Wedding Gown Cleaning & Preservation
Why is it important to have my wedding gown preserved?
Gowns need to be preserved optimally no longer than three months after the wedding before stains set and caramelize. Many times when a stain has set to a brown color, it is not removable. At this point, you may not think anyone will ever wear your gown so there is on reason to have it preserved. However, we have seen beautiful christening outfits made from a family member’s wedding gown and cherished bassinet covers that have been handed down from generation to generation. These types of cherished possessions could not have been passed from generation to generation without proper wedding gown preservation soon after the wedding.
What is wedding gown preservation? I’m not sure I know what it means?
Wedding gown preservation is two very important components. First is the cleaning of the gown. The gown needs to be cleaned thoroughly by a professional dry cleaner who has experience with fragile fabrics, beads, and trim. You want to make sure that your dry cleaner is a member of the International Fabricare Institute so they are well informed about the most current cleaning and spot removal techniques. It is also beneficial if your dry cleaner is a “Certified Environmental Dry Cleaner”, and has attended courses and seminars on wedding gown cleaning. The professionals at DeVono’s are certified in wedding gown cleaning. Secondly, the storage of the gown over the years is very important. There is a lot of talk about using acid-free tissue when storing your gown. At DeVono’s, we use acid neutral storage chambers and acid-free tissue for stuffing and layering the gown in the storage chamber. The storage chamber consists of an outer shipping carton which protects the box that the wedding gown is stored in and the chamber itself which has a non-yellowing window through which you can see the bust of your dress. We do not seal the storage chambers in any way. We want air filtering through the box. This is the way that museums protect textile items for storage. We do suggest that you open the box every five years to “check on the condition of the gown”. And we need you to store your gown in a cool dry place. Never store your gown in the attic or basement.
DeVono’s Unsurpassed Wedding Gown Preservation Process
- Your gown is examined to determine what cleaning process would be most suitable in regards to type of fabric, stains, beading and trim.
- We carefully pre-spot all of the stains and your dress is hung to air dry.
- The following day, the gown is re-examined for stains and a second pre-spotting treatment is applied.
- The gown is placed into a gentle cleansing bath with minimal agitation and low heat.
- The gown is examined for stains. If stains remain in the dress, we go back to step 3.
- When all stains that can be removed, are removed and the gown is thoroughly clean, we examine the dress for loose threads and beads. Missing hooks, eyes and closures are replaced at this time.
- At this point, the gown is carefully pressed and beautifully finished to “like new” condition. Then the gown is placed on a bust form to retain shape and the sleeves are stuffed with acid-free tissue.
- Next, the gown is inspected for stains, wrinkles, loose beads, threads, missing closures, etc. If any of the above do not pass our final inspection the gown, it is sent back for correction. When your dress leaves the final inspection area it is in “like new” condition.
- The last step is placing your most treasured possession into an acid neutral storage chamber surrounded by acid-free tissue.
- Viola. A bridal gown ready for storage for more than 50 years.