You’ve bought your dress, you’ve worn it, danced it in it, toasted in it, eaten in it and posed out on the grass in it. Now you want to preserve it and maybe hand it down to the next generation.
Vintage wedding dresses are sensitive things and require a few steps before you put it away for an extended period of time. Here are our tips to keep it looking as beautiful as the day you put it on:
- Clean your dress before you store it. Take it to a dry cleaners who clean their items in house (rather than outsourcing) and preferably use eco-friendly cleaning methods. This is both better for the planet and less likely to damage the delicate fibres of a vintage dress. If there are any specific stains make sure you let the dry cleaner know. We recommend Johnsons Dry Cleaners. If you’re Bristol based the Johnson’s Dry Cleaners on Princess Victoria Street in Clifton Village are particularly good.
- Once your dress has been dry cleaned immediately take it out of the plastic wrapping. Dust particles and damp can get trapped under the plastic which leads to the fabric degrading and can cause ‘foxing’, small rust coloured marks.
- Do not store your dress on a hanger as, over time, this can cause damage to the shoulders. The weight of the dress can pull on the hanger and tear the fabric.
- Carefully fold your dress into a box lined with acid free tissue paper so that you avoid introducing anything to the fabric of the dress that might cause damage. You can invest in PH neutral dress boxes that will keep your dress looking fresh and clean and will help preserve it for the future. These can retail for around £30-£60 each so cost a little more than a standard storage box but are easy to find and order.
- Before storing your dress check to see if it has a metal zip, metal back buttons or metal hooks and eyes (dresses pre 1960s often have these). Make sure these are not sitting directly against the fabric when folded into the box as these can cause marks. Make sure there is a layer of tissue between any metal and the fabric.
- And finally – ask for advice! If you’re unsure about what to do get in touch. We are always happy to answer any cleaning queries.