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

Guide To Picking The Perfect Wedding Dress- The Shape

Posted by Brandi Kane on September 25, 2012

Taking the time to pick your perfect dress can save you from being a sad puppy.  

The Wedding Gown Experts here at Champion Cleaners in Birmingham Alabama want to make sure you look and feel your best on your special day.  We know that picking the shape of your gown is sure to be one of the most important Wedding Gown decisions you'll make.  The first step to doing so is finding out what shape your body is.

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Topics: Wedding Gown Styles, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, alterations for plus siz wedding dresses, Alterations

Can You Wash A Wedding Dress?

Posted by Brandi Kane on September 19, 2012

 

We frequently get asked how we Wash A Wedding Dress.  Here are the steps we use for this process.

 

Pre-Cleaning Inspection of the Wedding Dress

Warning - Do not try an clean a silk wedding dress yourself.  Leave silk to the professional.  And be sure to check all layers of the dress looking for silk.

Every dress is different and has different issues.  We begin every wedding dress cleaning with a thorough inspection looking for specific problems that are common to most wedding dresses brought in.  From this inspection we map our approach for the wedding dress cleaning.

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Topics: wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, Silk Wedding Dresses, polyester gown, Cleaning and Preservation

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

Finding a Qualified Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation Specialist

Posted by David Whitehurst on October 18, 2011

 

Here's A Story of What Can Go Wrong With Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation and Restoration.

 

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Topics: Wedding Gown Cleaners, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress preservation, Cleaning and Preservation

6 Tips for Choosing The Right Wedding Gown Preservation Service

Posted by David Whitehurst on September 20, 2011

 

How do you know which Wedding Dress Dry Cleaner to use?  Here are six tips for finding the right Wedding Gown Care Specialist.

Most women agree that perhaps the most important piece of clothing they will ever own is their wedding dress.  Made from expensive fabrics and tailored to the body of each bride, a wedding gown is not only beautiful but a representation of the beginning of a couple's life together.  It should be cared for accordingly.

To ensure that your wedding dress receives the professional care that it needs, it is important to know what to look for when seeking out a professional wedding gown cleaning and preservation specialist.  A wedding gown specialist needs to be more than just a dry cleaner.  In fact, due to the delicate nature of wedding dresses, many dry cleaners will either not accept wedding dresses to clean and preserve or will ship them out to a specialist in another city.

Bonus Tip - And The Most Important One Of All

My suggestion is to find a dry cleaner that is trained and credentialed in wedding gown cleaning and preservation.  The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists is the top source for finding trained and experienced wedding gown specialists.  Use a dry cleaner that is a “Certified Wedding Gown Specialist™” and preferably one in your community. 

Wedding gown dry cleaners with the Certified Wedding Gown Specialist™ credentials have been trained, tested and are experienced in dealing will all types of wedding gown issues, including stains, proper preservation techniques, yellowing of wedding gowns, and some even offer wedding gown alterations and repairs.

This article will go over other six important things that you need to know, ask, or be aware of when exploring various wedding dress preservation services.

1. Experience and Training

What is the wedding gown specialist’s experience: How long cleaning and preserving wedding gowns? Does he do his own work or does he send it out to someone else?  Are references available? Does the wedding gown dry cleaner have on line reviews you can check?  Is the dry cleaner a Certified Wedding Gown Specialist™?

2. Specialized Preservation Materials

Make sure the wedding gown specialist uses acid-free materials.  I don't mean low acid content; I mean 100 percent acid free.  These types of materials will be the safest on the dress to prevent unexpected damage over a long period of time.  The best wedding dress preservation boxes are rated to last literally 1,000 years and they are no more expensive than lesser quality preservation boxes.

3. Local Specialist Is Best

It is important to find a local wedding gown cleaning and preservation specialist because you will need a location you can get to conveniently.  Cleaning and preserving a wedding dress is a tricky process, and you will want to be able to examine the dress after it’s cleaned but before it is placed in the preservation chest. 

