If you’ve just purchased a bridal gown, or you’re almost ready to make your big buy, there are a few key components of wedding dress care that you need to know about. Considering what a big investment your dream dress can be, it’s well worth a little time and effort to keep your grown looking just as new and stunning as it was the day you took it home.
So much time and planning goes in to finding the ideal dress. And granted, you’ll most likely wear it only once in your life. But it’s never the less one of the most cherished and sentimental garments you’ll ever own. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to keep your dress looking absolutely beautiful for generations. Here are some helpful tips for storing, hanging and cleaning your beautiful new bridal gown.
Hanging Your Wedding Dress
In most cases, the materials that your wedding dress is made of aren’t designed with strength and durability in mind. A wedding dress is one of the most apt examples of form over function. So in order to avoid unsightly, and perhaps costly, rips, tears and snags, it’s very important to take special precautions when hanging your dress. It’s not a good idea to hang your dress on a conventional hanger, like other garments.
How awful would it be to hang your stunning gown on a conventional hanger and find it torn and damaged after only a few days. Substantial embellishments, bead work and other appliqués can lend a gown considerable weight – causing it to potentially tear near the hanger. To avoid this issue, most dresses have small loops of fabric sewn into the interior for easy hanging. Be sure to use these loops to prevent any damage. Also, you may want to use padded hangers to avoid catching the fabric and risking a tear.
Wedding Dress Cleaning
Of course, your wedding dress needs to be dry cleaned. No sane bride would simply toss it in the wash. But it’s important to carefully select the right dry cleaner. Certain facilities are well accustomed to the delicacy of a high end wedding dress, while others are decidedly not. Speak to your dry cleaner and find out if they do their work onsite, or have it shipped to a separate facility.
If your dress is not handled gently during transit, it could risk being damaged. Additionally, make sure your dry cleaner will do all work by hand, rather than using an automated system. Be as selective as possible when choosing your dry cleaner. Just remember how much time and money you’ve put into this precious dress. You don’t want to leave it in the wrong hands.
Wedding Dress Repairs
It’s equally important to be selective about choosing a tailor or seamstress who is familiar with the intricate construction and detailing of a fine wedding dress. You want someone who’s experienced and skilled. Again, take the time to speak to your tailor and ask plenty of questions. You’ll have plenty of services to choose from, so you can certainly afford to be highly selective.
Preparing Your Wedding Dress for Storage
It’s important for your wedding dress to be in mint condition before it’s stored. On a clean, well lit surface, examine the dress to check for tears, holes, stains discoloration or any other signs of damage. Make sure all seams, beading and detail work is secure. Before placing your dress in storage, take care of all repairs, and allow it to hang for about a day or two after being cleaned. Otherwise, residual chemicals from dry cleaning could damage the dress.
Storing Your Wedding Dress
While it may seem like the easiest and most convenient option, don’t keep your bridal gown in a plastic bag or container. Over time, the plastic could potentially leach chemicals that might discolor white fabric, turning it an unsightly shade of yellow. Plastic can also wreak havoc on delicate embellishments, causing them to become hard or brittle.
Instead, delicately fold the bridal gown and put it in a museum-quality, acid-free storage box; these are available specifically as wedding dress or bridal gown storage chests. Wrap your dress fabric or acid-free tissue to protect it from the rough cardboard or paperboard of the storage box. Keep the storage box in a dry, cool place where temperature and humidity are relatively constant. Basements and attics are not advised.
Regardless of whether you’d like to treasure your dress as a memorable keepsake, or possibly hand it down to future generations, it’s important to keep your wedding dress looking brand new. With these simple steps and care tips, it’s easier than ever to do just that.
Henry Mazza is a freelance writer who writes about weddings, fashion and designer wedding dresses.
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