Cleaning and Storing a Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress

Many of today’s brides are interested in long term storage of their wedding dress. Proper wedding gown preservation is the key to successfully doing that.

Perspiration, food, champagne, wine, cake frosting can all result in hard to remove stains. The longer the stain remains in the material the more difficult it is to remove. Stains will darken over time. Once these stains have darkened it is very difficult to remove them from your wedding dress.

Wedding dresses today are very complex in their construction with different layers of various materials such as lace, bridal satin or taffeta, cotton stiffeners, and boning. Each fabric can react differently to staining and stain removal.

It is advisable not to try and store your wedding gown long term at home without proper preparation and care. A wedding dress can be hung in a closet. But even if you use a padded hanger dress will stretch out at the shoulders and bodice. Cedar trunks, while a traditional way of storage can also be damaging to your dress. The cedar wood is highly acidic and gives off gases that act as a catalyst in the deterioration of the wedding dress fabrics.

Wedding Dress

Boxing a dress in unbuffered acid-free materials is the best long term storage medium. Boxing will keep dust and dirt from settling on the fabric surface which can result in a darkened gray fold line. The folds in your box should be lined or rolled with white acid-free tissue paper.

Infestation from insects is another area of concern. The protein material in many fabrics are extremely attractive to moths and beetles, plus silverfish eat cellulosic materials like cotton and linen. To prevent insects from destroying your wedding dress make sure your dress is in a sealed environment. Also cleaning the area around the box your dress is stored in will also help to prevent insect access.

Where you store your wedding gown is also very important. Your basement is often humid and sometimes even damp. Attics also are not appropriate because of the excessive heat in the summertime. It is actually best to store your dress in the bottom of your closet or under your bed.

Proper gown cleaning and preservation is essential above all else. There are two companies in the U.S. that do over 80% of all wedding gown preservation. They are BridalKare International and Wedding Gown Preservation Company. Both companies have excellent reputations. BridalKare International seals their gown preservation boxes and provides a lifetime guarantee. Wedding Gown Preservation company does not seal their boxes and provides a 20-year guarantee. If you are considering using a local dry-cleaner ask questions about their methods and their guarantee – see if they match up.

The best advice is to get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved professionally by a company you can trust.