Wedding Dress Drycleaning and Preservation
After months, or even years, of planning your dream wedding, even the bride who is on her best behaviour throughout the ceremony and reception often end up with their dresses looking worse for wear. This is particularly true for Australian weddings with our preference for outdoor weddings.
Food and drink have been spilled, small sweaty handprints thanks to the adoring flowergirl and lipstick from grandma have all somehow found their way onto your dress, not forgetting heel marks and whatever else the hem and train collected as you dancing into the early hours. Also, on what is probably the most nerve wracking and one of the most important days of your life, perspiration will have no doubt added to the demise of your dress.
In the afterglow of a wedding there are decisions to be made about the future of the dress, perhaps you dream of someday having your daughter wear it down the aisle, keeping it as an heirloom or perhaps even selling it. Whatever the future of the dress it is advisable to have your dress drycleaned within four weeks of your wedding day, for if left too long stubborn stains like red wine or chocolate can set into the fabric.
Research is imperative with regard to finding a drycleaner. Ask friends, family members or even the store where you brought your dress, with the objective being finding a cleaner who specialises in wedding dress preservation. We also suggest you visit The Knot Suppliers section to find drycleaners in your area to speak with.
Dress preservation involves the dress firstly being examined and the dress cleaning will be determined by several factors, what is the fabric, what kind of stains does it have, does your dress have sequins and beading that require special care? The dress will either be dry or wet cleaned. The dress will then be pressed and packed in acid free tissue in an acid-fee box, this helps prevent acid migration, with an inspection lid. The box must be kept in a climate controlled environment, away from heat, humidity and direct sunlight, somewhere dry and cool is perfect. Variations in temperature increase the deterioration rate of fabrics. Check your dress once a year to be sure that no previously undetected stains or yellowing has occurred.
We went to two of Australia’s best drycleaners and asked them ways to ensure you cause the least damage to your precious gown on the day plus what you need to know for cleaning and preservation. All brides should take note of these helpful tips:
Tips From Blue and White Dry Cleaners
- Talk to your dress designer or research through the Drycleaners Institute of Australia to find a reputable drycleaner with experience on stain removal
- Talk to your drycleaner with regard to how they will preserve your dress, wet or drycleaned, do not go with the cheapest quote. The local drycleaner on the corner generally has little knowledge of beaded fabrics and silks
- Try to avoid spray tans as they stain fabrics
- Notify your drycleaner of any clear liquid stains, such as champagne or white wine
- If having your dress boxed make sure it is wrapped with acid fee paper as this will help preserve the dress
- Make sure you inspect your dress prior to boxing
Tips From Ferrari Dry Cleaners
- Pre wedding, keep your dress away from direct sunlight, the sun can burn your dress, even in the cooler months
- When trying on your dress take care to avoid stains from makeup, deodorants and tanning creams
- On the day, if your dress is silk do not try to remove stains yourself as this may affect the lustre or colour
- Many people recommend using soda water for the removal of spots however this will often turn brown with the passing of time and this may set the stains making the removal of them difficult
- Post care silk gowns should be cleaned almost immediately after the wedding as perspiration, makeup etc can cause permanent damage
- Your dress should be stored the same as the museums store their valuable garments in acid free tissue paper and allowed to breathe