Wedding Gown Preservation
Caring for your wedding gown
Your wedding gown is one of your most treasured possessions – layers and layers of exquisite fabric in a sophisticated style. You’ve invested so much into in your wedding dress so that it is everything that you envisioned, and you want it to last forever. Borrowed, preloved or new, your gown deserves your attention, both before the wedding, during and afterward.
Choosing your wedding gown
Ask your wedding dress consultant whether the dress, trims and ornamentation are dry cleanable. Identify the care label attached to your dress or ask for the recommended cleaning to be applied to your dress and trims in writing. Why? In some cases, decorative trims yellow as their finishes oxidize and an ivory or ecru trim may lose its colour and no longer match the gown if a dye component is lost in cleaning. Colour failures of this type are due to poor colourfastness of the dye, not to improper cleaning. Additionally, beads, artificial pearls and glued trims may dissolve when cleaned.
On your wedding day
Apply your perfumes, tanning lotion, makeup and other liquids, before putting on your dress and allow to dry.The alcohol base in these products can cause discoloration or colour loss in certain materials. Resist from spot cleaning your own dress. Even light rubbing can cause fabric damage resulting in loss of lustre and irreversible colour loss. Be mindful of accessories such as metal jewellery and bags rubbing causing fabric damage, discoloration and dye transfer that cannot be corrected with dry cleaning
After your wedding day
It’s important to have your wedding gown cleaned at your earliest convenience. Letting stains age on delicate textile materials significantly reduces the chance of successful stain removal. Be certain all stains, both seen and unseen, are removed because wedding day spills such as food, beverages and perspiration (many times caused by a guest and unnoticed by you) can dry without leaving a visible mark. Sugary stains (champagne) and chloride salts (perspiration), will oxidize overtime and caramelize into ugly brown stains months and years later. It is important to point out any stains or spills to your cleaner before cleaning.
Allow plenty of time
If you are wearing a family heirloom gown, allow plenty of time for professional cleaning and alterations. Many fabrics naturally yellow with age so check the gown carefully for any discoloration and take your gown to a drycleaner who understands restoration of delicate fabrics and antique materials.
Storing your gown
Store your gown in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in a cellar, garage or attic. Basement dampness could cause mildew & mold, attic heat could promote yellowing of the fabric. Acid Free Museum quality preservation boxes create a breathable environment and is the best protection from mildew and mold growth. Preservation boxing allows fabrics to breathe and humidity level remain constant around the garment as excess moisture dissipates into the air. Storing a long gown on a hanger, sew straps to the waistline of the dress to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the weight of the skirt. Wrap the dress in a protective white sheet or muslin covering not plastic. Inspect your gown from time to time during storage. Stains not initially apparent could appear later and should be tended to immediately. Preserving the quality of your wedding gown may be the best gift you can give yourself and a loved one.