The wedding gown can be one of the most expensive clothing items you will ever purchase. Once the wedding is over, the gown will be hanging in your closet. This article provides information on what wedding dress preservation entails and how to do it.
Wedding dress preservation is a special cleaning and packaging technique used to retain the beauty of your wedding gown. You have to depend on a professional preservationist for this purpose. He or she will survey the wedding gown - including the material, stains, and embellishments - to formulate a specialized cleaning procedure. Cleaning the gown and removing all the stains in it is the most important part of the preservation procedure. Hidden stains containing sugar can turn brown in the long run and should be removed during the preservation process. Once the cleaning is complete, the gown is wrapped in an acid-free tissue paper and placed in a museum-quality archival box.
Cleaning and preservation have similarities but both are not the same. In fact, cleaning is essential while wedding dress preservation is optional. Your wedding gown should be cleaned by a professional after the ceremony is over. This is important to remove soiling in the dress. There should be at least one stain in your dress after the celebrations such as dirt, champagne stains, or some frosting. On the other hand, substances like sweat, oil, and sugar may not be visible right away. These substances will show up as stains over time. Most cleaning specialists use wet cleaning by washing the gown by hand with gentle cleansers. This method can help remove noticeable and unseen stains such as sugar and champagne. When left untreated, unseen stains will oxidize and turn yellow. Some cleaning specialists use dry cleaning methods by penetrating the stains and placing the gown in a dry cleaning machine. The solvent used in this method needs to be safe for certain decorations in the gown. Some fragile decorations should be protected with muslin during the cleaning process or removed and re-sewn onto the gown after cleaning. Solvents such as petroleum-based cleansers are used as stain removers for this process. Perchloroethylene cleansers are more aggressive compared to petroleum-based cleansers. They are also more powerful in stain removal. But petroleum-based cleaners have a higher oil content that nourishes certain fabrics and gives them a lovely sheen.
You may opt for cleaning the gown if you plan to wear it in the near future. For example, if you opted for a less formal wedding gown that can double as a party dress, you may only clean the dress instead of cleaning and preserving it. On the other hand, if you plan to sell or donate the gown, you can opt for cleaning it. Selling used wedding gowns is quite popular today due to the many online e-commerce sites that promote it. Nearly Newlywed is a reliable site if you plan to sell your wedding gown.
If you want the beauty of your wedding gown to last a long time and you don't plan to take it out of the box in the near future, you should opt for preserving it. Most wedding gowns that aren't preserved will turn yellow over time. In fact, you may plan to reuse the gown in a different way in the future. For example, some people prefer to repurpose the wedding gown into a baby blanket, veil, or christening gown. Wedding dress preservation involves the packaging of your wedding gown in an archival box. The process uses accepted preservation methods and materials for the long-term storage of the gown. You should preserve a clean wedding gown at all times. If you plan to preserve your wedding gown, it should involve both steps of cleaning and preservation.
You should perform a little local detective work before choosing the best cleaning or preservation service in the area. You should search for a reliable cleaning and preservation service in the area a few weeks before the wedding. If your gown is stained badly, a family member can take it right away to the cleaning service even while you are on your honeymoon getaway. You may ask for referrals from friends, family members, the wedding consultant, or bridal shops. Most dry cleaning services will clean wedding gowns, but they are not specialists. Unless a dry cleaning service handles more than 100 wedding gowns per year, you should opt for a professional wedding gown preservationist with a good track record in the area.
Are you struggling to find a good wedding gown preservationist near you? If so, you should opt for a mail-away service offered by a professional gown preservationist in town. They will send you a mailing kit including a prepaid shipping label and all the instructions you require. Such services will send your gown back to you within 4-6 weeks. They even provide insurance on your wedding gown.
The best way to do so is to ask a lot of questions. The professional taking care of your gown should pay attention to detail and knows about fabrics and how wedding gowns are constructed. Check how they clean the gown. Do they hand clean and pre-treat any soiled or stained areas. Our company will photograph, measure, and carefully remove the ultra-delicate embellishments before cleaning the gown. This will ensure damage prevention during cleaning. We will then meticulously reinstall all the embellishments after the cleaning process.
Make sure to ask the service provider if they clean and preserve gowns on-location or ship them elsewhere to be cleaned and preserved. Most of the cleaning and preserving services mail wedding gowns to our facility for cleaning and packaging. Check if you need to sign a disclaimer stating that the company isn't responsible for any damage to the gown during the cleaning and preserving process. In fact, you should find cleaning and preserving service that guarantees every last bead and sequin of the gown. Don't forget to read the agreement before you choose the right cleaning service in town. Some companies will only refund the preservation cost and not the replacement value of the gown if something happens to the gown during the cleaning process. Ask the company if they provide a warranty and how will they respond if the gown gets damaged or discolored after a certain number of years. The best service will definitely re-clean and preserve the gown for you. But you should understand that in wedding dress preservation, opening the box can void the warranty.
