Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Is There Any Hope Of Restoring My Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on April 30, 2012

We get questions quite often about restoring wedding dresses last worn 20 or 30 years ago.  Yellowed Wedding Dress with SpotsSometimes they were cleaned after the wedding and sometime not. Sometimes they have turned yellow and have ugly yellow or brown spots on them.

Here is a question about restoring a vintage wedding dress that is 47 years old.

These photos also demonstrate the benefits of cleaning and preserving your wedding gown as soon after your wedding as possible...but if you don't, it may still be possible to restore the dress to a wearable condition.

A Wedding Dress Restoration Question from Sheryl:

"I have a wedding dress (1965) handmade by my mother. My daughter wore it in the 1980's. Could not afford to get it heirloomed at the time.  It has a lot of spots on it.  Is there any hope of it being restored?"

My answer...there is always hope!

Sheryl shared with me a little more personal history of the dress. 

Sheryl saw the dress she wanted for her wedding in 1965 in a bridal shop but couldn't afford the cost.  So her Mom took a look at the dress and made a sketch.  "My mother bought 10 packs of seed pearls for the dress...1,000 per pack and hand sewed each one on the dress.  (She) bought the beautiful Alencon lace, sewed on the pearls and that was my dress, much prettier than the one we found in N.O."

Sheryl added that her daughter wore the dress in the 1989 for her wedding too.

Vintage Wedding Dress Restoration in BIrmingham Alabama

1965 Wedding

 Vintage Wedding Dress Restoration in Birmingham Alabama

1989 Wedding

She didn't think the dress was cleaned after her daughter wore it.  But she is hoping to save the dress in case her 9 year old granddaughter would want to wear it some day.

Whether another generation ever wears this gown again, a hand-made wedding gown like this is worthy of preserving for many more generations.

Sheryl said that her dress had just been sitting around for all those years...turning yellow with spots all over it.  

Well, there is always hope to restore a gown like this.  It's not always easy and they don't all turn out perfectly.  And no wedding restoration precess will ever restore the dress to its original, pristine condition.  But with it being a hand made wedding gown...made by Sheryl's Mother...I know how special it is special to Sheryl.

Well here are some Before and After photos of this dress.  You be the judge.

Vintage Wedding Gown New Cleaned and Preserved...Before Restoration

Before Restoration

Vintage Wedding Gown Never Cleanes .After Restoration2 resized 600

After Restoration

The only residual effects after our restoration procedures are very slight shadows where some of the spots had scarred the dress.  But truthfully, these shadows are so slight that you have to know they were there to see them. 

Preserve Your Family Heirloom

The wedding dress is very wearable today and a good example of what a specialist with wedding gown restoration can do.

My suggestion is for Sheryl to write a note about the history of the dress and attach an envelope containing the note on the outside of the preservation box.  Don't seal the note so others can read about this true family heirloom.  Our wedding gown preservations should protect the dress for many more generations if the preserved gown is handled and stored correctly.  A wedding dress like this is much more than just wedding is a family history.

P.S. Don't place the note inside the preservation chest unless it is written on acid-free paper.

Restoring a family wedding dress

Restore and Preserve Your Family Wedding Dress

Champion Wedding Gown Specialist
2548 Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243

Certified Wedding Gown Specialists

Topics: wedding dress preservation, restore vintage wedding dress, vintage wedding dress restoration, Gown Restoration

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