There are plenty of unique, nostalgic, and beautiful things to do with your wedding dress once the big day has passed. Some brides choose to donate or upcycle their dress, some repurpose it into a shorter dress they can wear more often, some have one last hurrah with fun color-bombed photoshoots or adventures, and some utilize professional dress preservation methods to maintain the integrity of their garment for years to come. Whatever your decision, we at Albuquerque Self Storage are here to make sure you have all the storage for wedding dress information you need!
Why You Need Wedding Dress Preservation
Even if your gown looks as pristine and white as ever after your wedding day, it is still important to get it professionally dry cleaned as soon as possible. This is because not all stains are immediately visible; the delicate fabrics that wedding dresses are composed of actually attract dirt and other impurities. Spilling even a small amount of unnoticeable white wine on your dress can set in and be impossible to remove later on.
Dry Cleaning vs. Dress Preservation
If you really want to keep your dress looking as new as the day you walked down the aisle in it, dry cleaning will not be enough. In fact, dry cleaning and dress preservation are two entirely different processes.
Dry cleaning your wedding dress is an essential first step in the storage for wedding dress best practices. Dry cleaning targets unclean areas of a garment using chemicals and not water, as the churning water in traditional machines can cause serious damage to fragile wedding dress materials
Wedding Dress Preservation
Wedding dress preservation involves special packaging techniques that prevent the gown from damage, oxidation, and normal wear and tear. There are three main preservation techniques: sealing, boxing, and bagging.
This method involves vacuum sealing your dress and storing it in an acid-free box. The cons of this are potential permanent fabric creases, and the inability to open the box and inspect your gown at regular intervals.
Boxing involves folding the dress and using acid-free tissue paper to stop permanent fabric creases. The box is not sealed, which allows the fabric to breathe, and allows you to take the dress out and check for any emerging stains or damage.
Bagging is a viable option, but can be harder to store, as the dress is left unfolded and hanging from a padded hanger. The dress is then taped to prevent any pulling or damage from hanging.
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Storage for Wedding Dress: Avoid Basements and Attics
Much like before the wedding, your wedding dress should not be stored in places that are too damp, hot, or light. This rules out attics as they get way too hot, basements as they are prone to flooding and insects, and bright spaces where the sun streams in on your dress. An excellent place that avoids all of these is under your bed, especially if you have a large box with a preserved dress.
Say No to Plastic Boxes
If you don’t go through a professional preservation process, there are steps you can take to prevent your dress from an unwanted transformation. One steadfast rule is to not store your gown in plastic bags or boxes. Plastic won’t allow your gown to breathe and can cause unwanted yellowing of the fabric.
Cardboard and fabric boxes are also not the best options, as these contain acids that can cause discoloration. Instead, invest in an acid-free box. The extra money will be well-worth the upfront cost when it comes to the longevity of your dress.
Again, avoid using a plastic cover for your gown. Instead, opt for long sheets of tissue paper. Only use white, acid-free tissue paper to protect the integrity of the delicate fabrics.
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What’s the Time Frame?
Ideally, getting your dress professionally cleaned and preserved within the first six months will give you the best long term results. However, if it’s been longer than that, don’t be discouraged! Your dress can still be beautifully preserved after this time frame; it’s simply a good rule of thumb.
The exception to this rule is silk. Silk is one of the most delicate dress materials and is both easily damaged and difficult to clean. If your dress is silk, get it cleaned and preserved right away for a flawless finish!
Thanks for reading! We at Albuquerque Self Storage wish you a long and happy marriage. If you ever need a storage unit, give us a call at 505-431-6747 or click here!