Dresses worn on wedding days are often kept as keepsakes after the ceremony to remember one of the best days in a woman's life.
So, it's hardly surprising that brides treasure their gowns as heirlooms to pass down to their daughters.
The great news is that keeping a wedding gown is simple if you follow a few basic guidelines:
Do Make Sure It Is Clean Before Storing
Make sure the dress is clean before putting it away.
You can send it to the cleaners yourself after the honeymoon or have your close relative or maid of honour handle it for you.
Since it might be challenging to spot stains and markings on your wedding dress, it is essential to have it cleaned by a professional business.
Always take extra care to protect your wedding gown from direct sunlight, steam, and moisture.
Put it away in a dry place, preferably one that has never been invaded by insects or mould.
Don't Store Your Wedding Gown in Plastic!
It is highly advised that, rather than using a basic plastic dress cover, you invest in a premium wedding dress box in which to keep and protect your wedding gown in preparation for its eventual passing down through the generations.
Plastic dress coverings don't work because they let in too much moisture and don't block enough light. As a result, they shouldn't be kept for the long term.
If you're looking for a box in which to store your wedding gown, you should steer clear of fabric or cardboard options because they often contain acids that can damage your garment over time.
Authentic textiles can damage your wedding gown if you keep them next to a luggage lining, the woodwork of your closet, in an uncovered drawer, or even other garments.
You shouldn't use coloured tissue paper for packaging your wedding gown. You should use white, acid-free tissue paper only.
Do Hire an Expert to Clean Your Wedding Gown
Verify the dry cleaner's credentials, and ask to speak with the person who will be cleaning your dress to ensure they have experience with wedding gowns. Different types of gowns call for other cleaning methods.
Silk can withstand some chemicals, but sequins cannot.
Try to find a cleaner that employs a brand new solvent rather than one used before. If you dry clean a dress in a poor-quality solvent, it will have that familiar dry cleaning odour.
Don't bother with the cleaning yourself; hire professionals instead. It's not a simple procedure.
To make matters worse, the slightest mistake could permanently set the stain.
Keep in mind that there are situations in which you should leave the area until professionals can cure it.
Don't Hang Your Wedding Gown
If you want to avoid damaging your wedding gown's seams, avoid hanging them. Dresses can lose their shape in the end due to this.
Lay it out flat. If the bridal boutique cannot keep your dress, lay the dress flat.
To keep the seams from sagging and stretching, hang your gown using the loops.
It's essential to know how to maintain your gown after the wedding properly, so consult the experts at the boutique where you purchased it.
Do Inspect Your Gown Every Several Months
Once you have put away your dress, you should check on it every several months to make sure nothing has happened to it.
If you want to ensure your wedding gown doesn't get wrinkled beyond repair, you should try repacking it at least once yearly.
Don't Keep Your Wedding Gown in the Loft or Attic
Don't put your wedding gown up in the loft or attic.
If the garment isn't adequately maintained, it could be ruined by moisture, a leak, insects, pests, or a shift in humidity while being stored there.
Don't keep your dress in a dry place or one that experiences drastic temperature changes.
Your dress may be heavy and space-consuming, but you must keep it in a secure location.
This includes avoiding rooms or areas that endure drastic temperature or humidity swings. Both can lead to severe problems for your dress, the most obvious being mildew growth.
Tips on How to Store Your Wedding Gown
Read the Tag for Information on How to Care for the Dress Properly
For instance, some fabrics may only be dry cleaned, whereas some can be "wet-cleaned" or washed in water, using methods best left to the experts.
Dresses made of polyester may be hand-washed in cold water, but it is best to check a tiny, out-of-the-way area first.
Care labels may be attached to garments that detail what cleaning solution should be used on the garment.
Wedding dress care requires specialised supplies and equipment, so it's a good idea to ask for recommendations from the wedding shop.
Get Your Bridal Gown Preserved by an Expert
Preserving your garment correctly will shield it from the ravages of time, such as discolouration, moisture and mould, oxidation marks, light damage, and dust.
Most brides choose to have their wedding dresses professionally preserved because of the high cost.
A portion of the gown can be held and passed down even if the daughter has no intention of wearing the dress.
The dress will be cleaned, pressed (typically with steam), wrapped in acid-free napkins, and then kept. There are three main sets of preservation strategies:
- There are methods of prolonged storage that involve vacuum-sealing the dress and then placing it in an acid-free container. Many museum restorers advise against sealing because it promotes mildew and mould growth, produces irreversible creases in the fabric, and precludes frequent examinations.
