Preserving Your Wedding Gown – Part 1

Wedding Gowns

Photo Credit: Sarah; Flickr

Your wedding gown is probably one of the biggest and most important purchases for your wedding. After those countless hours of searching and trying on dresses, and not to mention the dollars spent, who wouldn’t want to preserve the gown of a lifetime? A wedding dress is an item that you should take care to preserve. You might think it would be fine to stash it on a hanger and wrap it in a piece of plastic, but think again! There’s more to storing a wedding gown than there is to winter coat. Here is some advice on how to handle your priceless wedding gown and some tips on making such a sentimental piece last a lifetime.

Gown Preservation

Gown preservation is a technique in which specialized cleaning and packaging help to preserve the quality and aesthetic beauty of the dress. The most important step to this procedure is the cleaning aspect. Cleaning your gown efficiently and thoroughly will help remove stains and keep them from settling in. It is best to take the dress to be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent any permanent damage. If you let the stain set in, you will probably need restoration in the future rather than just cleaning.

Cleaning Methods

Different wedding gown cleaning companies have different cleaning methods. One is the wet cleaning method in which the gown is washed by hand to remove any stains. This is effective in removing any unnoticeable stains, such as champagne and sugar. Stains like these can turn yellow over time if left untreated. Then there are other companies that use the dry cleaning method. Here, they treat stains with chemicals and then put the gown under a dry cleaning machine. This method is useful if you want to avoid damaging any embellishments.

Storing Your Gown

Now for the most important step! When storing your gown, the material you use in its packaging will guarantee the gown’s quality and lifetime. Follow these steps and you will successfully preserve your wedding gown.

  1. Fold the gown

    To avoid creases, be sure to fold the gown loosely. If your gown has sleeves, wrap the sleeves under the bodice and then fold that over the skirt. Then fold the bottom of the skirt up over the bodice again.

  2. Use acid-free tissue paper

    Placing acid-free tissue paper between each of the folds of the gown will prevent any creasing of the fabric. It will also keep unique beads, stitching, or sequins from getting snagged.

  3. Wrap in unbleached muslin

    When you’re sure you are ready to store the gown away for a while, wrap it completely with unbleached muslin. Then insert wrapped gown into a box for storage. It should fit snugly into the box, but not tightly.

  4. Place box in little light

    The less exposure to light the gown gets, the better. So once boxed, place the box either on a shelf, under your bed, or in a drawer. When removing the gown from the box for occasional cleaning or reuse, simply reverse the packaging process. Be careful to be gentle and not to pull on any part of the gown so as to accidentally snag anything. Your dress should look just as you stored it!

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