You’ve just purchased a gorgeous, hand dyed, custom order silk veil from the silk artist of your choice. WOW! Amazing! You’ve just made an investment in your dance that should theoretically last a life time.
You even know how to dance with the darn thing.
But what about the rest of the time? You know, the 99% of your life you’re not actively dancing to Lama Bada or Jemilleh? Your sixty dollar veil doesn’t just poof from existence to go hide in the belly dance cloud. You have to keep it somewhere.
You have to care for your veil if’n you want your favorite dance partner to have longevity.
Below are Celestina’s tips (with a heapful of commentary from Romana) to help you keep your veil looking as amazing as you for years to come.
1) Don’t wear your special veil as a cover up.
This is great advice. Many students and desperate professionals resort to this handy item as a cover up, but please, try not to. Your silk veil possesses a lot of tensile strength, but the fabric itself is quite fine. It’s especially delicate if you have a 5 momme veil. These are lovely, billlowy, delicate veils. If you tie these over your costume, odds are HIGH that your beaded bra, coin belt, bracelets, arm bands, necklace, earrings, headband or SOMETHING is going to snag and drag your veil. Now you have a run or, God forbid, a hole in your beautiful veil, and I don’t want that for you. So invest in a cover up, or use that old cheap crappy chiffon veil you haven’t touched in a while as your cover up.
Also, don’t use your veil as a rope to scale buildings (unless escaping.)
2) DO iron your silk before EVERY performance.
Silk is an organic fiber and very heat resistant (be careful with veils dyed with black). Get your iron out, set that puppy to full steam ahead and get the wrinkles out of your veil! This will also alert you to any new runs, tags or spots that have, umm, arisen. It will also instill in you a greater sense of love and responsibility for the beautiful piece of art you have the privilege of dancing with.
3) When dancing, be cognizant of where the veil is in relation to your body.
Especially your bracelets and belts. If something can snag your veil, it WILL! In fact, if you have the opportunity, it might be best to ditch arm bands, head gear and bracelets before your veil number. You don’t HAVE to ditch your pretties, but why make things more difficult for yourself if you don’t have to?
Also, be cognizant of your space. Are you in a restaurant where there’s ketchup and tzatziki everywhere? Are you outside? Are you on a stage? Are there fans or lighting overhead? Think about what your veil’s potential mortal enemies are before you encounter them during your performance.
4) DO store your veil somewhere SAFE from the rest of your life.
Don’t stuff it in your chest of drawers with your tribal crap. Get a hanger and a garment bag. Fold the veil on the hanger and keep it covered (and hung up) like you would any of your forty+ dollar skirts from Dahlal.
5) DO transport your veil in a safe, solid container.
Don’t chuck your veil down in your gig case (more on that later) with your phaoronics costume. Remember that part about anything that can snag your veil WILL? That includes sequined bedlah with those crazy pronged rhinestones. If you must gig bag your veil, place it inside a dedicated plastic or fabric container. Keep it secret from your other preciouses. Keep it safe.
6) Don’t loan your special veil out. To anyone.
Not your mother or God. I mean, you wouldn’t loan your Bella out to Cyndi for her hot Mardi Gras themed Halloween partay, would you??? WOULD YOU??? Don’t loan people your veil. It’s the same damn thing.
7) Rehearse with your sixty dollar veil. Practice with your twenty-five dollar veil.
Because you never know when you’re going to be robbed, your car windows smashed in, or some snot nosed kid at the gym is going to go through your bag while you’re in the middle of your splits practice.
Keep your precious veil secret, keep it safe. Even from yourself, Frodo. You never know when you’re going to snag your veil into the dog crate while practicing in your own damn home.
8) Cleaning your veil.
Ahh, this is the trick, isn’t it? Let’s talk about water. Is water a disaster for your veil? Many dancers seem to think so. Cold icy water with just a smidge of dawn can remove spots from your silk, just in case you did run afoul of some tzatiki. Avoid warm or hot water as it WILL run your colors! Spot clean only, don’t put your beautiful veil in the wash with your undies.
Looking for a gorgeous veil? Check out the wonders in Celestina’s Etsy shop. Click here!