Vanessa Belmares-Koprowski of Homer Glen, Illinois, USA looking beautiful in her well-preserved wedding dress. Her husband Brian explains, “Last night I went out to shoot. My wife has been mentioning that she wanted to pull her wedding dress out from the cellar for a shoot, and lo and behold, she dusted it off and put it on. It’s been over three years since we’ve been married now, and she still looks stunning in her expensive white gown.” Photo Courtesy: Brian Koprowski
You probably spent a fair amount of time (and money) on choosing the perfect dress for your wedding day, but now it’s all over what happens to the dress? There is a particular reason that you choose this dress and it should hold some wonderful memories for you once the big day is over, and therefore it is important that you care for the dress in the right way.
This post will introduce you to wedding gown preservation.
It’s important to get your gown to a professional preservationist or a dry cleaning company who specializes in preservation as soon as possible. This will ensure that your gown looks as perfect and beautiful as the day you wore it. A dry cleaning company or preservationist will initially study your dress and make notes about the type of material, any special ornaments that are attached and survey for stains. This will allow them to come up with a plan of attack to preserve your dress and make it look wonderful again.
A Dry Cleaners Shop in Brooklyn, New York, USA – Photo Courtesy: Violetta Lough
The main reason it is important to get your dress to a preservationist as soon as possible is because certain stains may set into the dress, thus ruining it forever. Obviously, the longer you wait the harder certain materials will be to treat, and this is especially true of silk, which the vast majority of wedding gowns are made from. Just imagine the type of stains that may have been attracted to the gown from your big day, such as mud, colorful food and everyone’s enemy, red wine.
A popular method of cleaning a wedding gown is what is known as the “wet cleaning” method. This will involve using an extremely gentle cleanser and cleaning the gown by hand in order to remove obvious stains, and even those not visible to the naked eye. This will generally include stains from sugar or champagne, which will usually go unnoticed, but can wreak havoc for your gown if ignored, such as turning it a yellow color.
You can also use the more traditional method of dry cleaning for a wedding gown, which will involve initially treating the stains gently before placing the dress into a dry cleaning machine. The stain removers used for this method are most likely to be a solvent, such as perchloroethylene. You may also be surprised to learn that many dry cleaners will use a petroleum-based cleanser, which happens to be far less aggressive than perchloroethylene, although it won’t remove stains as well.
Wrapping and Packaging
RoHMa of São Paulo, Brazil packs her wedding dress in a nice box. Photo Courtesy: RoHMa
You must wrap your wedding gown up in the right materials, as failure to do so can cause damage to the gown. A prime example of this is plastic wrapping which is known to cause wrinkles and can even trap moisture inside the dress, which will eventually lead to the formation of mold or mildew. The gown should then be placed into a paperboard box, which is ph-neutral and definitely free of acid. This will allow your gown to breathe. The box should also be kept away from direct sunlight, which once again can cause damage to the gown.
Evan Green is a freelance blogger who writes for Image Dry Cleaners, an online dry cleaning service based in Chicago. He is quite passionate about reading and his other hobbies include bowling and fishing.