Today's wedding gowns are made from a wide variety of fabrics and are accented with many kinds of trims. Most combinations require special care. Puritan Cleaners has had the privelege of caring for gowns of every type and style. We welcome the chance to consult with you about preserving your gown.
Wearing an heirloom
An heirloom gown can make your special day even more memorable. Please allow at least a month for professional care as well as any needed alterations. Typically, older gowns often need more attention than newer. Before you decide to wear a cherished heirloom, allow us to assess it and to discuss the pros and cons with you.
After the Wedding
Whether having worn a new gown or an heirloom, most brides want to preserve their gown. We advise that you have it cleaned and repaired as soon as possible after your wedding day before you store the gown. It is important to get all stains (seen and unseen) out before preservation, as it is often difficult or impossible to remove them later. Food and beverage stains, body oils, and make-up, if not carefully addressed as soon as possible, may spoil the results of your preservation.
Specific cleaning instructions
Your gown, by law, must have accurate care instructions addressing all parts of the dress, including any decorative trim, beading, or sequins. We will do our best to adhere to those instructions, and will generally test the garment before we preserve it, to make sure it will tolerate the prescribed cleaning instructions.
After the gown preservation
If you're storing the gown on a hanger, we'll return it to you with the straps sewn to the waistline to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the weight of the skirt. We recommend removing the protective plastic wrap, stuffing the bodice with white, acid-free unbuffered tissue paper, and then wrapping the dress in a protective white sheet or unbleached muslin covering.
If you've chosen storage in one of our specially constructed gown boxes, your dress will already have been carefully stuffed with white, acid-free tissue paper to prevent wrinkles. As long as your headpiece does not have a metal wire frame or colored flowers, we will enclose it with your gown.
Headpieces, veils, shoes, programs, glasses, foam shoulder pads, and bra cups should be removed and stored individually and separately from the gown to avoid color changes and damage to the gown's fabric.
Store the gown in a cool, dry location. Basements and attics are not good choices, as basement dampness can cause mildew and attic heat can promote yellowing of the fabric.
Portions of this article are presented here with permission from the International Fabric Institute.