No Doubt in it. For every girl, their wedding dress is one their most prized possessions which they would love to preserve for a lifetime and probably even hand over to their daughter. It is a dress that represents all your love, happiness and joy. That is why it is so important to preserve it carefully for it holds a lot of precious memories.
A wedding dress is intricately designed and is very delicate and hence cannot be cleaned like any other dress. The key to wedding dress cleaning and preservation is to make sure your dress lasts more than a lifetime. Here are a few things you need to know about how you can preserve your wedding dress.
Get the help of a preservationist
Wedding gowns need the help of an experienced specialist. He can assess the fabric, stitching the details and also identify the stains that need to be removed and decide on the treatment plan for the dress. The plan he comes upto for your dress is definitely going to give a new lease of life for your delicate gown.
Before you commit to any cleaner or preservationist, study their policies very well. You need a guy who will guarantee that no damage will befall your precious gown. And also make sure to find out how long they guarantee that the wedding dress will remain unblemished after their treatment.
The invisible stains on your wedding dress
Drinks like white wine or other colorless drinks contain sugar that caramelizes over time into dark brown stains that will never disappear. Initially these patches will not show up but then once they start appearing, you are done for with your dear dress. Moreover, heat accelerates the process. Professionals are trained to spot these unseen stains and for every stain or blot that is uninvitedly sitting on your wedding gown, they will give a special treatment.
Do not delay the cleaning
The sooner you can get your dress to the preservationist the better. The more you delay doing it, be assured that the stains will have time to really set in. Once the reception is over make sure you get it to the cleaners the very next day. If you are off on your honeymoon, arrange for your parents or your dear friend to hand it over to the cleaner at the earliest.
Be sure to read the label on your dress
You must be very vigilant about this aspect. Look for any specific cleaning directions on the label about the way to clean the material. Whatever it says, pay heed, and make sure that your cleaner has the appropriate cleaning solutions for your wedding gown.
The wedding dress preservation box
Usually a preserved wedding gown is stored in an airtight box from which the oxygen has been completely removed and replaced with nitrogen. This is done to prevent oxidation. Oxidation brings about aging and discoloration and most old clothes tend to end up being discolored after years of storage. Your preservationist may warn you to never break the seal and if at all you should do so, get back to your cleaner and seal it up once again.
Another word of advice- include your wedding dress preservation in your wedding budget. Trust me, it’s worth all the trouble. It may take you around 75 to 80 pounds to get a significant piece of your memory to be kept unharmed and unblemished for more than a lifetime.
Tips for the die-hard DIY ladies for wedding dress preservation
Here are some tips for ladies who want to do everything themselves. But a word of caution before I begin, these DIY wedding dress preservation techniques come with no guarantee.
Before you start cleaning of the dress, spot test the fabric in a very inconspicuous area of the dress to make sure your cleaning agent does no harm to the fabric. Never use bleach,as this strong chemical will damage the delicate fabric of your gown forever.
When the wedding gown is clean and dry, you must wrap it in acid free tissue paper or make use of pre-washed unbleached muslin. Never think about using colored tissue paper for it which in turn will stain the dress with the passage of time. Keep layers of tissue paper or muslin between the folds of the dress to avoid permanent creasing. Fill the bust of the dress with tissue paper to retain the full shape of the dress. You can also fill the sleeves of your dress with tissue to keep them puffed up.
Now you can place your dress in an acid free container and store in a dark cool place away from the sunlight. Don’t forget to place silica desiccant packets inside the box to control humidity. If you are not a person for storing in a box, then you can use an acid free plastic garment bag and keep it in a cool, dry closet. Avoid hanging the dress on a hanger for wedding gowns are much heavier than ordinary clothes and their weight will make the fabric pull down a lot and this can distort the shape of the gown. If at all you wish to hang your dress make use of a padded hanger which will not distort your gown. If you do hang your dress, this does ensure the dress gets good air circulation and permanent creasing of the dress can be avoided.
Finally, let’s not forget the shoes and bouquet which are also a part and parcel of the wedding gown. These two items can be preserved along with your wedding gown. First and foremost, give your wedding shoes a good cleaning. For cloth shoes you can use a soft cloth and sponge and scrub them with a mild detergent. If your shoes are made of leather, then give them a good polish. You could also give them to a professional cleaner and get them done for you. After the shoes are cleaned you can wrap them up in white tissue paper and place them in a box.
Well for the bridal bouquet, you can press the flowers and coat them in wax to preserve them. You could also use epoxy resin to preserve the flowers.
You have probably dreamed of your wedding dress and been picking out patterns ever since you were a little girl. And after the dream wedding has finally become a reality, it is all the more special. Keep these few things in mind, and you will have a wedding dress which brings back all the memories of the cherished day, whenever you look at it.