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Storing Your Gown

Storing Your Gown

Trends and tips for the big day and beyond

By Copley News Service

After all that planning and fretting, your wedding went off without a hitch and you were a beautiful bride in your elegant, lacy gown. Now what? No, we're not talking about the honeymoon. Now what do you do with your gown?

Many women save theirs as a keepsake or to hand down to their daughters, and if that's what you're planning make sure you do it right.

The Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science offers this advice for brides to ensure that their gowns will remain as beautiful as they were on the big day:

  • Have your gown cleaned within a few weeks of the ceremony. The longer stains and soil are left on the gown, the more likely it is that they'll be permanent.
  • Talk to a professional, a preservation specialist who is trained in textile conservation or a dry cleaner trained in cleaning and preparing gowns for storage. They can identify stains, even ones you can't see.
  • Don't keep your gown in a plastic bag, which will break down over time and release chemicals and fumes that can discolor and ruin fabrics.
  • If you're storing your gown in a box, wrap it first in acid-free white tissue. Stuff the bodice or other curved areas with tissue to prevent creasing.
  • Use an acid-free box, too, but be prepared to change it every three to five years. Even acid-free can reacidfy over time.
  • Store your gown in a cool, dry place -- not a hot, humid attic that can cause mildew and yellowing.
  • Keep your gown away from sunlight and artificial light that cause degradation and fading.
  • If you plan on hanging your gown, wrap it in a white sheet or muslin first and hang with the inside loops that are connected to the side seams. Never hang it by the shoulder seams.
  • Check your gown occasionally for damage. Stains that aren't visible can appear later and should be treated immediately.

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