Are you planning to send your wedding gown away for treatment? You don't have to worry if the gown is insured during transit and service. Our company provides $500-$2000 of shipping insurance with the cleaning and preservation kit. You have the option of adding more coverage for $5 per $100 of the dress value. We also offer shipment tracking so that you will never be up all night worrying where your gown is.
The dress should look as fresh and new as possible when it is returned from the cleaning company. The gown will most likely come back steamed and pressed, but you may need to do some light pressing before you wear it again. The gown will arrive in a protective package that displays the finished product. The correct packaging material should be used to guarantee the long-life of the gown. The storage material should be acid-free and clean. The preservationist will wrap the gown in acid-free paper or muslin after the cleaning process. Some of these boxes come with a viewing window or a clear panel designed to see the dress without having to open the box. Keep the box out of direct light to prevent the yellowing of the fabric over time. Some service providers will use boxes with Coroplast - which is a specially designed durable plastic.
Most cleaning and preserving services will seal the box to prevent insects and vermin’s from damaging the dress. Some companies say sealing is not necessary when the dress is packaged correctly. It's all about your personal preference. If you decide to open the package, make sure you use discretion when handling the gown. Most professionals insists on wearing white cotton gloves when handling the gown. Your preservationist and cleaning service may provide the gloves with the package. Make sure you wash the hands before handling the gown. Although there is no actual reason why you cannot open the box, you need to be cautious when deciding to open the package.
Once you get the dress back from the preservationist, make sure you pay close attention to storage. Keep the package in a cool, dark, and dry place with a relative humidity of 50%. Store the box in a location that has a neutral temperature such as under your bed or in a dry closet. Air-conditioned rooms are best for this purpose.
The preservation cost of a wedding gown can depend on many factors such as the fabric, ornamentation, degree of stain damage, and decoration. A heavily-beaded silk gown will cost much more than a simple polyester gown. Never trust your designer wedding gown to someone offering a bargain price for the service. Saving a couple of bucks isn't worth the risk of ruining your wedding dress. You should expect to pay between $250 and $700 for the process. The price can be as high as $1000 depending on the gown and your location. The cost may vary across the country with high prices in metropolitan areas. Never trust a company that offers quotes over the phone. Different materials and the degree of stains require specialized care when cleaning and preserving your gown. You might be charged more later or run the risk of not getting the right attention your gown deserves from such service providers. There are vetted services that work with flat fees. Trusted Wedding Gown won't skimp on details, and we offer competitive prices. The cleaning and preservation package will cost only $225 while the cleaning only package is priced at $179. It includes minor repairs, steaming, pressing, shipping, and handling.
You may wait until after your honeymoon to take the gown to a preservationist. But make sure you do it while the stains are fresh and still not set in. The longer you delay, the less likely the stains can be completely removed. If you wait for months, the dress may require restoration instead of just cleaning and preserving.
It's important that you follow a few steps to guarantee the integrity of the gown before sending it for cleaning and preserving. Don't wrap the gown in plastic. It may seal off the gas vapors and trap moisture inside - which can result in mold and mildew. Don't hang the gown on a wood or wire hanger. The weight of the gown may stretch and distort the weave of the fabric. Get a padded or plastic hanger instead. Never try to clean the stains on the gown yourself. They will set in the fabric - making it difficult to remove later on. Your cleaning and preserving service will provide you with the necessary instructions.
You may speak with the cleaning and preserving service to know whether you could include other accessories such as shoes and jewelry in the box. Your professional will advise on the best method of storing these items properly. Our service accommodates anything from garters, veils, handkerchiefs, and shoes. In fact, we clean and preserve your dress with 5 free accessories included. You may consult us about additional add-ons.
There are many steps to take to clean and preserve your wedding gown using DIY methods. Cloth or Tyvek bags provide short-term protection in this regard. The gown shouldn't hang for long periods. A wedding chest will offer more protection from sharp objects, fires, and smoke. The acid content of an ordinary paper isn't good for the dress. Avoid colored tissue papers. Wrap the gown in pre-washed unbleached muslin for storage. Place it in a sturdy box and under the bed. But always remember that DIY methods are riskier than working with a trusted profession