Dress Preservation

Guidelines

It is recommended that the best place to store your dresses is in a room with constant humidity and temperature levels, a guest room or a spare closet for example. Places such as the attic or basement which have fluctuating humidity and temperature levels are to be avoided.

Your best option for storing your dresses is to fold or roll them in a clean, white sheet and safely keep them in a dry, dark room where they are not exposed to sunlight. Using a dress hanger is discouraged as it stresses the fabric and can distort it too.

Avoid the use of such plastics as a garment bag for example, as plastics have gaseous emissions which can cause yellowing of your fabrics. Handle your dresses with cotton gloves when you want to move them from one place to the other.

 

Professional Dry Cleaning

When you have finished your wedding, it is recommended that you take your wedding dress or gown to a professional dry cleaner to have it properly dry cleaned. You can also go the extra length of engaging a professional dress preservation expert to have it professionally treated to avoid discoloration.

 

Fold Your Dress

If the design of your dress includes embroidery or delicate beading, it is advised that you prevent scratching of the fabric by these materials, so place an enclosed tissue paper on top of them. Another option will be flipping it inside out so that the fabric will naturally cushion any breaking of the delicate beads or embroidery.

 

Dress Yellowing

Experts say that storing bridal dresses in plastic bags causes dress yellowing. The gaseous fumes emitted by these plastic bags is the culprit here. However, with time, no matter the kind of expert care given to dresses, yellowing will never be prevented totally.

Silky fabrics are more prone to yellowing than synthetic ones such as rayon, polyester, and acetate. Nylon, though a synthetic fabric, yellows faster than other fabrics that are equally synthetic. Dresses that can undergo wet cleaning are a better option in this regard as any yellowing effect on them can still be whitened by processing them with a fabric whitener.

One of the best ways of preventing the yellowing of your dress is by preserving it in an environment where they are not exposed to any form of acids. You can prevent acid migration when you use acid-free tissue to pad your dress. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon, polyester or acetate are best padded with buffered tissue. Acid migration is prevented by the buffering agents contained in the buffered tissue as it provides extra protection.

Precaution and extra care should be taken for animal-protein-based dresses such as wool or silk as they can be damaged by the buffering agents. It is thus recommended that you use acid-free and unbuffered tissue for them. 

 

Permanent Creasing

It is highly suggested to preserve your wedding gown with flat storage. This is however hard to proceed because of the large size of a wedding gown. They would need some form of hanging or folding. To prevent permanent creasing of preserved dresses, they should be handled with cotton gloves, then bagged and hung in closets.

 

Mold and Mildew

It is recommended that you store your dresses in an aerated environment. The free passing of air will prevent the growth of mold and mildew on them. Excess moisture is dissipated into the passing air, and a constant humidity level is maintained around your dress. Allowing moisture to condense inside an airless box, for example, will facilitate the mold and mildew growth which will have an overall damaging effect on your beautiful dress.

 

Oxidation Spots

These unsightly spots are caused by the oxidation and browning of certain chemicals and substances that were not properly cleaned off your dress. Oxidation spots can also appear on dry cleaned fabrics as not all deposited substances are removed by the solvents used for dry cleaning. These deposited substances may include clear soda or wine spills which may not be noticed during dry cleaning. These spills will oxidize after some time unless they are pre-treated.

Periodic inspection remains the watchword for preserving dresses and maintaining them in the best possible condition. An oxidized spot that is detected early enough is easier to remove.

 

Dust and Light

Your best bet for preserving your dress will be to store it in a place where it will not be exposed to direct light which can cause color fading or where it will be exposed to dust particles which can cause dirtying and maybe patching.