- The gown is folded and stored in an acid-free container, but this time acid-free napkin is utilised to prevent the folding from leaving permanent wrinkles. The garment may still breathe because the box isn't airtight, and you can take it out whenever you choose to check on it or refold it. It's vital to utilise acid-free boxes constructed from acid-free boards, not only acid-free coated boxes.
- Your dress will be able to hang and unfold because the bagging technique is similar to what museums do to preserve period clothing. The cloak is reinforced with cotton tape after being put up in a safe place to avoid it from ripping and sagging.
So, if you're considering having your bridal gown preserved, you should realise that the cost might run anywhere from AU$200-$600.
Before hiring a preservation company, ensure you understand who will be responsible for any damage during the process.
Check the warranty's fine print to see if it covers anything beyond the number of the company's services.
Be Wise in Storing Your Wedding Gown
After securely wrapping your dress, put it in a place where it won't be exposed to direct sunlight or humidity.
Sunlight, heat, and humidity should all be avoided when storing a wedding gown made of delicate fabric.
Parts constantly exposed to light will fade, mildew will grow in damp environments, and heat will hasten the darkening of stains that have been there for some time.
Consider getting a long-term storage container with climate control if you need to keep many things in addition to your dress for an extended period.
If you have the space and the time, you can keep your wedding gown in your own house.
Don't store the package with uncontrolled temperatures and humidity, like in a basement, attic, or garage.
In addition, natural disasters or insect invasions could happen at any time.
Pushing the dress box on top of anything is not a good idea.
Even the most substantial cardboard will weaken under constant stress.
You should never let the container sit on the floor if you have dogs or young children.
If you've taken the time to wrap and box your wedding gown meticulously, the cleanest, darkest, driest spot for it is atop a closet shelf.
Please don't forget to bring your wedding shoes!
Store them in a clean container with silica gel bags and the same acid-free wrapping paper.
After six to twelve months, you should replace the desiccant bags.
Make sure your bridal gown is still in pristine shape by giving it a thorough once-a-year inspection.
To prevent the garment from getting permanently creased, you should iron out any creases and refold them slightly differently than before.
If the dress is stained, it should be taken to the cleaners as quickly as possible.
Preserving the bridal garment in a special box is another choice; however, it is a significant financial commitment.
Nitrogen fills the sealed container rather than air.
Since oxidation typically shortens a material's shelf life, this costly preservation approach guarantees a significantly longer storage duration, provided the box is not opened.
However, you'll have to go through the preservation procedure again.
Invest in a Wedding Dress Box
If you put your wedding gown away in a sturdy box, it will be protected from damage for years.
The dress will lose its shape if hung up to dry. If the dress is heavy, the strain on the seams will become apparent soon.
Nothing beats a sturdy cardboard box with a wide top for long-term storage.
The packaging cardboard and the tissue paper must be free of lignin and acid.
Be aware that exposure to air and light causes paper of any kind to become more acidic over time.
The gown will remain undamaged for decades if kept in the same conditions as books: a dark, dry area.
You should get the proper tissue paper since you'll use it to fill the corset or the sleeves.
The most straightforward approach to prevent yellowing is to do that.
Dry cleaning plastic bags and airtight plastic boxes are breeding grounds for mildew and humidity, so don't leave the clothing in either.
Even though plastic doesn't break down, it can degrade when exposed to sunlight and UV rays, releasing tiny particles that might snag on the wedding dress.
Once you've settled on the type of storage container you need, double-check that its dimensions are suitable.
The box should be big enough, so you don't have to fold it too much. Fabrics can be worn out with too many wrinkles.
Ensure that your hands are clean and dry before folding and wrapping your clothing. Using white cotton gloves is also an option.
Your gown should be folded in half horizontally, wrapped in white tissue paper, and stored inside the box.
Only use white paper, as coloured sheets will bleed onto the gown's fabric. Accessories should be packed separately, primarily if they feature non-metal components.
Shoes, a sash, a headpiece, and a veil should all be stored on acid-free paper after cleaning, drying, and folding.
Don't Rip up the Bag Containing the Wedding Gown Just Yet
Carefully manage your dress whenever you remove it from its storage, whether for an inspection recommended by professionals every 2 to 3 years, refold it to avoid permanent wrinkles, or share fond memories with loved ones. Tips to bear in mind:
- Because your body already creates oils, you should always wash your hands before touching anything.
- Remember that nail polish, like lotions and perfumes, can transfer onto your clothes and should be handled with care.
- Purchase a pair of the clean, white cotton gloves recommended by some preservationists. Using them will ensure that your dress retains its original brilliant white colour.
