How to Clean and Preserve Wedding & Prom Dresses

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HOW TO CLEAN & PRESERVE CHRISTENING GOWNS

Step 1: Clean

For fabric to last it must be clean. Often stains in older clothing will show up as age spots in the fabric over time. So having perfectly clean fabric is key.

  • Fill your tub  with lukewarm water
  • Put in 10 drops of Unicorn Fibre Wash or Beyond Wash
  • Swirl the soap around in the water
  • Place the dress in the tub and let it soak
  • Gently knead the fabric (like you're kneading bread) for two minutes. Knead where you notice the most dirt has settled (around the hem, under the arms)
  • For softening, add 5 drops of Fibre Rinse or Beyond Soft
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water

Step 2: Dry

We recommend air drying for fabrics that you are planning on preserving. Simply lay your gown flat to dry. When it is completely dry (does not feel cool to the touch) you can store it. Do not iron or press the gown before storing. Depending on the weight / bulk of the dress - you can hang it to dry on a padded hanger or roll it in a large bath towel to remove excess moisture and lay flat to dry. 

Step 3: Wrap with Paper

You can use tissue to stuff sleeves and minimize folds and wrinkles in your gown. We recommend using only acid-free paper (you can find this paper online or at craft stores). We recommend only using white paper, as colored paper can leak dye if it becomes wet. 

Step 4: Wrap in a 100% Cotton bag

Although dresses may be stored temporarily in vinyl bags, these bags can degrade over time. Plastic bags can trap moisture or crack, causing pests, odors, or mildew to ruin your down. In order for fabric to survive the years, it must be able to breathe. Storing the gown in all natural cotton is the best long-term storage. A natural white pillowcase makes a great bag for storing old fabrics. 

Step 5: Store in a Closet

Heat and humidity can cause fabrics to mold or discolor. Store your gown in a cool dry place, like a closet. Don't store other items on top of the gown. 

Step 6: Pass it on

Storing your gown correctly can help it survive the years. It is normal for some yellowing to occur in the fabric over time. If this happens, soak the gown in a gently 1/4 TSP Power Scour solution in a bowl of warm water.