Gown Preservation…..with love from Joy
The most exciting day in every girl’s life is the day that they get to stroll down the aisle with the man they love most. However, after all of the festivities have come to an end there is one important detail that most brides fail to remember: preserving their gorgeous gown. It might seem simple enough to toss your dress on a hanger, throw it on the closet, and move along with your day. However ladies, this may be the worst decision you could make. So, the ladies of Flair decided to save you the research, and gathered some simple rules for storing your dress properly.
Clearly it would be detrimental for your gown to be cleaned in the washing machine, so your first step should be to take a trip to a trusted dry cleaner. A professional should look over your dress with you when you drop it off, in order to point out any specific stains or damages. If the clerk feels as though they can not properly clean your gown, then they should tell you. In this instance you should call a local conservator. After the dry clean is complete, if your gown is hung then immediately take it off of the hanger. Also if it is wrapped in the notorious blue dry cleaner tissue paper, take it out right away as this can cause discoloration.
Once your gown is all shiny and new again, there are a few simple rules to follow. The first thing you should do is order a preserving box and tissue paper which must both be un-buffered and acid free. This is because the chemicals that go into regular boxes and tissue do not react well with the chemicals in fabric, and therefore will eventually become extremely damaging. You can purchase preserving materials easily at Foster-Stephens.com. Another storage no-no is the cedar trunk, although this may seem like a logical place to keep your gown, its not. Cedar gives off gases as time progresses that will essentially eat away at your lovely fabric.
When your packing materials come in, you should store it as soon as possible. Ideally you will fold your gown in three ways. In between each fold you should place a piece of the non-acidic tissue paper, in order to avoid permanent fold creases or fabric fractures. You should then place the folded dress in the box with tissue underneath and on top. An important detail to remember is not to include plastic in the packing process, as it easily collects humidity and will leave stains and/or rust marks from any metal detail. Make sure to seal the box extremely well on the outside, using tape if necessary. An ideal place to store the box is in a cool and dry place, in which you clean often. Attics and basements are not a great idea, as they are often extreme in temperatures and tend to be very damp/dry.
You should repeat all of these steps about every two years, as the conservation materials always need to be refreshed. Although this process may seem tedious, trust us, its not that bad! It is totally worth it to take the steps, and be able to cherish it forever. Just think, your daughter may wish to wear your fabulous gown someday!
aka “#1 intern at Flair”