Mary Anne’s 1870’s Vintage Wedding Dress Restoration

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Before and After, Heirloom Garment Restoration, Vintage Weddings, Wedding Gown Preservation, Wedding Gown Restoration | 2 comments

Mary Anne’s 1870’s Vintage Wedding Dress Restoration

Mary Anne brought this very old and very fragile wedding gown to us to restore.  What a treasure for her to own this 1870’s vintage brocade and peau de soie wedding dress with lace cuffs. This tiny gown also had pleats and lace at hemline.  It had yellowed significantly and was in fair condition. However, it was in amazing condition considering it’s age.

Mary Anne Clark's wedding dress restoration of 1870's vintage gown is complete.

Mary Anne Clark’s wedding dress restoration of 1870’s vintage gown is complete.

We set up Heritage Couture™ treatment for the vintage wedding gown which included several hours to hand baste the pleats and remove boning before careful hand cleaning and whitening.

The lace at the sleeves and neckline was very fragile with tears already visible (see photo below) and we anticipated more tears during and after treatment. The other lace was in much better condition, however due to it’s age,was still fragile.

Jennifer worked very hard  to protect  the fragile gown during cleaning and restoration. The color of the gown came out very nice and the hemline lace held up well to cleaning. We knew the neckline lace would not hold up and so after gown cleaning we replaced it with “newer” antique lace which was in much better condition.

One of the challenges we faced was determining how to drape the pieces of this vintage gown. After several experiments, we came up with what we believe is the correct positioning. And as we placed the gown on a dress form, we could hardly believe what a tiny bride it must have been to wear this gown. We don’t believe it is even a size one.

It was a thrill and honor to give Mary Anne’s treasured, 19th century wedding gown the royal wedding dress restoration treatment. Due to it’s age, we decided that Heritage Box™ wedding dress preservation would be best  for this vintage wedding gown.

Get a free quote today for your heirloom wedding dress restoration.

Before Wedding Dress Restoration

Vintage wedding dress restoration included replacing fragile torn lace with newer antique lace.

Vintage lace is very fragile and torn in many places. We replaced it with newer antique lace.

19th century wedding gown receives wedding dress restoration to whiten fabric and lace.

19th century wedding gown receives wedding dress restoration to whiten fabric and lace.

Compare the wedding gown hemline before wedding dress restoration with after wedding gown restoration.

Compare the wedding gown hemline before wedding dress restoration with after wedding gown restoration.

After Wedding Gown Restoration

Mary Anne's wedding gown restoration is complete. It took a while to determine where to attach all of the pieces of the vintage bridal gown.

Mary Anne’s wedding gown restoration is complete. It took a while to determine where to attach all of the pieces of the vintage bridal gown.

The bride who wore this wedding dress nearly 150 years ago couldn't have even been a size one. It is a very tiny dress.

The bride who wore this wedding dress nearly 150 years ago couldn’t have even been a size one. It is a very tiny dress.

2 Comments

  1. I have a wedding dress that belonged to my grandmother who wore it around the 1890’s? or there about. My mother also wore it in 1935. I would like to have it preserved but don’t know if it is too fragile. I could not save the veil, but the dress is in 3 pieces. What are your suggestions?

  2. To determine how fragile the garment is find an inside seam and pull on the fabric with your fingertips. Note how sturdy it is or if it just crumbles in your hands. That will help you decide what treatment to give it. Once you do this you have several options for treatment and preservation.

    1. You could preserve it “as is” without any cleaning or restoration by purchasing an archival box and muslin to wrap it and store it in. The archival (acid free and lignin free) box and muslin will help protect it from any further environmental impact but will not reverse yellowing and damage already incurred. Due to it’s age we do not recommend hanging preservation. (Note: We sell DIY supplies. Also be aware that muslin must be pre-washed)

    2. You could send it to our company to do the above – preserve it as is.

    3. You can send the garment to us and we will examine it and determine what we feel is safe to do. We may decide on a very gentle cleaning, without any whitening. Or if it is sturdy enough, a gentle whitening treatment may be chosen. Treatment will be followed by the muslin wrap and Heritage Box preservation.

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