Facts on Preservation and Cleaning for Wedding Gowns
Preserving your wedding gown is important to keep it just as beautiful as it was the day you walked down the aisle. There are many options for both cleaning and preservation. Here, we will take a look at all of them, as well as what methods are recommended if you want to keep your wedding gown in great condition for years to come. Do not trust what everyone says, as well as what all cleaners may tell you. Our final verdicts might just surprise you!
What Experts Say
Experts in the gown preservation business can help you to preserve your gown properly. Experts who preserve historical gowns (such as those in museums) are able to keep gorgeous and old gowns looking brand new by using preservation methods that some wedding gown preservation companies may offer. By far, most preservationist experts and archivists say that these types of methods are the best because they allow a garment to breathe, be kept free of insects, stains, mold, mildew, and more, and will not cause your garment to yellow, shrink, or get destroyed over time.
What Cleaning and Preservation Methods are Available?
You may send your dress off for cleaning and preservation, or have it done at your local dry cleaners. No matter who you are considering, ask what methods they may use. Some use dry cleaning (which might damage some very fragile beading, appliques, or materials), or wet cleaning (which is the use of very gentle soap and water). If dry cleaning, ask that they use a virgin cleaning solution. After cleaning, most reputable companies will either preserve your dress using the museum method or by boxing it up in an archival box. They may or may not seal this box.
But which person do you turn to for the best cleaning and preservation? Here are some tips: Do not let the cleaner put your dress in a dry cleaning bag or a plain cardboard box, as this can cause the dress to deteriorate or stain. Do not let them hang it on a regular hanger, or use chemicals that are particularly abrasive on very fragile fabric. Be sure to ask lots of questions before handing your dress over to anyone. Lastly, it is recommended that you research more about whether or not to have your box sealed before you make that decision.
What is the best wedding gown storage strategy? Once you have paid the bill for bridal gown cleaning and drying, you would be in need of a wedding dress box. Should the box be taped, sealed or should it be something else entirely?
Preserving the wedding gown is not just a custom but also a desire for almost all and sundry. You wouldn’t want your wedding gown to get damaged. You wouldn’t want to indulge in poor quality wedding gown storage. When you put in your heart and money in selecting the gown and then wearing it on one of the most important days in your life, you should also attend to it properly after you have used it on the big day. You never know when you would want to unpack and open the wedding gown storage box again to show it to your kids or to gift it to your daughter. Thus, you have to make plans for uncertain times or an indefinite time.
The best wedding dress box is a preservation box. You shouldn’t use a taped box or a normally sealed box. It is a special preservation wedding dress box that you must use. Here are four reasons why you should endorse such a wedding gown storage tactic.
Before you delve into the various DIY dress preservation methods, you have to decipher if DIY wedding dress cleaning is a viable idea. Wedding dress dry cleaning is different from washing or dry cleaning ordinary clothes. It requires a great deal of patience, expertise and deft hands as well as the right tools to go about DIY wedding dress cleaning. Unless you are up for the challenge, you should entrust the task of wedding dress dry cleaning onto a professional.
If you wish to go ahead with DIY wedding dress cleaning then you must accustom yourself with the requisites. First, you must read the instructions on the label. What type of cleaning agents can you use, what temperature must be maintained and whether you can use a washing machine or have to hand clean the dress. These are some quintessential elements of DIY wedding dress cleaning.
Second, you must understand the quality and type of fabric that has been used. Gowns may be made of silk or blended silk, a combination of different types of silk or some other fabrics like polyester. There may be some beads or sequins. You may have some additional designer elements. Accessories or accentuates might be sewed in or glued onto the gown. All such factors would have to be taken into consideration before you can embark on your DIY wedding dress cleaning adventure.
Third, you must be able to mix the detergent or the cleaning agents properly and apply them to the gown with deft and sensitive hands. Delicate handling is demanded in DIY wedding dress cleaning because the gowns are susceptible to damage even at the slightest errors or mistakes.
Fourth, you should decide whether you are going to steam press or iron the gown before DIY dress preservation. If you are hiring professional wedding dress dry cleaning services then they would use steam cleaning and prepare your gown for DIY dress preservation. If not, then you are on your own.
DIY dress preservation is not a daunting challenge once your dress is cleaned properly. You simply need a preservation box which will come with the seals and every packaging material which will ensure the safekeeping of the gown forever.
