Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

What's Your Wedding Style? Part One: Classic

Posted by Brandi Kane on March 18, 2013

What's your Wedding Style?  Being able to answer this one question will help you shape your entire wedding from start to finish.

Classic and Traditional Weddings are the most Common.  In 2012, 64% of all weddings were in this category.  Though non-traditional weddings are on the rise, Classic weddings are definitely the most popular. 

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Topics: Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dress Colors, Wedding Gown Styles, wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress, Birmingham wedding planning, Cleaning & Pressing

Should I Clean My Wedding Dress Before the Wedding?

Posted by Brandi Kane on December 25, 2012

I Am Asked Often About The Need For Cleaning a Wedding Dress Before The Wedding. 

If you bought a new dress and you don't have dirt, grass stains or other "junk" on your wedding dress, you should NOT need to get it cleaned before your wedding.

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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress stains, second hand wedding dress, Cleaning & Pressing

Full Service Wedding Gown Cleaning and Pressing

Posted by Brandi Kane on October 17, 2012


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Topics: wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding dress cleaning, bridal gown alterations in birmimgham alabama, Wedding Dress Care, Cleaning & Pressing

Cleaning a Polyester Wedding Dress?

Posted by Brandi Kane on September 4, 2012


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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, second hand wedding dress, Wedding Dress Care, polyester gown, Cleaning & Pressing

Cleaning A Silk Wedding Dress

Posted by David Whitehurst on August 28, 2012

 Don't let mishandling destroy your perfect dress!

A simple Google search can locate hundreds of ways to clean a Silk Wedding Dress.  I’ve seen sites saying that it’s ok to use everything from baby shampoo to vegetable oil, Woolite to hair conditioner.  Sometimes these methods may very well work, and sometimes they don’t.  Is it worth the risk?

Types of Silk

First we need to understand that not all silk is created equal.  There are wild silks, cultivated silks, and even synthetic silks.

Wild silks are much more expensive and labor intensive therefore aren’t as common. They usually have to be carded as wild silks almost always start as smaller strands. 

Cultivated silks are able to be processed mechanically, or in one long strand so aren’t quite so pricey. 

Synthetic silks are really nylon or lyocell, a type of cellulose fiber similar to cotton. 

Wild and Cultivated Silks are an organic protein fiber but there are also synthetic silks that can still be called “100% Silk.”

Your gown may also be several layers. This is important to think about as not all the layers may be silk. Certain silks can shrink up to 8% just from being wet!  It’s for this reason that silk fabric should be prewashed prior to construction of any garment, but sadly that’s not always the case.   Is each layer silk?  If you have tulle layers, cotton layers, synthetic layers, etc… each will shrink differently.   It’s very easy to see how a gown that was a “perfect fit” before washing can feel not quite right afterwards. 

 The details are the most fragile part of the dress.

Beading and decorations like lace and rhinestones make the cleaning process even more difficult.  Not only can you accidently destroy the decorations by attempting DIY Silk Wedding Gown Cleaning, but the decorations can destroy the silk fibers of the dress itself through agitation regardless if it’s by hand or machine.  Oftentimes the compositon of the detailing of a dress will have to be considered carefully before cleaning. Certain chemicals can dissolve plastic pearls or beads. 

Our Certified Wedding Gown Specialists here at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham Alabama suggest letting a professional clean your Silk Wedding Dress.  This is why:

  • Each type of silk is different on a molecular level.  Different types require different processes. 
  • Silk fibers are 20% weaker when wet and must be handled with the upmost care
  • Most often, dry cleaning formulas are better suited to clean silk gowns than water
  • Silk has poor elasticity.  If your gown is incorrectly handled and fibers are elongated they will remain stretched.  Ever hung a wet sweater on a wire hanger?  You know those little tufts that occur on your shoulders from the hanger?  That is a visible identifier of fiber elongation.  If any “tufts” occur on your dress, they will stay there.
  • As true silk is an organic compound, just like anything organic, it will decompose.  Sunlight can weaken the fibers on a cellular level or it can become a buffet for insects.  Proper handling ensures that the silk remains virile and strong for years to come.
  • Silk is a poor conductor of electricity and thus is prone to static cling.  Home washing almost always creates triboelectric charging or contact electrification.  This means layers will tend to stick together more or even stick to your legs and that flowy feeling of most dresses will be minimized or gone.

