Clearly, the wedding gown is a woman’s one of the most sentimental purchases of her lifetime. Regardless of the financial investment, they are regarded as heirlooms. So, if you are looking to pass it down to the next generation someday, you must preserve it as a keepsake. Think of your future daughter or daughter-in-law who may want to wear your wedding gown on her special day, or perhaps sew a piece of it onto theirs. The possibilities are endless!
However, keeping such delicate gowns is a challenge in itself. Delicate fabrics stored improperly often run the risk of yellowing, and exposes the lace work, the embroidery, and the fabric itself to the elements. So, if you plan on preserving the wedding gown for the years to come, we’d urge you to get in touch with renowned and reliable services that offer wedding gown cleaning and preservation.
Here’s everything you ought to know about wedding gown preservation.
Difference between dry cleaning and gown preservation
The first thing to note is that dry cleaning and gown preservation are two entirely different things. If you’re wondering why you can’t just have the gown professionally cleaned and expect it to look the same years later, is because you’re missing a key step! Once the attire has been completely cleaned, it’s wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and placed in an acid-free preservation chamber – a safe, waterproof place for long-term storage.
When should you opt for wedding gown preservation?
For those wondering how long is too long to wait before opting for the preservation process, the longer you wait the harder it can become to get the stains cleaned. Heat and oxidation can wreak havoc on your precious dress. According to some industry experts, soil and stains react with the garment fibers, and if left unchecked, over time cause oxidation – sometimes this being irreversible damage.
Keeping the gown in a dry, cool, and dark place for temporary storage, prior to handing it over to gown preservation services, slows the oxidation process and provides a wider window of opportunity to look for potential cleaning and preservation options.
Certain fabrics preserve better than others
Let’s face it, each fabric has its pros and cons, and wedding gowns are typically made from silk, synthetic, and other non-woven embellishments. Thus, small beads and rhinestones make the preservation process a tad difficult. For example, beads often feature a silver foil insert, and metals are inherently unstable – causing issues in preservation like aggravated oxidation and discoloration. Silk is known to be susceptible to stains and damage from elements. On the other hand, synthetics and polyester are comparatively better choices. So, different fabrics have different rates of discoloration and they shrink at different rates too.
How are preserved gowns stored?
Fort those who are new to it all, cardboard boxes absorb moisture and thus, lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Hence, no ordinary box is suited for the job. In fact, even acid-free boxes can re-acidify. This is why some of the best and professional wedding gown preservation services use special archival textile storage boxes. It is made from a chemically inert and non-absorbent polymer that resists temperature fluctuations and offers complete protection from moisture and humidity.
Once the preservation packaging is done, and the gown has been returned to you in a preservation box, keep it flat and upright. Store it in a dry, cool, and dark environment. The best way to ensure the longevity of the gown is to keep it at a place where the relative humidity is 50% at all times and the temperature can be tweaked as needed. According to experts, individuals should never store their wedding gown in an environment that experiences changes in temperature with changes in season, such as attic or basement. Change in temperature from warm to cold can lead to condensation, thereby putting the entire preservation process at risk.
Preservation of the wedding gown refers to the process of cleaning and packaging the gown for future use – so that it retains its beauty even years later. As brides tend to hold on to their dresses much longer than they previously imagined, the dresses need expert care to make sure that they look every bit the same when they’re eventually brought out from the preservation box, even decades later.