Unless you have sufficient experience in handling gowns or in washing, you should not try out DIY wedding dress cleaning. It is always best to hire a professional, even though you may want to save some money.
Every bride remembers their wedding dress.
They way it looked the first time they tried it on, the way it felt on their special day and the special meaning it had. It is an important treasure. There is something especially wonderful about having the gown preserved because it becomes not just a lasting memory but also physically preserved forever. That is why wedding gown preservation is often high on the list of priorities once a bride gets home from the honeymoon.
While many brides know about bridal gown presentation, a lot of women don't realize that you can keep a wedding dress in pristine condition even after many years of storage, if it was properly handled from the start and stored correctly. On the flip side, a dress not taken care of immediately can be ruined faster than most people think. For what is a small investment in gown preservation you can save yourself the agony of stumbling on your yellowing wedding dress one day in a few years when it is too late.
One reason we hear most often from brides is that they want preserve the wedding dress so that they can pass the dress on to another family member, maybe a daughter when she gets older. This can even be heartbreaking if a daughter has spent years dreaming about being able to wear her mother's wedding dress for the occasion of her own special day. Good gown preservation will help to assure that such disappointment does not happen and that the heirloom bridal dress can be happily and proudly worn again.
The other reason to preserve a wedding gown is that stains happen on wedding days. Yes, that is correct. A bride spills something small on the dress during the wedding, it occurs all the time (most of the time actually). Even if the dress looks clean there is likely to be areas of body perspiration on the fabric which will cause discoloration over time and can even cause the fabric to become brittle.
If preservation steps are delayed, then stains have a chance to oxidize. These could be both seen and unseen stains. The bridal gown should be cleaned as soon as possible after the wedding to make sure it is preserved in its best condition. It seems like something to remember, but with everything going on it can be hard to have this detail listed. A bride gets back from the wedding and leaves the wedding dress in a regular garment bag. Weeks go by and it is often forgotten about and is not properly stored to prevent deterioration. Unfortunately, this unintentional inattention can make proper dress preservation really hard after the fact. It is important to plan gown preservation early and have it on your list for when you get back from the honeymoon.
Another important thing to remember is that you can't just dry clean a wedding dress at any dry cleaner. Proper wedding gown preservation requires both cleaning of the dress and also storage in an acid-free box. These steps should be taken as soon as possible after the occasion and it is best to seek out the services of a company that specializes in preserving wedding dresses.
Have you considered everything that goes into cleaning your own wedding gown? Here are a couple tips if you are ready to invest the time and effort.
If you danced the night away then the bottom your gown will most likely be the area that needs a stain treatment the most. Wedding gown cleaning starts with the hem of the gown. If the hem is lightly soiled then a gentle "scrubbing" with a soft white cloth or even very soft bristled brush and a little "Tide" will usually do the trick. If the hem is closer to a shade of black, then carpet cleaner with a little elbow grease may be your next best option. Test an area of the hem to see how each technique is working before you tackle cleaning around the entire bottom of the wedding dress.
Next, carefully inspect the dress to see if there are any other needed spot treatments. Usually the armpit areas, necklines are a little stained, plus there might be a couple splash marks from careless drinkers. Again, spot treat these stains based on their severity.
It is also very important to consider what details are speckled throughout the dress. Crystals, lace, and beaded embellishments all have different reactions to detergent than the dress fabric. The detergent can even remove the glue that is attaching your sparkly additions to the dress. We suggest testing each of these embellishments, in an inconspicuous location, prior to tackling your entire dress.
Once you have successfully treated those trouble areas, it is time to move on to the entire dress. Consider what type of fabric the wedding dress is. Most fabrics can be delicately hand washed with just using water and light detergents. Head to the store and pick-up a mild "clean and clear" brand and then carefully hand wash the dress. Once it is completely cleaned it needs to thoroughly dry. Hanging the gown can stretch the fabric so we recommend laying the gown out on the floor or draped over a clean area to air dry.
If you are thinking this seems like a lot of work, well it is. After you buy all the cleaning necessities and go through all the stain removal and testing steps, it may be worth considering a professional cleaner. Of course that is where we can help. Not only will your wedding gown come back professionally cleaned but it will be perfectly preserved too!
Team Wedding has been an authorized dealer for The Wedding Gown Preservation Company since 2002. We wanted to use this section to help people learn more about wedding dress preservation.