Although a wedding dress is often one of the most expensive items of clothing that a woman will ever own, many gowns are stored with little care after the big day.
If you plan to keep or sell your wedding dress, take the time to clean and store it properly. To help you, we've put together some straightforward guidelines for cleaning, packaging and storing a wedding dress.
Cleaning the dress
In order to best preserve your wedding dress, get it dry-cleaned as soon after the wedding as possible – any stains or marks on the fabric need to be removed before they have time to set in. If you're leaving for your honeymoon straight after the wedding, ask someone else to take it to the dry-cleaners for you.
However, if you can't get the dress cleaned right away, store it in a 100 percent cotton bag – NOT a plastic one – to allow the fabric to breathe. Hang the bagged dress on a padded silk hanger. It's best to avoid painted, varnished or metal hangers because these could leave a residue on the dress.
Packing a wedding dress for storage
All packaging materials used to store a wedding dress should be acid-free. This includes the box in which it's stored. Choose a heavy-duty cardboard box with a tight-fitting lid to protect the gown from dust, insects and light. If you've opted for a dress box with a window, choose an acetate screen over a plastic one.
Always make sure that your hands are clean before handling the dress. Fold the dress carefully and loosely, to avoid creasing. As you fold, layer the dress with white, acid-free tissue paper to prevent any beads from snagging on the fabric. Always use colourless tissue paper for wrapping – the dye in coloured paper could transfer onto the dress.
When folding, wrap the sleeves under the bodice, and then fold the skirt up over the bodice. Finally, wrap the folded dress in unbleached muslin before putting it in a box.
You can store your veil in the same box as your wedding dress, but make sure that the two are separated by a layer of tissue paper. Store shoes and other accessories in another box to prevent them from damaging the dress fabric.
Storing a wedding dress
Store your wedding dress somewhere that isn't humid, prone to damp or easily accessible to insects. To best preserve your dress, keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent the fabric from yellowing over time. Also keep your dress separate, in its own box, to prevent contact with wardrobes, drawers and other clothing items from affecting fabric.
Once you've packed the dress away, it's a good idea to check its condition every six months, and repackage it each year to prevent permanent creases.
With these guidelines, one day you'll be able to show off your wedding dress to your own children or even grandkids!
Storing your wedding dress securely with us
At XtraSpace, we offer affordable, secure self-storage solutions for storing personal items. If you use our SpaceBox option, we’ll even collect your packaged wedding dress, store it securely in a sealed, tamper-proof box and return it to you again whenever you choose.