To keep a wedding gown in the best condition possible it needs to be kept clean, dry, stored at a nearly constant temperature in an acid-free environment. Today we are going to discuss how to find a good quality wedding dress preservation box. Essentially you need to look for 2 things: A quality wedding dress preservation box should be acid free and lignin free. Surprisingly many wedding dress preservation boxes are neither.
Why is Acid-free and Lignin Free Important?
An acidic environment will yellow a wedding gown faster than any other environment. Lignin is a natural substance found in all wood products. It is not acidic, but as it decomposes, it releases acid. So a box that is acid-free but not lignin free will protect a wedding dress for a few years, until the lignin begins to break down and changes the box into an acidic environment that not only does NOT protect the wedding dress, but actually encourages yellowing. What a shame. A bride actually spent good money having her wedding dress cleaned and preserved into a box that in a few years would promote yellowing.
The photo above shows several wedding dress preservation boxes that we have received from various customers who opened their wedding dress preservation boxes and discovered their dress was yellow and sent their gown to us to be restored. I used a special pH testing marker to determine if the boxes are acid-free. If they are acid-free, the mark is purple. If they are acidic the mark is yellow.
When we tested these boxes the two on the left were not acid free. The newer one on the right is currently acid free. To remain acid free, it must also be lignin free. If it is not lignin free, then in a few years this box will no longer be acid-free.
Finding Acid/Lignin Free Wedding Dress Preservation Boxes
Unfortunately there is not a pen that can test for lignin! You must be diligent in reading product descriptions and ask vendors about their products as well.
A quick look at a dry-cleaners supply catalog shows several “bridal gown keepsake boxes” available. Some are quite inexpensive and would appeal to many dry-cleaners based on their price. They may even look nice. However when you look at the description most of these boxes do not state they are acid-free and lignin free. Several of these boxes do not say that they are even acid-free. They are sold as wedding gown storage only without protection.
Heritage Garment Preservation Sells Quality Preservation Supplies
Here at Heritage Garment Preservation all of our boxes, bags, bust forms, tissue and muslin are acid-free and lignin free. They are guaranteed to remain acid-free forever.
We only sell and use museum quality preservation supplies because every bride’s wedding dress is worth the extra money to truly protect her wedding gown for years.