Wedding Dress Preservation Services

Proper preservation requires the use of materials and techniques that are specifically designed to protect delicate fabrics and embellishments during long-term storage. Storing the garment in acid-free tissue paper is essential for maintaining a chemically neutral environment for the fabric. The tissue is also used to pad and support the folds and delicate areas of the garment.

We carefully fold and pad the garment to help prevent creasing, which can cause areas of weakness in the fabric over time. Folding the garment is necessary for practical storage, but we aim to limit and control the folds so that the garment is properly supported during storage. We support the folds of the garment with bumpers of acid-free tissue. We use a lighter weight of acid-free tissue to pad out sleeves and the bust. A heavier acid-free tissue is used as an outer wrapping.

pressing dress
Separate items, such as a gown and veil, are wrapped separately in tissue to limit direct contact between the fabrics. The carefully wrapped items are then placed in an acid-free, chemically inert archival box with a removable lid. Conservation scientists and museum professionals do not recommend that contemporary textiles made of organic materials be stored in “sealed” environments. We subscribe to this thinking.

Such sealed environments – bags, boxes, rigid plastic containers – trap humidity and acidity in the storage compartment which, when absorbed into the textile fibers, can lead to rapid oxidation of the fibers (yellowing) and allow for the growth of mold and mildew. We use archival boxes that are specifically designed for home storage, which is a less ideal environment than a museum.

colorful flower dress
The use of archival quality acid-free materials helps prevent yellowing and deterioration of the fabric during long-term storage. We are trained in museum storage environments and follow best practices with employing our preservation methodology. We provide recommendations to clients for how to store the textiles in a controlled environment at home with limited exposure to UV light, as well as stable humidity and temperature levels to prevent mold growth, fabric yellowing, and other forms of degradation caused by fluctuations in environmental conditions.

The goal is to provide an environment for the textile that promotes both physical and chemical stability in a home environment for future generations. Our mission is to provide the most thoughtful and attentive care to textiles that will become important parts of our clients’ family cultural history.