We frequently receive gowns for cleaning and preservation that were used 40-50 years earlier and had never been cleaned. Once the wedding was over the gown was placed in a chest or closet and forgotten. Some of our brides of years gone by, while watching videos or looking at wedding albums remember their gown and having seen how they looked at that time decided to have them cleaned and preserved. After all their grandchildren are approaching wedding thinks times and you know the rest of the story...
You spent a great deal of time and thought selecting your wedding dress. You may hope that a younger sister or perhaps even a daughter will someday wear your gown. Or you may want just keep your beautiful gown for sentimental reasons. Either way, your wedding gown is a treasured keepsake that if properly cleaned and preserved, can last for years to come.
After the wedding, many bridal gowns are left in the plastic garment bag with good intentions of cleaning and preservation sometime soon. That soon often turns into weeks, and then years. This procrastination poses some serious risks to the gown. All things, including gown textile tend to deteriorate over time, but certain conditions present on wedding gowns will cause the gown or parts of the gown to break down sooner or deteriorate sooner which may cause holes or discoloration what are not repairable or restoreable. Here are a few conditions to pay attention to.
Oxidation of stains, seen and unseen. Your dress may have noticeable stains from food or make-up, or the hemline may be soiled. Or your dress may look clean to you, but don't be fooled, spills from alcoholic beverages or clear soda may dry clear, but oxidize with time, turn brown and become more difficult to remove later. Body perspiration may cause the dress lining to turn brittle over time. Your dress needs to be cleaned in order to keep it in the best condition possible.
Mildew caused by excessive moisture can be a major problem for preservationists. Conservation environments are most important in keeping your gown in the best of shape.
Plastic fumes Gowns kept in plastic gown bags are exposed to the most harmful environment possible: plastic fumes. Most plastic gives off chemical fumes that cause the yellowing of bridal gowns. Some brides take the initiative to get their dress cleaned, but mistakenly leave their gown in the dry-cleaner's plastic wrap or garment bag.
Cleaning and preserving your bridal gown as soon as possible ensures that your gown remains in the best condition possible. Ideally, your dress should be cleaned and preserved within days or weeks of your wedding. Please call us at Iowa Bridal Preservation for a phone consultation regarding your uncleaned gown.