Make your contact with your selected specialist before your wedding…you never know if an emergency might arise and if you already know your specialist, you may have a solution to your emergency.  Remember the old saying about making your friends before you need them?

4. Guarantee

Ask the wedding dress dry cleaner if she provides any type of guarantee against yellowing or unexpected stains showing up years from now.  And find out if the wedding gown dry cleaner can back it up.  For example, if they offer a ten-year guarantee, what happens if the wedding gown specialist goes out of business in nine years?

5. Latent or Hidden Stains

Ask the wedding gown dry cleaner if he checks for latent or hidden stains even after your dress is cleaned.  Many wedding dresses experience damage from alcohol or other sugar-based stains, which will need further attention, especially with silk wedding dresses.  These stains in a silk dress require an entirely separate treatment before the dress is dry cleaned. And they may not be visible for months or years afer your wedding.

6. Preservation Techniques - Preventing Premanent Wrinkles and Creases

Make sure that the wedding gown preservation service will take special care to prevent permanent wrinkles and creases.  If tissue is used for cushioning the folds, as do most trained wedding gown specialists, make sure the tissue is 100% acid free.  Ask your wedding dress dry cleaner to see the the tissue paper packaging to verify this.

 

A wedding gown should be treated with the love of a bride, even when in the hands of others.  Make this a guarantee by choosing the best wedding gown preservation service available!

Get a $25.00 Savings Certificate

on your Birmingham, Alabama wedding gown preservation or restoration at Champion Wedding Gown Specialist.  Just follow the link below.
Champion Wedding Gown Specialist
2548 Rocky Ridge Road
Birmingham, AL 35243
205.588.4120

Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Gown Preservation

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Topics: Wedding Gown Cleaners, wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama

The Secret of a Perfect Wedding

Posted by David Whitehurst on August 23, 2011

Other Than Matching The Perfect Couple, The Secret To Having The Perfect Wedding is...
 

 

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Topics: Wedding Resources, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding planning

How Do You Clean A Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on August 9, 2011

 

I frequently get questions from our web site asking about how we clean a wedding dress.  Here are the steps we use for this process.

And if you want a formula for DIY Wedding Dress Cleaning, read on.

Pre-Cleaning Inspection of the Wedding Dress

We begin every wedding dress cleaning with a thorough inspection looking for specific problems that are common to most wedding dresses we see.  From this inspection we plan our approach for the wedding dress cleaning.

Read More >


Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress preservation

Five Tips For Selling A Wedding Dress On Consignment

Posted by David Whitehurst on July 19, 2011

 

Wedding dresses are one of the features of any wedding.... usually coming in right after the Bride in importance.

A Bride can recover some of her investment when selling her wedding dress from a consignment shop.

The bride will often spend months looking for the perfect wedding gown to make her sparkle, shine, and glow as she walks down the aisle to meet her love.  Unfortunately, ensuring these results often requires spending a large amount of money to purchase and alter the wedding gown.  Many brides decide to try and get some of their money back by selling the dress on consignment after the wedding.

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Topics: wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, Consignment Wedding Dresses, Consignment Wedding Gowns

Finding A Dry Cleaner For Your Wedding Dress

Posted by David Whitehurst on May 26, 2011

 

What Will You Do With Your Wedding Dress After You Say, "I Do?"

After your wedding day, there are many things that you can do with your wedding dress.  Some brides wish to save them to pass down to future generations.  Others will resell them.  While still others will donate the dress or give it to a friend.  No matter what you decide to do, you will want to have your wedding dress cleaned first.

Wedding Gown Specialists

You can't just go to any dry cleaner when it comes to your wedding gown, as this garment is just too special to take your chances.  You will want to choose a dry cleaner that has extensive experience with wedding dresses so you can trust that it is being taken care of in good hands.  These dry cleaners are called “wedding gown specialists.” 

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Topics: wedding gown cleaning and preservation, wedding gown preservation, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress preservation

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