You spent weeks, maybe even months searching for it. And then you wore it in front of family, friends and your now husband. You were a vision of white topped with satin, lace, beads and more. Something as special as your wedding gown shouldn’t just be tossed in a closet after the big day. Protect your gown by having it professionally cleaned and preserved by an expert dry cleaner or gown preservationist.
Have your gown preserved as soon as possible after the wedding so stains won’t have time to set in. Every gown needs to be cleaned, even if it looks pristine. Stains like body oil and perspiration are invisible, but can turn the fabric yellow over time.
Question the cleaner or preservationist on his preservation process. Different cleaning solvents should be used on gowns than on regular clothing because traditional solutions are too harsh. If cleaned improperly, stains may appear or the fabric may yellow years down the road.
After it’s cleaned, the gown will be wrapped and boxed. The folds of the dress and bodice should be stuffed with clean, acid-free tissue to prevent permanent wrinkles. Shoulder pads, perspiration shields or anything made of foam should be removed from the gown, because they can ruin the fabric when they eventually deteriorate. Then, the gown should be put in an acid-free box. Just be sure that you personally inspect the dress before it is boxed up to ensure that stains have been removed and that it has been packed properly.
Something as special as your wedding gown shouldn’t just be tossed in a closet after the big day. Protect your gown by having it professionally cleaned and preserved by an expert dry cleaner or gown preservationist.
Once you get the box to your home, don’t just put it anywhere. Avoid stashing it in a hot attic, a cold basement, a trunk, a drawer or even the garage. Extreme temperatures can damage gowns. Instead, store it in a climate-controlled area of the home where there are few changes in humidity and temperature.
Experts suggest you open the box once a year to make sure the dress hasn’t yellowed. When doing this inspection, wear white cotton gloves so oily fingers don’t touch the fabric. Then, refold the dress to prevent permanent creases.
By following the right storage steps, you’ll be able to keep your gown for years. And maybe it can even be an heirloom for your daughter to wear at her wedding someday.