Buying your wedding gown is a BIG deal. whether you’re looking for a vintage gown, new dress or previously loved, it’s a time filled with excitement and usually several shopping trips and appointment bookings. The first thing on your mind is of course, finding the dress you love, but you should also keep in mind that not all gowns are created equally when it comes to cleaning and preservation. If you’re buying a sample gown or previously loved dress, this is crucial information you need to know. It’s also something to inquire about, if you wish to have your gown cleaned after the big event. So, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re gown shopping:
1) Fabric and Fiber Content: As a general rule, natural fibers like silk and cotton can be more delicate and must be treated with extra care. On the other hand, synthetic fibers such as Polyester or nylon fibers are more forgiving and offer gown specialists a variety of options when it comes to handling and cleaning. If you’re looking at a vintage or used silk gown with lots of yellowing or other noticeable marks and stains, it may be best to consult a gown specialists prior to purchasing to see what your options are.
2) Beading & Embellishments: Everyone loves shiny things, but it’s best to inquire how those beads and jewels are attached to the gown. Mainly, are they glued on or sewn? Sewn is always preferable as glued embellishments pose a higher risk of bead loss during the cleaning process. Keep in mind that price does not always equal quality of craftsmanship. We’ve seen many a pricey gown with glued on beadwork.
3) Care Labels: First of all, do you see one in the gown? If not, it may be wise to reach out to the designer or manufacturer for conformation of fiber content and care information. Gown specialists like ourselves use these care labels when we treat your gown, so they are very important!
4) Veils: Once again, do keep in mind that beading, lace or other embellishment on veils can also be sewn or glued. If glue is used, ensure that your methods for taking out the wrinkles are safe. When in doubt ask a specialist before hand. Always test a small area first to ensure beading won’t detach while applying steam on the day of your wedding. Also look out for plastic vs metal hair combs. Metal can tarnish after time and both must be removed during the preservation process.