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Posted on May 4, 2016

Your Wedding Gown – Cleaning versus Preservation

You feel in love with it as soon as you put it on.  You couldn’t imagine wearing any other dress when you walked down the aisle.  As soon as your mom saw you in it, she immediately teared up.  But now the big day is over, and you need to decide what to do with your gown.  Are you going to share this treasure with someone else by either selling or donating it?  If so, then cleaning and hanging would be appropriate.  First, be sure to have it cleaned as soon as possible after your wedding day; the longer you wait to clean your gown, the less likely it is that all the stains can be removed.  Second, be sure to choose a certified wedding gown specialist that will guarantee and personally process your gown.

Or do you want to preserve this timeless memory as a family heirloom or for future generations?  If so, then preservation is the answer.  When it comes to wedding gown preservation, there are lots of things to consider.  In the past we’ve shared tips like these on Facebook and Twitter:

  • Never store your garments long-term in our plastic poly bags
  • Our plastic poly bags are designed for short-term protection only
  • Long-term use of our plastic poly bags will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildewing problems

That same advice holds true when it comes to preserving and storing your wedding gown.  Not only do plastic bags trap moisture, they can also emit fumes that can cause your gown to yellow.  If you really want to hang your gown, placing it in a muslin or Tyvek bag will eliminate the moisture and trapped fumes issues.  But there are other issues associated with hanging your gown for long periods of time – like the possibility of shape distortion.  The weight of the gown pulling down against the hanger, even if you use the safety loops attached to the inside seams, could cause the gown to become misshapen.

For storing your gown long-term, after it has been cleaned, Shores recommends layering your gown with acid-free tissue, wrapping it in freshly laundered muslin, folding and placing it in an acid-free archival wedding chest, and sealing the chest with pest-proof tape.  Shores has so much confidence in this method, that we will provide a written, lifetime guarantee against yellowing or caramelized sugar stains, which is honored by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

If your gown is in need of cleaning and/or preservation and you have questions, please bring it by one of our locations.  We will gladly take a look at it and offer recommendations.

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