A Wedding Gown is often the most important and most expensive garment you’ll ever buy so don’t risk destroying your investment.  Leave the cleaning in the capable hands of our Wedding Gown Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Topics: Bridal Gowns, wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, Silk Wedding Dresses, Cleaning & Pressing

Can I Preserve A Wedding Dress In a Space Bag?

Posted by David Whitehurst on July 5, 2012

I've been asked several times about storing wedding gowns in vacuum seal bags such Space Bags.  And while I've never used the product, I do not recommend using a vacuum seal storage bags for storing wedding dresses.

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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding gown preservation, wedding dress preservation, Cleaning and Preservation

Will I Ruin My Wedding Dress By Trying It On After Preserving It?

Posted by David Whitehurst on June 28, 2012

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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress preservation, wedding dress preservations, Gown Restoration

Is Bridal Gown Cleaning a DIY Project?

Posted by David Whitehurst on May 21, 2012



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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress preservation, wedding gown cleaning, Cleaning & Pressing

A Simple Explanation of Wedding Dress Preservation

Posted by David Whitehurst on February 11, 2012


Your wedding dress will serve as a reminder of the happiness of your wedding day.  It may also be a great gift for your daughter or even a display at a significant anniversary. 

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Topics: wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress preservation, Cleaning and Preservation

Who Can You Trust To Clean Your Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on January 27, 2012

Why "Go Local" For Your Wedding Gown Specialist?

If you're like most Brides, the day of the wedding just flew by.  Even as the Father of the Groom, I remember there was a cake.  A little bit of dancing.  Some guy taking pictures.  Some Champagne. And a whole lot of family.

The Wedding Dress After The Wedding

My daughter-in-law seemed to be a little stressed over the condition of her wedding gown for the entire day, afraid that something might get spilled on it, or worse.  Luckily, that didn't happen, but after the ceremony, she noticed that it wasn't in the most perfect shape anymore.

It made sense, of course.  All that walking and sitting and dancing and handshaking had taken its toll.  To alleviate some of her stress, I offered to take care of it while she and my son were on their honeymoon.  But the big question for most Brides who don't have a Father-In-Law as a wedding gown specialist is:

"Who could I trust to do the job? "

The first thing to do is hit the Internet and start doing research.  But here is a shortcut to the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists where you can find Certified Wedding Gown Specialists (TM) in more then 500 cities across the world...with a concentration in the U. S.  You can find a wedding gown specialist who excels at both cleaning your dress and wedding gown preservation. Some, like my business, can also handle the complex wedding gown alterations needs by Brides.

Advantages of Going Local

Maybe you're a new bride fresh from your honeymoon.  Or perhaps you've been married for a while and that wedding dress is lying in a closet, just collecting dust.  Some people will ship their dresses to far-off locations for cleaning and preservation, but I suggest that you keep it local.

Whether it is now months before your wedding or years after your wedding, finding a specialist in your area offers a number of benefits, including:
  • Meet The People -- Your wedding dress is one of a kind.  If you're going to hand over such a precious item, it's important that you speak with the specialists to make sure they're going to provide the service your gown deserves.
  • Personal Inspection -- By going local for your wedding gown preservation, you will be able to inspect the condition of the dress before it is placed in the preservation box.
  • Emergency Assistance -- By meeting your wedding gown specialist before your wedding, you have found a resource for emergency assistance in the pressure-packed days leading up to your wedding.  Having a local specialist can give you the comfort of someone nearby who can help you in a pinch.
  • Loss Prevention -- If you ship your dress somewhere, you're taking a risk that it could get lost in shipment. While this may be rare, it has been known to happen.

Be sure to find a local source for your wedding gown cleaning, preservation and restoration.  You'll sleep better as a result.  But if you can't find someone qualified to help with your gown, just make sure whover you find is truly qualified.


Solving Wedding Gown Problems in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia

We are Certified Wedding Gown SpecialistsTM in Birmingham, Alabama serving the Southeast.  Endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants. 

Champion Wedding Gown Specialist
2548 Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243
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Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress preservation, wedding dress alterations, Cleaning & Pressing

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