Your wedding has come and gone and you may wonder at this point what to do with your wedding dress. Do you place it in storage? Do you preserve it? You cannot just throw it in your spare wardrobe and forget about it; it needs proper care to remain in pristine condition. Even if you are thinking of selling your wedding dress, it still requires attention and aftercare.

Wedding dresses are made with special materials that are extremely delicate and if not properly treated, can lead to stretching, yellowing and fraying. Learn how to best preserve your gown.

Some helpful guidelines on wedding gown preservation after your wedding day

1.Dry Clean
The first step in wedding dress preservation is to have your dress dry cleaned within 24-48 hours of your wedding day. Between sweat, makeup, reception foods and other potentially damaging substances, many stains could be on your dress (some not even visible). When these substances are left on your wedding dress, they can eat away at the fabric and cause permanent staining. Having your dress professionally dry cleaned is the best assurance that all stains and oils from the wedding day are removed. If dry cleaning can’t be done immediately, be sure to place your gown in a cloth garment bag, not a plastic one, to allow the dress to breathe properly.

2.Caring for different types of fabrics
Wedding dresses are made with delicate materials that need special care and attention in order to keep the wedding gown preserved. Preserving your wedding gown depends on the special care given to its delicate materials. Some of the most common wedding dress fabrics include satin, charmeuse, chiffon, organza, tulle and lace, and each requires different cleaning techniques.

3.Care Kits
After your dress has been professionally dry cleaned, it’s important to properly store the gown with the right materials. Ask your local dry cleaners if they have acid-free boxes and acid-free tissue paper for purchase for you to store your dress in. If not, you may want to consider a care or preservation kit. Although care kits may seem expensive, they make up for their high costs with increased convenience. No-hassle options, such as mail-in cleaning (performed by a trained preservationist, rather than a dry cleaner) are particularly attractive to the bride who wants only the best for her dress. However, wedding dress preservation kit boxes are meant to never be opened, unless you’re willing to pay the price of re-sealing the box.

Additionally, if your dry cleaner doesn’t offer acid-free materials for storing your wedding dress, look at boxing companies where you might be able to buy a box made with a fitted lid that will protect from dust, moisture and other environmental factors. The key to storing your own wedding dress is to buy pristine packaging, as well as wrap the gown in acid-free tissue paper, paying special attention to areas in between the sleeves and any other crevices to prevent friction.

Some factors to consider when storing your wedding dress

Climate control is vital to preserving your wedding dress. Climate-controlled storage is a must to prevent large swings in humidity and temperature, which can prematurely age lace and delicate fabrics. When storing a wedding dress, make sure the area is cool and mildew-free. Furthermore, the best way to avoid moisture is to keep the dress in a climate-controlled area.

To ensure the longevity of your wedding gown, it’s important to protect the dress in storage by keeping it away from other clothing and to avoid using coloured tissue paper or tissue paper that contains acid. Though an attic may seem ideal to keep your dress safe, in reality, it’s probably the worst place to store a wedding dress. From insects to a leaking roof, environmental factors can eventually destroy your dress.

Keep your dress in a dimly lit or dark space. Light tends to cause your dress’s fabric to yellow. A storage unit may make it easier for you to keep harsh light away from your wedding dress, than an often-used closet within your house.

With a climate-controlled temperature, you’ll be better able to block out humidity. Consider using a dehumidifier when storing your dress in a dark area of your home, such as the basement. However, if you have an air conditioning system, a dehumidifier may not be necessary, as air-conditioned homes and apartments generally contain humidity levels that are too low to cause harm to a wedding dress. So, if you are based in a hot climate country, do adhere to the humidity levels.

Lastly, wedding dresses require periodic garment checks. Once a year, carefully take your gown out of storage to look for mildew, holes, stains, signs of age, and discolouration. If you see damages, take your dress to a dry cleaner for repairs.

As soon as you put it into storage, make sure it’s kept off the ground as well. If it comes into contact with dirt, dust, or any other type of grime, your dress won’t stay white for long.

Box It or Bag It?

While storing your wedding dress in a self-storage unit is a great option, the last thing you want to do is just put the dress into storage without proper packaging. Over time, storage units collect dust, which can damage a wedding dress in the long run. With this in mind, you can use a box or a bag to make sure that your dress is safely stored away.

Boxing a wedding dress is the preferred form of storage, as it lets the gown lie flat and uses acid-free tissue paper in the folds of the dress to prevent decay. Brides may choose to box their gowns at home or have them boxed professionally. In either case, a boxed gown should be removed and refolded

If you prefer not to box your dress, the dress can be bagged and hung. However, plastic bags should never be used for long-term storage, even if that’s the kind of bag your dress came home in. Over time, chemicals from plastic dress bags can leach out and discolour the fabric of your gown. Instead, go with a cotton garment bag with a well-padded hanger.

Tip of the week

Makeup stains and oil spills are likely to occur at some stage during your wedding day. In order to counter such mishaps, keep cornstarch or baby powder in your emergency bridal kit. By lightly coating the stain, the oil will be absorbed, camouflaging it and remove the excess powder after 15 minutes.
In the case of wine or any other beverage spillage, immediately sponge or dab the stain with club soda or cool water and dry with a towel or cotton wool. Do not use alcohol-based products like hairspray and perfumes after you are fully dressed on the morning of your wedding.

Trend of the week

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