We asked our Vendor of the Month J. Scheer & Co. to share their tips for choosing where to clean and preserve a wedding gown because so many brides look at cleaning and preserving their gown as a daunting task. A lot of brides also worry about emergency spills on their wedding day. Here’s what they had to say…
C.B.A.: A lot of brides aren’t sure if they should clean their dress- let alone preserve it, what advice would you give them?
J.S.: While you may never wear it again, wedding gowns are a piece of priceless family and cultural history that can be passed down to be cherished for generations to come. If you want to preserve your gown to be passed down, don’t drop it off at your local commercial cleaner. Instead trust it to a preservation company who specializes in bridal gowns and who use conservation grade archival materials such as certified acid-free paper and an acid-free textile box to store your dress. Beware of processes that vacuum-seal the dress as this can trap harmful moisture in with your gown, and always use the gloves that come in the box when you inspect it so the oils on your fingertips don’t damage the delicate fabric.
C.B.A: Well, how soon after the wedding should a gown be cleaned and preserved?
J.S.: It is always recommended to have your gown cleaned and preserved within a few months of your wedding to avoid oxidization of any stains or soiling on your dress, making them harder to remove over time.
C.B.A: What happens if something spills on the gown the day of, early in the day?
J.S.: If something spills on your gown on the big day, don’t panic! These are a few of our tips and tricks for treating and concealing wedding day stains. Beware that water or prepared stain removers can leave a mark or damage the fabric if used the wrong way. Don’t let anyone start dabbing your dress with a wet cloth or stain stick. Instead, follow the below tips and tricks to treat and conceal any wedding day gown mishaps.
- For watermarks, softly blot and dry with a clean white towel. If possible, you can lightly press with a hand iron when dry.
- Makeup, lipstick or any oily stains should be lightly coated with cornstarch or baby powder to absorb the oil or moisture. Don’t rub the area, and wait 15 minutes for it to set and then gently remove the excess powder from the fabric with a soft bristled brush. This technique will mask unsightly spots and prepare the area for professional care after the wedding.
- For liquid spills, such as wine, softly blot the area to remove excess moisture and then follow the same instructions for makeup stains.
- If you get pricked by a pin and there’s a spot of blood, the best remedy is to moisten the tip of a cotton swab with your own saliva and dab it on the stain. The enzymes in the spit that will safely break down the stain. Then blot to dry.
- For brides packing their own emergency kit, there are a few items that may come in handy on the big day.
- Bendable straws (to avoid drink spills)
- Baby powder or cornstarch for concealing stains (baby powder for white gowns, cornstarch for ivory)
- Q-tips, and clean dry white towelettes
- A needle and thread in the shade of your gown
- Safety pins are good to have on hand to mend broken bustles, buttons, or straps.