As a specialist in wedding gown cleaning and preservation, I was recently asked by a very nice Bride-To-Be from Mountain Brook, Alabama about restoring a wedding gown worn by her grandmother in the 1960's so she could wear it in her wedding. Since she lived near my store, I was able to take a look at her vintage wedding gown. It is a traditional wedding dress, and she told me her story of how the gown had been passed down and worn by different family members. Her Mother and an Aunt had both worn the gown and she was considering this as an option as well. This wedding dress had been cleaned over the years, but probably not the last time it was worn.
The wedding dress had yellowed a bit and had been hanging in a closet. As a result, the seams had stretched but not beyond repair. I believe we can restore the gown to close to the original color. And a little time by our dressmaker (who happens to be an expert with wedding dress alterations here in the Birmingham, Alabama area), we can get the seams back to where they should be and make a few changes for a better fit and style for this Bride.
The seams had stretched because the gown was hanging in a closet for a couple of decades. This is why I recommend all gowns be cleaned and preserved and placed in an acid-free preservation chest. The seams will not stretch and the wedding dress should not yellow when it's properly cleaned and preserved in a museum-quality preservation chest.
The yellowing of the wedding dress is the result of exposure to the elements, such as plastic that emits a fume that can cause yellowing. Even metal hangers kept near the gown when hanging in a closet can cause yellowing. However, qualified and knowledgeable wedding gown specialists can often get the yellowing out of a vintage gown like this.
Please let me know if you have any questions about your wedding dress, whether you live in the Birmingham, Alabama area or not. You can reach me at 205.902.1093, or...
You should always get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved...because you never know who might wear it next!