Every dress has a limited useful life. Clothes will wear out over time with continued use. But a wedding gown that is worn infrequently and is cared for properly can last a lifetime. And when preserved using museum-style methods, wedding gowns can last even longer.
Whether you clean and store your wedding gown yourself, you have a Certified Wedding Gown Specialist preserve your wedding gown, or you take it to the neighborhood dry cleaners, there are two silent killers of your wedding gown. These killers are heat and humidity. If you have any hope of keeping your wedding gown, you must avoid exposing your gown to heat and humidity. Even a properly dry cleaned and preserved wedding gown will not last when exposed to excessive heat and humidity.
Heat will cause discoloration and deterioration of the fabric. Moisture will cause discoloration in the form of mildew and related problems. These are the silent killers of wedding gowns being held for that next generation of bride. Successful wedding gown preservation requires control of the environment, especially heat and humidity.
What's A Bride To Do?
This means you should select the right place to store your gown. Here are some pointers in selecting just the right place to store your gown:
- Avoid storing your gown in the attic where heat and humidity make a living
- Avoid the unfinished basement where humidity thrives and moisture can find your gown (like from a water leak)
- Avoid storing your gown directly beneath a bathroom in case of a water leak
- Avoid storing the gown on the floor of a closet (you never know who or what might get into the wedding gown...plus water leaks can damage your gown)
- The ideal place to store you gown is a closet that is not overloaded. Your gown needs air. It needs protection from kids and pets...and heat and humidity.
In the hot and humid Birmingham, Alabama area, humidity can be a huge problem. Just be extra cautious about trapping your gown with other items that will not allow air to get to your gown. This is true for both gowns being preserved on a hanger and for those preserved is an acid-free preservation box. Don't pile clothes, linens or other items on and next to the wedding gown so it will not get a good circulation of air. Keep a distance of six to twelve inches of space around your gown. A good quality preservation box will allow air to pass through to the gown.
A museum quality preservation box designed for use by qualified wedding gown dry cleaner is a great way to store your wedding gown in the least amount of space required.
And NEVER place your precious wedding gown in an air-tight plastic container. The vacuum sealed plastic bag gizmos you see on TV infomercials may the worst choice possible for storing your wedding gown.
Call us at 205.588.4120 to learn more about wedding gown storage.