Planning a wedding is a major event and at times can feel like it requires the organisational experience of a military logistical unit! So with the stress of the build up, the buzz of the day and a honeymoon to disappear to, it’s no wonder that post wedding chores like cleaning your dress don’t even feature on the to-do list.
However, we're here to give you a gentle nudge in that area because clothing care is our life, and let's not forget the serious investment that you have just made in your wedding dress. Whether you are emotionally invested and plan to keep your dress for posterity, financially focussed or have little storage space and therefore plan to sell your dress on, its imperative that you get your dress cleaned and stored correctly as quickly as possible as you can’t do either of the above if your dress is stained.
Our key advice would be to include dress cleaning in your pre-wedding task list. Just as the Best Man’s role is to return hired suits shortly after the big day, research your preferred dry cleaner and kindly ask your Maid of Honour or available close friend to take the dress in for cleaning.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WEDDING DRESS
It is important to clean your dress as soon as possible as stains can oxidise and develop brown marks if left for too long, this is true even for invisible stains such as those caused by sweat or champagne.
We mention researching dry cleaners because services and experience can vary. Look for cleaners that offer a specialist wedding dress service, check they use more delicate detergents because standard dry cleaning agents can cause shrinkage to delicate fabrics.
Some cleaners offer a wedding dress preservation service which includes specialist stain detection and packaging your dress in the correct PH neutral materials. Other more basic and budget friendly services can still offer good quality cleaning however, it’s down to you to do your homework.
HOW TO PACK YOUR WEDDING DRESS
When handling your newly cleaned dress we would recommend wearing white cotton gloves. Oils from our skin can transfer to fabric and as well as be a potential cause for stains in the long term, these oils contain keratin, the protein that attracts clothes moth which we want to avoid attracting at all costs.
It’s also important to pack your dress away as soon as it is cleaned as any dust that settles on the dress can be a cause for mildew to develop and as dust constitutes a lot of skin cells which again contain keratin, it is another potential attractant for clothes moths.
First let's focus on how to pack your dress away. Acids in standard cardboard boxes can leach into the fabric so select a storage box which is made of PH neutral card.
Our PH neutral Storage Boxes are available in Pink & White and Black & White. Don’t use plastic boxes as these are not breathable and moulds and mildew will develop.
Use white Acid-Free Tissue Paper to protect the dress, making sure you insert the paper in to each fold. It’s a good idea to scrunch up more paper to bolster the folds, this will help to avoid permanent creases forming. Use more scrunched up tissue paper to support any stiff bodice work and help to maintain the structure of the dress. Don’t scrimp on standard stationers tissue paper and certainly don’t use coloured tissue paper as the colours will leach in to the dress.
For short term storage we also have Breathable Protective Garment Storage Bags but we must emphasise that hanging a wedding dress for lengthy periods can put strain on the seams and damage its structure so always use boxes for long term storage.
WHERE TO STORE YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Where you store your wedding dress is as important as how you store it. Your dress needs to be protected from heat, light and damp to prevent discolouration and the development of moulds. The loft is out of the question as is any room that is uninsulated. It is also important to store it in an easily accessible place as you should check on the dress every 6 months or so to make sure nothing untoward has happened to it. Unpacking and repacking the dress can also help to prevent creases from becoming permanent but don’t forget your gloves!
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR WEDDING DRESS FROM CLOTHES MOTHS
The chances are you have decided to keep your wedding dress for sentimental reasons and while clothes moth damage to your everyday wardrobe can be frustrating and expensive, a munched wedding dress can cause a far greater level of upset.
You can protect your wedding dress from clothes moths in a number of ways using our range of natural products. Having cleaned your dress meticulously, you can pack your dress away with natural moth repellents. Certain essential oils contain compounds which repel clothes moths. Our bespoke May Chang Blend is available as a Drawer Sachet which can be carefully packed with your dress and replenished during your 6 month check.
It would also be prudent to place a Moth Box under a piece of furniture in the same room that your dress is stored. The Moth Box uses the clothes moth pheromone to attract the male to a sticky board and checked regularly, will alert you to a new moth infestation.
If you already have clothes moth and don’t have it under control, you will need to address this problem before you store the dress away because any natural fibres including silk will be a target. Our blog on Solve a Clothes Moth Infestation is an extremely useful read.
For any clothes moth related problems we are here to help, so please do not hesitate to Contact Us for our expert advice.