Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Restoring Mom's Wedding Dress

Posted by David Whitehurst on May 16, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a wedding dress worn by a Mother from Oxford, Mississippi back in 1968.  Her daughter was recently engaged and Mom wondered what shape her wedding dress was in since it had been preserved after her wedding. She opened her preserved wedding dress only to find that it had yellowed over the years.  She wanted to know if there was any possible way to restore the original color to the point that her daughter, who is getting married next year, could wear that wedding dress if that's what she wanted.  Here is a link to that article.

When we took a first look at the dress, we found that it had more than yellowed on the front of the dress.  It had actually become stained most likely from the metal of her wedding veil.  Her veil was wrapped up and placed on top of the wedding dress in this same area where the deeper staining had occurred while it was preserved.

We were successful in restoring the original color back to her vintage wedding dress and removing the yellow stain, although there is a slight amount of shadow remaining on the front tof the dress.  But the shadow is truthfully hard to see and most likely not noticeable if you didn't know about the problem.

Here are photos of before and after restoring this wedding dress.

Yellowed 1968 Wedding Dress Before Restoration

Before Restoration

1968 Wedding Dress After Restoration

After Restoration

The wedding dress had been cleaned and preserved according to industry standards at the time.  However, we have learned a lot and the wedding gown preservation techniques have continued to develop.

Here are some additional causes of the yellowing of a preserved wedding dress and what we do today to avoid this problem:

  • The dress was preserved and placed in a box that we not 100% acid free.  A few year after this wedding dress was preserved, museum standards developed to use only 100% acid free materials.  It is likely that the tissue paper cushioning the wedding dress was not acid-free either.
  • The wedding dress was wrapped inside a plastic bag.  We know today to avoid using any plastic bag covering the box or placed around the dress inside the box.  Plastic fumes emitted over the years can cause yellowing as can lack of air circulating around the wedding dress preservation chest.
  • Never include anything metal, like a veil headpiece, metal buttons, inside the preservation chest with the wedding dress.
  • Never preserve your shoes in the same preservation chest with your wedding dress.  The glue in leather shoes will also cause yellowing of the wedding dress.

Here are some more before and after restoration photos of Patricia's wedding dress.

1968 Wedding Dress Before Restoration

Before Restoration

1968 Wedding Dress After Restoration

After Restoration

1968 Wedding Dress Before Restoration 1968 Wedding Gown After Restoration

Restoring this vintage wedding gown was made considerably easier because it had been cleaned and preserved right after the wedding in 1968.  Yellowing caused by the presence of metal oxidizing with the wedding dress was the promary culprit here.

Vintage Wedding Dress Restoratio in Birmingham Alabama

Need to Restore a Faded or Yellowed Wedding Dress?  How About  Restoring Mom's Dress?  Champion Wedding Gown Specialist Can Do It Right Here in Birmingham, Alabama

Read more about it here.

Topics: wedding gown restoration, Wedding Dresses, yellowing, vintage wedding dress restoration

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