Your wedding gown holds memories and hopes that you want to preserve. After you’ve enjoyed your wedding day, take the right steps to clean and store your gown to keep it looking its best for years to come.
Planning for the future starts when shopping for your gown. Be sure to ask the sales consultant how the dress should be cleaned. Look for special instructions for the delicate trim, beads or sequins. The Federal Trade Commission requires that each gown have a care label that you should read.
All gowns should be cleaned before storage even if it doesn't look soiled. Perspiration, food stains and makeup stains can show up later and become more difficult to remove. Look for a dry cleaner that specializes in wedding gown preservation. Be sure to point out any stains and any loose trim or buttons. Also discuss, if you know, how the trim is attached to the dress. Some designers use an adhesive that could dissolve during the dry cleaning process.
Ask your cleaner to allow you to inspect your dress before it is packed in an acid-free box to help prevent contamination. This will prevent surprises when you open your sealed box years from now. There are horror stories of missing dresses and veils or the wrong dress packed away.
If your dress is one that can be hand-washed at home, treat the stains and be sure to allow the dress to dry completely before storing. If you leave your dress hanging in a closet, be sure to cover it with a 100 percent cotton sheet or fabric storage bag. Plastic bags can cause discoloration that is nearly impossible to remove. Keep the dress away from both artificial light and natural sunlight to prevent fabric damage.
If you want to pack away your gown yourself, follow the proper steps for archival storage.
Be sure to store the boxed dress in a cool, dry place – never in a damp basement or hot attic. Check your gown once per year to be sure that no previously-undetected stains or yellowing of the fabric are occurring. It’s best to catch problems early.
Specific questions? Just ask here.