Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation FAQ

Why should I clean and preserve my wedding gown?

The wedding gown is a representation of one of the most wonderful days of your life. It is often a costly part of your wedding day and a very personal statement about yourself. You have dreamed about this day since you were a little girl and the gown you choose represents who you are on this wonderful day. You may also choose to pass it on to a sister, friend, daughter, or granddaughter someday.

Other family heirlooms carry the same emotions as a wedding dress. Christening gowns have been used for generations. Military uniforms remind us of our or a family member’s service to our country. Graduation robes, sports uniforms, costumes, quilts and handmade items can all have special significance for you or your family.

Where should I store my gown after I have it preserved?

We recommend an inside closet or under a bed. Ideally, it should be in a dark, cool (60° to 70°F) clean place with a low relative humidity level of under 50%. It is very important to have constant temperature and humidity levels.

DO NOT STORE your gown in a basement or attic. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can damage the fabric; dampness can encourage mold and mildew.

Protect it from molds, dust, fumes, and other contaminants, while still allowing air to circulate.

What does Acid free and Lignin free mean?

For archivists and conservators, acid free means that a material has a pHof over 7 but las than 9. If the paper is pH over 10 it could weaken natural fibers such as silk and wool. If the paper has a pH less than 6.5 the paper could degrade and damage the textiles stored in the box. Lignin is the second largest component of natural wood with cellulose being the main component. Lignin will decompose over time, releasing acidic eletments making the paper brittle and weak.

What causes textiles to yellow and deteriorate?

Hazards to textiles include Light, humidity level, poor air circulation, fumes (from plastic bags) mold & mildew, indoor air pollutants, and insects. Any of these can cause problems. Although some fabrics, such as silk and wool naturally yellow with age, yellowing can be minimized by keeping the gown away from light. Light is the greatest source of yellowing. Fumes from poly bags are also very harmful to the clothes stored in them.

How does a preservation box prolong the life of my wedding gown?

Our boxes are strong and sturdy, keep your gown out light, stabilize humidity levels, keep out dust, pollutants, mold, mildew and allow for air circulation. You will not find brown or white kraft paper (grocery bag paper) lining the insides of our boxes, unlike many storage boxes. Beware of boxes that are made of kraft paper or pH neutral paperboard. Brown kraft board is acidic and will break down and cause severe damage to your textiles. pH neutral boxes maybe buffered which can damage protein-based cloth like silk and wool. Our boxes are made to ANSI/NISO Z39.48 standards.