Hints & HELP!
and Storing Wedding Gowns
submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
article appears in the August 14, 2005 Lincoln Journal Star
wedding and honeymoon are over. It is time to store the
memories of the day. What to do with the wedding gown seems
to be the next dilemma. It is best to take care of a wedding
gown as soon as possible after the wedding. You can do some
of this yourself or select a dry cleaner to clean and store
the best method of cleaning may be difficult if no fiber
content label or care instructions are on the gown. The
following suggestions may help you select the best cleaning
method for your gown.
with water and detergent at home or commercially:
If fabrics, trims, interfacings and linings can be successfully
wet cleaned; this depends upon the fiber content, finishes,
dyes and preshrinking.
by hand because this method is least stressful for delicate
fabrics. Thorough rinsing is essential; increase the number
of rinses you ordinarily would think sufficient.
chlorine bleaches which may remain in the fabric and continue
If the fabric is silk, acetate, rayon or wool.
If the trims should not be washed.
To best remove candle wax, greasy food stains, makeup
or body oils.
a good drycleaner may not be simple. Ask others about dry-cleaning
firms to determine which have good reputations. If a dry-cleaning
and packaging service makes unreasonable claims concerning
how its method unconditionally guarantees to
protect and preserve the color, freshness, etc. of your
gown, be wary.
can pack the gown yourself after it has been cleaned, or
you can have the packing done by a dry-cleaner. Compare
costs and convenience.
a dry-cleaners packaging service:
Arrange to check the gown after it has been cleaned and
Discuss packaging to make sure the gown will not be encased
Inform the cleaner you intend to check the gown yearly.
your gown for storage yourself:
Gowns with sheer bodices, heavily beaded areas, knitted
or bias-cut sections and heavy skirts or trains should
be stored horizontally to minimize the effect of gravity.
Vertical storage minimizes wrinkling, creasing and stacking.
You will need new, white tissue paper and a sturdy box
large enough so the gown will require few folds and deep
enough to prevent crushing the gown. Avoid brown cardboard
boxes because they may quickly give off acids which are
particularly harmful to fabrics made of cotton, linen
Line the box with tissue or a washed and well-rinsed cotton
Do not use plastic bags inside the box. Plastics are chemically
unstable and trap moisture allowing mold and mildew to
It is not necessary to seal the box.
Select a hanger the right size and shape to fit the garment.
Pad and cover the hanger using quilt batting and cotton
If a gown has a heavy skirt that would wrinkle badly if
folded and stored horizontally.
Make a white, cotton dust cover which completely encases
the gown and protects it from light and dust.
Do not use plastic garment bags for long-term storage.
a Storage Area
an area with minimal temperature and humidity fluctuations,
good air circulation and a minimum of light. This usually
means an interior closet in the living area of your home
rather than the basement or attic.
your dress out of storage each year, carefully opening and
handling it. Check for evidence of unremoved soils darkening.
This inspection should be done whether you packaged the
gown or had it packaged commercially.
time to store your gown correctly. It may be a special wedding
gown for a family member in the future or even for your
own anniversary celebrations.
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