Your wedding dress is a reminder of that particular day, the day of your dreams. Brides spend a lot of time and money finding their perfect wedding dress for the perfect wedding, so seeing the wedding dress will cause those happy memories to come flooding back. Unfortunately, many wedding gowns get left in a plastic cover at the back of the cupboard or in the loft after the special day with every intention of one day getting it cleaned and preserved. Leaving your wedding dress in its plastic cover will not only cause oxidation of any stains, but it could also cause plastic fuming, which can discolour the material even more than the yellowish colour that came with age.
Wedding dresses reflect the bride’s personality, and you won’t find one like them in many cases. Custom tailoring is applied to most dresses; many will personalize them by adding flowers and other patterns to make them their own. In addition, many brides will want to keep their wedding dress as a token of remembrance for their special day or to give it to their children or grandchildren as a family heirloom so they can wear it on their special day. In any case, the dress should be appropriately preserved to ensure that the money spent on it doesn’t go to waste; after all, many brides only wear their dress one day, leaving the dress to get old and discoloured over the many years of their marriage.
The biggest mistake many brides make is leaving their dress in the cupboard or loft for weeks, months and even years after the wedding. They usually have every intention to get it cleaned at some point, but that thought is usually put to the back of their mind and forgotten about, unaware of the problems this can cause. Sweat, body oils, sugar stains and many more can cause nasty stains when left on the dress for an extended period as the colours start to oxidize and discolour the clothing. Even invisible stains can cause massive problems if left for too long, darkening the material with age to a brown colour. It is recommended that you get the dress cleaned and preserved within six weeks of the wedding to ensure that the risk of permanent stains is lowered. Treatment can be applied to the dress to remove stains, and many wedding dress preservation services will often try their hardest to remove the toughest stains, although they cannot always succeed if the colours have been left for too long. Sunlight is also a massive problem for wedding dresses, as the UV rays can turn yellow over time, but this is not too much of a problem because it can take years for this to happen.
Once you have cleaned and preserved your dress, you should consider adequately storing it at home. Your clothing should be wrapped in acid-free paper and stored in a box to prevent further yellowing and acid breakdown does not occur. It should never be kept in the plastic garment bag that it came with, as this can allow sunlight to penetrate the fabrics and expose the dress to plastic fumes, causing further discolouration. Instead, you should store the box under your bed or in a closet free from sunlight and moisture to ensure that the dress keeps and you can show it to future generations and possibly even hand it down.