A Wedding Dress Story by Aloysia #2

The dress was custom made by a seamstress for Aloysia J Pecoul for her July 11, 1964 wedding at First Baptist Church of New Orleans. After the wedding, the dress was folded up and put in a clear plastic bag and then stored in a cedar chest.

Twenty-three years later the yellowed dress was brought to a dry cleaners in hopes that it could be worn by her daughter. While the sleeves didn’t make it through the cleaning process, the color was more ivory than white.

Aloysia P. Pertuit was able to sew on new sleeves and replace the turned beading to wear for her wedding on August 15, 1987 at the Harahan VFW in Harahan, Louisiana. Again, the dress was folded and put in a brown plastic bag and then stored in a cedar chest.

Thirty-four years later, the very yellowed dress was the subject of the next Aloysia wedding. IT FIT PERFECTLY BUT NEEDED MORE THAN JUST A CLEANING. After careful research and reading through countless reviews, it was decided to take the dress to Heritage Garment Preservation to see if a restoration was possible.

Of course the dress was 57 years old, but they were able to restore the dress back to it’s ivory color and reinforce the lace top to prevent further damage. With a few modifications, Aloysia M R Loyd was stunning in her heirloom wedding dress as she was married at Garrison Gardens in Texarkana, Texas on June 19, 2021.


The dress, this time, will be cleaned and preserved properly for any other Aloysia’s or family members that may want to carry on the tradition.


The ivory synthetic wedding dress embellished with lace, pearls and sequins has evenly yellowed throughout the dress. The lace appliques are of a darker yellow than the material of the dress. There are tears in the netting of the underarms, sleeves and bodice. The buttons are severely discolored. Vintage fabric and lace are delicate and will require GENTLE HANDLING.

Heritage Garment Preservation treated Aloysia’s treasured gown in a mild treatment to lift the yellowing and to remove the oxidized stains. The metal-back buttons were removed before treatment to prevent rusting and replaced with matching ones after the cleaning. Brides have an option to replace the original buttons or to add new buttons if desired.

Aloysia chose Heritage Select™ Wedding Gown Restoration before her wedding. No two gowns are the same, every gown is unique, so our restoration process handles each gown distinctively based on its age, fabrication and condition. Our HGP team gives EACH DRESS extensive and detailed care to achieve the best possible results.

After the wedding, Aloysia chose to clean and preserve the family heirloom gown for the NEXT GENERATION. She chose the Average Style Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation Essentials Package. The gown was preserved in a custom metal-edge box that is BOTH acid and lignin-free. The family will be able to LIFT THE LID for future viewing and enjoyment.

The family did not want to preserve the heirloom gown in a sealed box that would not allow them to have access to the gown. By choosing the HERITAGE BOX METHOD offered at HGP, they can always TAKE A PEEP!

Sealed Wedding Dress Preservation – What You Need To Know

Most gown preservation companies preserve wedding gowns in an acid-free box. Many have a window in which to see the gown. Acid-free tissue may be 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 for sealed wedding gowns is that the dress needs to be protected from oxygen. However, unless you are NASA, it is nearly impossible to keep oxygen from getting in the preservation box. Sealed wedding dress preservation poses some risks for your wedding gown:

  1. Sealed wedding gown preservation puts your gown at greater risk for contamination from any acidic cardboard or plastic component fumes.
  2. It puts your wedding dress at greater risk for permanent creasing damage (because you cannot refold your gown periodically as recommended by conservators)
  3. Oxidized stains, yellowing, or other problems will not be caught and remedied as sealed wedding dress preservation makes inspection impossible.

Boxed Wedding Gown Preservation

Heritage Box preservation uses museum quality preservation materials

Boxed gown 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 a wedding dress storage 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, you will be able to refold your gown periodically. This will help protect your gown from getting permanent creases. And if you discover any oxidizing stains during inspection, the sooner they are taken care of the better for your gown.

Acid-free box or just acid-free coated? Lignin-free or not?

The quality of the wedding gown storage boxes can vary significantly. Many wedding dress 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, lignin-free board.

Some boxes are acid-free but not lignin-free. Unfortunately lignin will break down within a few years, releasing acid as it decomposes, 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 or cotton muslin for wrapping and padding.

Do you have a wedding gown that needs to be restored or cleaned?

GET A FREE QUOTE TODAY and let our expert team take care of your dress with the same tender loving care that the Aloysia family heirloom gown received.

Wedding Dress Preservation & Wedding Dress Cleaning Quote (heritagegown.com)

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