The wedding dress is the fashion epicentre of any wedding ceremony. It’s the primary thing guests focus on and discuss during and after a wedding. And over time, your wedding dress becomes the emotional trigger for reliving those sweet cherished memories.
And one thing anyone who owns a wedding dress dreads most is bringing out their wedding dress only to realize that their lovely white dress has drastically yellowed, and sometimes, they can even be covered in dark brown or black stains.
Wedding gowns lose their shine when the material fibres used in making them begin degrading. And this degradation can be triggered by heat, humidity, sunlight, and the chemicals used while making the dress.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur starting a wedding dress preservation business or you want to make your wedding dress a family heirloom passed down through generations; knowing the right way to preserve your wedding dress must be front and center in your mind.
And today, we’ll show you how to care for your wedding dress and maintain its sparkling brilliance forever.
- Three solid options for caring for your wedding dress
- Best option: get your wedding dress preserved
- Great option: use a professional dry cleaning service
- Good option: DIY with emergency kits
- Wedding day emergency kits
- How to clean your wedding dress
- These factors can affect your wedding dress maintenance and longevity
- Quick timing is everything
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Picture this: You’ve just had your wedding in the most breathtaking garden, filled with lovely roses and jasmine flowers, and surrounded by nature in all its glory.
But after getting home, you notice dirt, shrubs, and wine stains on your dress. And although you may think, “I’ll just brush off the dirt and wipe off the wine stains and be done with it.” However, if you do that, you’d leave the door open for yellowing.
If your goal is to keep your wedding dress in perfect, pristine condition or reuse the dress as a cocktail dress, follow the steps below.
Best Option: Get Your Wedding Dress Preserved
The best way to ensure your wedding dress lasts the test of time is to get it preserved. And unlike other methods of caring for your wedding dress, preserving it isn’t just focused on cleaning the delicate fibres of your gown but also involves applying special chemical solvents that prevent yellowing and protect your dress from moisture as it ages.
The best part about wedding dress preservation services is that it doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach like regular dry cleaning services. The preservation specialist extensively assesses the wedding gown and creates a unique treatment plan to remove every stain from your dress.
And once that’s been achieved, the specialist proceeds to store your gown in the best conditions that can keep it in perfect shape for several decades into the future.
Here’s what preservation specialists consider before choosing the ideal cleaning and storage method(s) to be used:
- The fabrics, embellishments, stains, and style of your wedding dress.
- How often would they have to inspect the dress in the future to ensure it remains in impeccable condition?
- Will the wedding dress be hung, folded, or left in the box?
- Where your wedding dress will be stored.
- The best box for storing your wedding dress.
- What their clients are willing to pay.
Once your wedding dress has been restored to perfect condition, it’s wrapped in uncolored and acid-free tissue paper to help keep moulds out of your wedding dress. It’s then vacuum-sealed and placed in at least two acid-free archival storage boxes.
Boxing is a popular part of wedding dress preservation because an airtight box protects the dress from environmental elements like moisture, humidity, and unnecessary interactions that can cause yellowing, creasing, or material deterioration.
Yes, most storage boxes have a display window to allow easy viewing of your brilliant dress. But even though wedding dress preservation is the best way to restore your gown to its original shelf condition, it’s such a niche market that often struggles with attracting clients.
And if you’re running a wedding dress preservation business. In that case, the first step to attracting clients to your business is to select excellent fashion brand name ideas that communicate your business’s values and brilliant services. And the best way to find a great brand name for your business is by using a trusted business name generator.
Unlike wedding dress preservation services, which are few and far between, there are many dry cleaning services in the market, so finding one to dry clean your wedding dress shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, not all of these dry cleaning services can work on wedding dresses.
So, making the extra effort to ensure that your dry cleaner can handle white wedding dresses is essential to getting the desired results. Also, ensure that the dry cleaner you choose performs the dry-cleaning service on-site.
Making sure that the dry cleaning is done in-house will help you avoid the inconvenience of working with a middleman, paying extra, or even having your wedding dress lost or damaged in transit.
If your dry cleaner doesn’t perform its services in-house but instead sends it off to another company, we suggest you go directly to a wedding dress cleaning company and get your gown adequately taken care of. Bypassing the middleman would save you a lot of money.
