Tips + FAQ

Bridal Gowns (Part 5: Preservation: What and why)

Your gown has been cleaned and presumably repaired and inspected, so it is time for the final touch: Preserving your gown for the next bride.

Preservation

Ask as many questions as you need, but assume the following to be true:

  • Allowing your gown — and its accessories — to sit in a closet or drawer for years unpreserved can affect the fabric in many ways. Without proper attention, you may not have a gown to pass down to your daughter or future daughter-in-law.
  • The preservation or “keepsake” box and the tissue should both be acid-free. This will slow or possibly stop aging and reduce yellowing and fabric deterioration.
  • Long-term storage in an attic, in a drawer, inside a trunk, in a plastic bag, or on a hanger in a closet can dramatically change the pH balance of the fabric, and possibly discolor it, sometimes beyond restoration.
  • Results can vary, depending on the type of fabric and its condition at the time of storage, but the wrong storage location can attract moisture, insects, and stains, and may cause the fabric to rot and become too brittle to restore.

The Actual “Boxing” Process

  • Your drycleaner will probably offer you the opportunity to “view” your gown before it is boxed and preserved. In most cases, there is no need to view the gown before it is preserved but, if you want to check specific details, such as stains or sewing, then ask your cleaner to contact you before they actually box the gown.
  • There may be different-sized boxes available for fuller dresses, so ask first.
  • Lastly, it is okay to open the box each year to “check it out.” If your cleaner suggests otherwise, or says you will “void the warranty” by opening the box, then there should be some very good reason for this instruction!

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