You have choices in your wedding dress preservation decision. You can choose a local bridal gown preservation company, a national wedding dress preservation company or even choose to preserve your wedding dress yourself with a do-it-yourself bridal gown preservation kit. But you also can choose which preservation method would be best for your wedding gown. You have three options...
Most bridal gown preservation companies preserve bridal gowns in an acid-free box. Many have a window in which to see the gown. Acid-free tissue is usually used to buffer the folds and a cardboard shape is often used to fill the bodice area of the gown. However, some companies actually seal the gown inside the box.
The assumption with sealing the bridal gown is that the dress needs to be protected from oxygen. However, sealing a bridal gown puts it at greater risk for mildew and permanent creasing damage. Inspection is also impossible if the gown is sealed.
Boxed preservation is similar to the sealing method but has some important differences. Like the sealing method, your dress is first cleaned and pressed, and then folded into an acid-free box. Sharp creases are avoided, and acid free tissue is used to buffer the folds. However, unlike the sealing method, the box is not sealed, and you are encouraged to open and inspect your gown.
Because the box is not sealed, the fabric can still breathe. And you will be able to refold your gown periodically. This will help protect your gown from getting permanent creases.
The quality of the acid-free boxes can vary significantly. Many preservation boxes are simply regular cardboard boxes with an acid free coating. These coatings will not hold up as well as authentic archival boxes made from actual acid-free board. Some boxes are acid-free but not lignin-free. Unfortunately lignin will break down within a few years and then the acid-free box will no longer be acid-free. Ideal box storage will be in an acid-free and lignin-free box utilizing acid and lignin free tissue and accessories.
The appeal for a boxed or sealed gown is often greatest for brides with large dresses hoping to get their gowns out of their closet. However, this method may work best for smaller gowns that require minimal folding.
This newer preservation method is not really so new. It is similar to what museums have used for preserving heirloom costumes and gowns for years. This method is an excellent option, as it keeps the dress protected from dust and light. The gown remains un-folded, so permanent creasing risks are reduced. The bag allows the gown to breathe, which is essential in protecting the gown from mold and mildew. A bagged gown is the easiest to inspect periodically and requires no re-folding as the boxed method does.
Strapless and spaghetti strapped gowns, as well as heavy gowns should be reinforced with twill tape to add support, and eliminate any damage from long-term hanging. A padded hanger is also essential for long-term storage.
It is important to remember that a clean dress should not be left in the dry-cleaner's plastic wrap or put back into a plastic garment bag. Remember, most plastics are an enemy to textiles. And the bagged gown should always be kept in climate controlled conditions. This is easily done is most closets.
|Sealing Benefits||Boxing Benefits||Bagging Benefits|
Why Preserve Your Gown?    A Case Study
Determining the Best Gown Preservation    Gown Cleaning
Gown Preservation    Gown Preservation Options      Summary    Heritage Garment Preservation
Thrilled with my entire experience!
I got married 2 yrs ago, and knew I wanted my dress preserved somehow, but I had no idea about Heritage type preservation until I was doing some research online. I was hesitant to send my gown across the US, but my communication with the staff plus the reviews I read convinced me to try.... And I am so happy I did!!! My dress was handmade by my mom & sister, all the way down to the hand beaded lace, and it is in spotless condition now thanks to Heritage. The dress had some brown stains at the bottom because we took ouside pictures, and they all came out fine. I have my bag hanging in my closet, and it makes me happy every time I see it. :) I highly recommend them to anyone!!
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