You can do several things to increase your wedding dress’s longevity without visiting the dry cleaner or wedding dress cleaning company.
Things like spot treatments, using the emergency bridal kit, and ensuring that your wedding dress is adequately stored can increase the longevity of your dress.
Although maintaining a wedding dress on your own isn’t impossible, it’s a very challenging process, and anything can go wrong. Washing your wedding dress by hand or machine isn’t something that should be done without regard for the material, label recommendations, or expertise. Enter wedding day emergency kits.
Wedding Day Emergency Kits
One area where DIY wedding dress cleaning shines is when using the wedding day emergency bridal kit—a lifesaver for many brides—especially when handling little dress mishaps that can happen at unpredictable moments.
These emergency kits are ideal for dealing with little stains as they contain baby powder or cornstarch, which can help mask the stains. However, don’t get carried away trying to fix your dress; you start using remedies with a permanent effect like whiteout or shoe polish. Doing this can cause permanent damage to your wedding dress.
Emergency kits also contain useful tools like Q-tips, safety pins, needles, clean, dry white towelettes, thread, and specific gown items like crystals and other ornaments the clothes may contain. Investing in an emergency kit for your wedding gown is always a smart choice for maintaining the dress.
But besides using the emergency kit, ensure you hold up your dress outdoors, wear it only after you’re done with your hair and makeup, and store it carefully in a cool place. Also, avoid handling your dress too often, as this could smudge stains on your dress.
What to Know Before DIY Cleaning
When Removing Small Stains
- Always wear white cotton gloves. Don’t handle your wedding dress with your bare hands.
- Test whatever cleaning agent you plan to use on a hidden part of the dress to make sure it won’t damage your dress.
- Isolate the stained area and work on it with a soft toothbrush so your cleaning agent doesn’t affect other layers.
- Once you’re done cleaning, gently rinse the area and dry it with a hair dryer.
For a Complete Hand Wash
- Clean and disinfect your bathtub.
- Fill your bathtub with water and add your soft detergent and stain remover.
- Place your dress inside the tub and let it soak.
- Isolate the heavily stained area and start rubbing it gently with a soft brush.
- Avoid bleach. It can irreversibly damage your dress. Use gentle detergent instead.
If you plan on washing your wedding dress with a machine, ensure that the material is machine-friendly and that there aren’t any embellishments on your wedding dress, as they could get damaged by the washing machine.
These Factors Can Affect Your Wedding Dress Maintenance and Longevity
Here are a few key factors that affect the longevity of your wedding dress:
The Type of Fabric
The type of maintenance required for each dress depends on the fabrics they’re made of. For example, lacy fabrics are typically more expensive to dry clean, while other materials like silk, organza, and taffeta are susceptible and delicate.
Not to mention that they require special cleaning machines and equipment since they don’t react well to standard cleaning equipment and detergents.
Type of Stains
The number of stains on a wedding dress and how quickly it’s brought in for cleaning can affect the cleaning process. Stains like asphalt, makeup, ink, enzymatic, and oil-based stains are a few examples of stains that’d require professional attention.
The Brand of the Business
Getting your wedding dress from a reliable brand or a custom tailor you trust is the best way to avoid getting a poorly sewn wedding dress with substandard materials. Wedding gowns made with poor-quality material are much more likely to suffer from aging and yellowing.
Wedding Gowns With Complex Designs
Dresses with several layers of fabric, customized crystals, heavy beads, sequins, and other embellishments are considerably more time-consuming and expensive to maintain as they aren’t always compatible with common cleaning solvents like perchloroethylene.
Wedding Dress Storage
As we’ve mentioned, how you store your wedding dress after cleaning can affect its longevity. Instead of simply hanging or folding your dress in a bag, it’s best to store it in an airtight, acid-free storage box.
Age of the Dress
If your wedding dress is already a family heirloom—decades old—then keeping it as good as new may require some extra effort.
Quick Timing is Everything
When it comes to keeping and maintaining your wedding dress for the future, a lot of the success you’ll achieve is based on how early you can give your dress the treatment it requires. Any delay will give the stains more time to attack and damage your wedding dress.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding at Squadhelp, a 3X Inc. 5000 business and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has studied over 1 million names and compiled a list of the top domain addresses available on the internet. We are the pioneering crowdsource naming platform, and our clients range from emerging businesses to Fortune 500 companies.