If you're celebrating these occasions with loved ones, encourage them to do the same, especially in the presence of young children.
Wedding dresses are usually costly investments, so it's best to be prepared before you try to clean them.
Properly preserving your garment will ensure that it looks as good as the day you bought it, even decades ago.
Get expert advice before you wash your outfit, and stick to the detergents they propose.
If you're unsure, it's best to have a professional launderer take care of your garment to ensure that the delicate materials and finishings remain in pristine condition.
MyDressBox is are wedding dress cleaning and preservation specialists servicing all major cities in Australia and New Zealand, including Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Wollongong, Geelong and many more.
Wedding dresses are often preserved as a memento after the big day. Following these easy steps will ensure that your wedding dress lasts a lifetime.
Avoid plastic storage and have a professional dry cleaner dress your clothing instead.
Never hang your wedding dress if you value its seams.
Your dress will lose shape and wrinkle if stored in a dry environment or with frequent temperature changes.
Once you've got your gown, please read the label to learn how to care for it properly.
Protecting your wedding gown from fading, mould and mildew, oxidation, light damage, and dust is easy with the proper preservation techniques.
Even if the daughter has no plans to wear the gown again, she can still keep a small piece of it and pass it on to her daughters.
After carefully wrapping your wedding dress, store it somewhere cool and dry, out of the sun. To preserve the quality of fine cloth, it is best to keep it out of direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.
The dress should be taken to the cleaners as soon as possible if it gets ruined. Preserve your wedding dress's beauty for years by storing it in a strong box.
A large, durable cardboard box is the best option for long-term storage.
We need tissue paper and corrugated cardboard that are both acid and lignin free.
Wedding gowns are a significant financial investment, so it's wise to plan before attempting to clean one.
The next time you need to wash your clothes, consult a professional and use only the detergents they recommend.
Cotton gloves are a must if you want to keep your dress as white as possible.
- It is highly advised that, rather than using a basic plastic dress cover, you invest in a premium wedding dress box in which to keep and protect your wedding gown in preparation for its eventual passing down through the generations.
- So, if you're considering having your bridal gown preserved, you should realise that the cost might run anywhere from AU$200-$600.
- After securely wrapping your dress, put it in a place where it won't be exposed to direct sunlight or humidity.
- Pushing the dress box on top of anything is not a good idea.
- Store them in a clean container with silica gel bags and the same acid-free wrapping paper.
- Preserving the bridal garment in a special box is another choice; however, it is a significant financial commitment.
- If you put your wedding gown away in a sturdy box, it will be protected from damage for years.
- The dress will lose its shape if hung up to dry.
- Nothing beats a sturdy cardboard box with a wide top for long-term storage.
- Once you've settled on the type of storage container you need, double-check that its dimensions are suitable.
- Your gown should be folded in half horizontally, wrapped in white tissue paper, and stored inside a box.
- Purchase a pair of the clean, white cotton gloves recommended by some preservationists.
- Using them will ensure that your dress retains its original brilliant white colour.
- Properly preserving your garment will ensure that it looks as good as the day you bought it, even decades ago.
- Get expert advice before you wash your outfit, and stick to the detergents they propose.
FAQS ABOUT KEEPING A WEDDING DRESS
How do I properly store my wedding dress?
If your dress has more than a few thin layers (like satin or silk), you should lay it flat in the breathable cloth bag or wrap it in cotton linen before storing it in a room that isn't a "high traffic area" of your home, like the upper shelf of the spare wardrobe.
How Long Can a Wedding Dress Be Stored?
You can put off getting your dress cleaned professionally for as long as you like, but experts say you shouldn't wait more than six months (or even less if it's silk). Not all stains are immediately apparent, but they can still accumulate.
Can I keep my wedding dress at home?
After the big day, you must ensure that your wedding dress is in perfect condition by storing it in a dry, cool place.
It would be best if you stayed away from areas where the temperature rises and falls rapidly or where the humidity level is high.
Climate-controlled storage facilities are popular for storing wedding dresses.
Can you preserve a wedding dress years later?
Don't stress if your wedding dress is on the tattered side or if you haven't had time to take it to the cleaners in the weeks or months following the big day. Although it's best to have a wedding gown cleaned and preserved as soon as possible, it's never too late.
What Is Dress Preservation?
Cleaning and uniquely storing your gown is what we call "preservation," and it's done so that its original beauty is preserved for years to come.
A trained conservator will examine your gown, taking note of the fabric, embellishments, and stains, before developing a customised cleaning plan.