The following are some great tips on the selection and handling of wedding gowns from the National Cleaners Association. Talk to us at Sylvia’s for advice and ideas for preservation or recreation. Many of our customers like to save their gowns to be made into future christening outfits, or to eventually pass down to their own children. Careful selection and handling before, during, and after your big day will help make sure you can treasure your dress for years to come!
Selection Tips for Wedding Gowns
- Check the serviceability of sequins, beads, crystals and other decorative trims, even some of the most exclusive designers can be cavalier about this.
- Glued on trim will never hold up as well as trim that is sewed on.
- Check the sewing of trim work. Make sure it is carefully executed so beads don’t start dropping off as the bride marches down the aisle.
- Make sure there is a care label sewn into the dress, and avoid labels that say “spot clean” or “dry clean exclusive of ornamentation”.
Handling Your wedding gown before the big day.
- Hang your gown on the loops sewn into the gown that are connected to the side seams. Do not hang the dress by delicate shoulder straps.
- Hang it someplace safe – away from sunlight, ventilation ducts and sharp edges.
- Select a place that household pets and children won’t be able to get near it.
- Protect gown with unbleached muslin gown cover.
- Apply perfume and hair sprays before putting the gown on! Also allow these products to dry.
- When handling the dress wear clean white cotton gloves and remove jewelry that might result in snagging.
Handling Your Wedding Gown After The Party Is Over:
- Have the gown cleaned promptly after the wedding. With time the stains oxidize and become more difficult to remove. NOTE: generally speaking, wedding gowns attract a host of difficult to remove stains – grass, mud, alcohol, etc. Be realistic in your cleaning expectations.
- Inspect the gown before putting it away. Ask us about any trace evidence of stains that are still apparent and ask about the risks involved if more aggressive stain removal attempts are made. Trace stains may oxidize over time and discolor.
- Do not wrap the wedding preservation chest in plastic. Plastic off gassing may result in yellow stains in white garments and trapped moisture could result in mildew conditions.
Storing Your Wedding Gown After Cleaning
- Store your gown in a cool, dry, dark place. Never store it in an attic or basement where hot and humid conditions exist and temperature fluctuations may result in the accumulation of moisture inside the box, which can cause mildew and staining. The box will not protect the dress from poor storage conditions.
- Select a bridal chest (tissue and bust form too) that is acid-free and of archival quality and has been properly sized for the skirt and train of your gown. Protect it in a muslin cover – never use plastic.
- Protect the dress folds by using acid-free tissue or fabric as well.
- The bride should periodically don white gloves, open the box, gently remove and “air out” the gown, then refold and return it to the box for long term storage.