for a few minutes on each side. Start with a short steaming time and adjust based on the desired level of softness. You can also use a steamer for this.

3. Using Glycerin For Perfect Softness

For a slightly more intense softening effect, you can use glycerin, a natural humectant that attracts moisture. However, this method requires extra caution:

  • Mix a few drops of glycerin (around 1 teaspoon) with a cup of lukewarm water.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and wring it out thoroughly. The cloth should be damp, not soaking wet.
  • Gently dab the saree with the damp cloth, focusing on the stiffer areas.
  • Allow the saree to air dry completely before draping it.

Important Note: Always perform a patch test on a hidden area of the saree before applying glycerin to the entire fabric. This will help you ensure it doesn't cause any discolouration or damage.

4. The Overnight Wrap Technique

This simple hack allows the saree to absorb moisture naturally and soften over time:

  • Sprinkle the saree lightly with cool water from a spray bottle. Avoid oversaturating the fabric.
  • Roll the saree loosely around a large cardboard tube or pool noodle. This will help to prevent wrinkles while the fabric dries.
  • Wrap the rolled-up saree in a clean, damp cotton cloth.
  • Leave the saree wrapped overnight. The damp cotton cloth will help to transfer moisture to the saree and soften it gradually.
  • Unwrap the saree the next day and allow it to air dry completely before draping it.

5. Invest in Professional Care

If your silk sarees are particularly stiff or made from a very delicate type of silk-like Kanjivaram silk saree, it's best to leave the softening process to a professional. A reputable dry cleaner specializing in silk care can use specialized techniques and products to soften the fabric without damaging it.


Patience is key! Don't try to force the saree to soften too quickly, as this could damage the delicate fibres. By following these hacks and practising proper care techniques, you can transform your stiff silk sarees into a luxurious and comfortable piece of clothing, ready to drape you in timeless elegance.