Though you only use it for its intended purpose once the wedding dress is one of the most important, and most expensive garments you will even own. You will probably want to preserve it for years to come.
Before it is stored you will need the wedding dress professionally cleaned. Don’t procrastinate about this. If there are stains on the dress you need to get them out as quickly as possible; the longer you put this off the harder they may be to remove. Additionally, some stains are hardly noticeable to the naked eye, particularity light grease or food stains, but they will damage fabric over time. Removing these promptly will prevent parts of the wedding dress from becoming rough, brittle or discoloured. Avoid the nightmare where a pristine white dress to turns yellow.
Wedding dresses are a special cleaning situation, requiring custom solvents and dry or wet-cleaning methods applicable for fragile textiles and gowns with sequins, veils, beads, ornamentations … etc. State-of-the-art cleaning methods and cleaning fluids are needed for optimal results.
Proper storage for a dress seems a little expensive at first, and should be seen as part of the wedding budget. Unfortunately, the type of dry-cleaning bags used for transporting clothes are unsuitable for long term storage here. They are designed to prevent any damage on the way back from the cleaners, but they don’t breathe at all. As such they will trap moisture in the fabric and can cause mould if left for too long. Furthermore, these bags are designed to be hung upon a coat-hanger; a dress left on a coat-hanger will tend to lose its shape over time, especially around the shoulders. Padding the shoulders helps considerably, as does a fabric clothes bag that breathes, but it is much better not to store the dress on a hanger.
A dress is best stored in a dust-proof box, which must be made or acid free cardboard or other non-reactive materials. Some of these have a transparent front to allow viewing of the dress without removing it from the box. Lining the box with acid-free tissue paper is also recommended.
Boxes specifically designed to accommodate a wedding dress are the only real choice. Ask our wedding dry cleaning staff for a recommendation or search the net. A well designed bow should display well, be acid free, and be strong enough to withstand years of handling.