The Care Label Rule clearly states that wearing apparel, such as wedding gowns, must have a care label that provides a viable care method. The care label covers all component parts of the gown, including all decorative trim. Gowns that fail to withstand the care procedure on the label should be returned to the retailer for and adjustment.
Look at the care label before purchasing your gown to make sure you understand the recommended cleaning instructions. When it comes time to clean your gown, find a local cleaner who can professionally dry or wet-clean it. You need not send your gown away for cleaning and storage; there are many specially trained cleaners in your area who can assist you for a fair and reasonable price.
Unfortunately, no process or storage method can guarantee against yellowing or possible deterioration of fabrics. There are, however, several steps you can take to protect your garment:
- Have your cleaner pack the gown in special storage box that will help prevent contamination.
- Store your gown in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in a basement or attic. Basement dampness could cause mildew; attic heat could promote yellowing of the fabric.
- If you are storing a long gown on a hanger, sew straps to the waistline of the dress to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the weight of the skirt. Wrap the dress in a protective white sheet or muslin covering.
- Whether the gown is hung or boxed, the bodice should be stuffed with white tissue paper to prevent wrinkles. Fabric-covered buttons, pins, sponge padding, and perspiration shields should be removed and stored separately to avoid damage to the fabric.
- Never store headpieces, veils, shoes, or other accessories with your gown.
- Inspect your gown from time to time during storage. Stains not initially apparent could appear later, and should be tended to immediately.
Preserving the quality of your wedding gown may be the finest gift you can give yourself and a loved one.