1. The cleaning process
Most gowns go through quite a beating on the wedding day. From sand and water to grass and dirt, gowns can acquire numerous types of soil from the ground-up. Did you know there are stains invisible to the eye? Sugar stains are the most common and don’t pose a problem until months and/or years later if not cleaned properly. Wine, champagne, beer, and soda are the most common threats. Sugar can also come in the form of self tanner, makeup, deodorant, perfume, and hairspray. An educated and seasoned preservationist will know the difference between these stains and the appropriate steps to remove them, including the stains we cannot see. Keep in mind that preservation companies will clean the gown for you as part of the process and generally offer vast knowledge specific to wedding gown cleaning.
***Does your gown/veil have glitter on 1 or more layers? Is anything glued? Be very careful to hand over your gown to just any company. Make sure they know how to properly clean these special textiles! Our company has over 2 decades of experience working with ALL types of gowns!
2. Not all preservation methods work.
This is where most brides go wrong. But it’s really not your fault. Unless you’ve spent time in a museum and were properly educated about the science behind storing textiles, then you’re just a normal bride looking for the easiest and most cost-effective way to get this done. Let’s settle the confusion. There are 2 types of preservation. Sealed and unsealed. Sealed versions have a viewing window and are made of cardboard. These methods do not allow you access to your gown and void the warranty if you open it. This method leaves you with no real recourse if something goes wrong. And considering you can’t see majority of the gown, it’s pretty safe to say it could be years before you realize your gown was potentially damaged during the process. Also, textiles need movement. Sealed boxes prevent you from giving your gown the necessary movement to prevent folds from becoming permanent creases over time.
However, the second method is unsealed (OUR METHOD). These boxes utilize stable polypropylene boxes with no viewing window. The gown is layered with archival tissue and wrapped in muslin. These act as filters to protect the gown from light, humidity, bugs, and dust. The tissue will also absorb any acid near or on the gown, preventing it from turning yellow. This method is highly used in museums around the world. Basically, in a nutshell, if you ever want access to your gown for any reason, you’re going to get it! Also, according to conservationists, it’s a much safer environment for your gown, as you can offer movement and monitor the process. If the day comes that you decide to wear her again, you can! Our method offers so many benefits to you and your gown!
3.Storing your gown
Once your gown is cleaned and preserved it’s up to you to store it safely. Stay away from a garage, storage unit, attic, or basement. Temperature and humidity changes can wreak havoc on your precious heirloom. Recommended areas for storage include a closet, under a bed, or in a guest bedroom.
Museum quality allows you access to your gown 24/7! We recommend opening your box every 2-3 years to offer movement and to monitor the process. If you choose to wear your gown or veil in the future, no problem! After being worn, your garment will need to be cleaned once more and goes back into its original packaging.