by Karen Bates
(last updated September 26, 2016)
On the day of a big event such as a wedding or formal dance, cleaning your dress is probably the last thing on your mind. But once the event is over, you will need to take care of the dress to ensure that it stays in great condition in the future. In many cases, this requires the dress to be cleaned professionally, and even preserved correctly in a special box.
Wedding dresses in particular can cost a lot of money, and many brides dream of holding on to that special gown for many years to come. Some wedding dresses stay in the family for generations to be enjoyed by many brides over the years. If you hope to keep your dress in the best possible condition after wearing it, the first thing you need to consider is getting the gown professionally cleaned.
Cleaning a formal dress requires certain experience that you can find with a professional dry cleaner or specialty cleaner. Although you may need to pay a bit of money for the service, it will be well worth the cost when years from now your precious gown is still in optimal condition. Begin by searching for a cleaner that you can trust you garment with. This may mean asking friends or calling various cleaners to find out their methods and policies regarding dress cleaning. You can also ask the store where you bought your dress from for suggestions for good dry cleaners.
The best time to get your dress cleaned is shortly after the event. Don't hang the dress in the back of a closet and let it sit for a long time. Instead, plan on getting it cleaned within 6 months of wearing it. This is the best way for you to be sure that it will be preserved in great condition.
When you get your dress cleaned and preserved, the cleaners will treat any stains that may be on the fabric before cleaning. After the dress goes through the cleaning process, you may wish to have it packed away in a box to preserve it. Many dry cleaners offer this service for an extra charge, and there are other companies that also specialize in preserving gowns. Once the dress is packed away in an acid-free, safe environment, you can put it away without worrying about how well it will stand the test of time. Just be sure to place the packed gown in an area without extreme temperatures or humidity.
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