Wedding Gown Preservation Options
There are several different types of wedding gown preservation offered today. While there are slight variations offered, each will usually fall into one of these three categories:
No matter what type of wedding gown preservation you choose, you should keep your preserved wedding dress in a climate-controlled area. Do not be tempted to put your preserved wedding gown in an attic or damp basement where temperatures and humidity levels will fluctuate dramatically. Fluctuating temperatures increase the deterioration rate of textiles.Once your wedding gown has been cleaned, keeping it in the best possible condition is your goal. You will need to protect and preserve your wedding dress from:
Permanent creasing on fabric
Mildew and mold
It’s important to note that one of the leading causes of wedding dress yellowing is the plastic bags that many brides keep their gowns in. Most plastics give off damaging fumes that actually promote yellowing. But, even with proper care, some fabrics will yellow more than others and it may be impossible to prevent all yellowing.
Generally, silk fabric yellows more than synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, rayon and acetate. However, nylon, which is a synthetic, has a tendency to yellow more than other synthetic fabrics. Gowns that can be wet cleaned have an advantage, in that if they do yellow, they may be able to be whitened for future use with a fabric whitener.
Preserving your wedding dress in an acid-free environment is your best protection against yellowing. Padding your wedding gown with acid-free tissue will help to prevent acid migration. Buffered tissue should be used for wedding gowns made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, rayon, and acetate. The buffering agents in the buffered tissue gives added protection against acid migration. But buffering agents may damage wedding gowns made of animal proteins such as silk or wool, therefore un-buffered, acid-free tissue is recommended for silk fabrics.
Keeping your wedding gown in the best overall condition should be the primary concern in preserving your wedding gown. So, protect your gowns! Get it out of the plastic bag and have it cleaned and preserved in an acid-free environment.
Flat storage is recommended for textiles and garments when possible. However, because of the size and dimensions of wedding gowns, it is impractical. Some compromise must be made, either by folding or hanging the gown. To help prevent permanent creasing, boxed gowns should be refolded into a different position every 2 – 3 years. Cotton gloves should always be worn when handling preserved gowns. Bagged wedding gowns that are hung in a closet are not at risk for permanent creasing, and will not need to be handled periodically.
Mildew and Mold
Keeping your wedding gown in a breathable environment will protect it best from mildew and mold growth. When fabrics can breathe, the humidity level remains constant around the garment as excess moisture dissipates into the air. But, if moisture can condense inside a box or any container, then the gown is at risk for mildew and mold growth.
An oxidation spot can occur when a substance that was not properly cleaned on the dress oxidizes and turns brown. This can happen even if your wedding dress has been cleaned as dry-cleaning solvents do not remove all substances. Spills from clear soda or wine may go unnoticed at the time of the initial cleaning. Unless these spills were initially spot treated, it is likely they will oxidize over time. Inspecting preserved wedding gowns periodically ensures the wedding gown remains in the best condition. The sooner an oxidized stain is caught, the more likely it will be able to be removed.
Light and Dust
Keeping your wedding gown covered will protect it from the damage caused by light and dust.
For more information, please contact Palm Cleaners for all your wedding gown preservation needs.