A Beautiful Memory Is Worth Saving...
With proper care and storage, your cherished Bridal Gown will remain beautiful for years. Our exclusive service includes professional cleaning & preservation and a special acid-free container.
We can also restore and preserve Christening gowns, Communion and Baptism Gowns or any of your other family treasures. Our expert staff trained in the restoration of these priceless garments will be pleased to assist you with any information that you may require.
Call or visit our
Donna Leduc, our specialist, will be on hand to answer your questions and schedule appointments.
Bridal Gown Preservation Gift Certificates are also available from Delken and make great wedding or shower presents.
Clean & Press starting at $128.75
For more detailed information about our service, and tips on how to store your gown, please read the information in the links below...
You've spent a lot of time, energy, and money looking for your wedding gown; your cherished possession. It will remind you of that special, joyous event in your lives together. Naturally, you want to preserve your gown at its loveliest, as it was on your wedding day. This is best accomplished by having it properly cleaned and prepared, and then preserved in a special acid-free chest.
It is very important that your Bridal Memory Chest be kept in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in the attic or basement. The attic heat could promote yellowing and the basement dampness can cause mildew. When you wish to inspect your gown, be sure your hands and the surrounding areas are clean.
It's best to clean and preserve your gown right after the wedding. Over time, stains become more difficult to remove. The sooner it's properly cleaned and preserved, the better results you'll have. Unprotected, it will fade and yellow, and eventually, it can deteriorate, and become brittle in spots.
One thing you can do is to make arrangements before the wedding. Plan to have someone (mom, friend, maid of honor, ...or us) bring in your gown right after the wedding. Or, if that's not possible, we can arrange to have a carton labeled and ready for mail service pick-up. Where will you have your bridal gown cleaned and preserved? Come in and meet us, we're always happy to show you around and explain our procedures.
We carefully inspect and prepare your bridal gown before cleaning. We check for spots, age, wear areas, any and all needed repairs; loose buttons or beads, open seams, tears, damaged zippers, etc., anything that should be fixed. Beads and other trims are tested for “clean-ability”.
Some things should be done before cleaning, like removing or reinforcing & covering buttons, so they don't become damaged during cleaning. Your gown is then professionally spotted and gently cleaned alone in crystal-clear virgin solution for a brief period. It's checked again, and if necessary, it's post spotted, then skillfully hand finished. Any other finishing touches, like re-sewing buttons or trims, more repairs, etc., are done at this time.
We then perform another complete inspection of your gown to insure that it is in perfect shape and ready for long-term storage.
Your gown is cushioned with a special acid-free tissue to help maintain the designers' delicate shape and carefully folded before it's placed in a museum quality acid-free storage box. You are invited to view this step if you so desire. An appointment will be scheduled once your gown has been carefully processed. You also receive a Bridal Gown Preservation Certificate.
The type of packaging and the container is what preserves your gown once it has been properly cleaned. Years ago, museum conservators met with representatives of commercial paper companies out of a concern about apparent deterioration (yellowing, brown spots, staining, streaking, friability, etc.,) of their textiles stored in standard cardboard boxes. After research and testing, they realized that those standard boxes had become increasingly acidic over time, causing the degradation and discoloration of the contents.
Experts in garment and textile analysis recommend against plastics and vacuum sealing. An article in a dry cleaning trade paper, The National Clothesline, reads “Plastic bags are not acid free. Being chemically unstable, plastic gives off fumes as it decomposes with age. This also hastens textile deterioration. Excessive humidity is the greatest danger in storage, therefore plastic bags by their very nature are conducive to mold and mildew formation.”
Katherine Dirks, a museum conservator in the Division of Textiles at the Museum of American History in Washington D.C. notes “we've found that vacuum sealing never helps in the preservation of clothing.”
Besides, Norman Oehlke, Director of Member Services at IFI states, “You cannot vacuum seal a cardboard box. It requires a steel or glass container that can't breathe.”
Dr. Nancy Kerr, a Professor of textile science at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton states, “Vacuum sealing is not a good idea because any moisture trapped inside leads to mildew.”
Dan Eisen, Chief Garment Analyst and Director of the N. Y. School of Dry Cleaning states “when wedding gowns are stored, they should be properly cleaned and free of stains. Use an acid free box with acid-free tissue paper. Do not cover or seal with plastic since this type of storage builds up an acid condition that hastens deterioration.”
Museum conservators now require long-term storage boxes to be acid free and buffered to keep it acid free. They expect to extend the lifetime of textiles for 200 years by storing them in an acid-free box with acid-free tissue.
Drop in any time during our regular business hours at all locations.
Hours may vary so please refer to store locations. Call or visit our
Donna Leduc, our specialist, will be on hand to answer your questions
and schedule appointments.
Delken accepts bridal gowns from anywhere. If you're outside the greater Southern New England area, we offer reliable, safe shipping. We can supply you with a package containing what you need to ship your gown safely to us.
Bridal Gown Preservation Gift Certificates are also available from Delken and make great wedding or shower presents.
How soon after I wear my gown do I need to have it preserved?
Even though you can wait as long as six months before having your gown cleaned and preserved, you should bring it in as soon as possible. Many stains, especially oils from foods, become more difficult to remove if they are allowed to remain on the garment for any length of time.
Will you package the gown without cleaning it?
....Your wedding gown should be carefully cleaned and inspected before placing it in the "Special Acid-Free Container". We prefer to do the entire cleaning & preservation service from start to finish ourselves, to insure the best results.
What is involved in the preservation process?
After inspecting the gown to determine the best course of treatment( including testing sequins, beads, and other trim), stains will be pre-spotted some being completely removed prior to the overall cleaning. Based on the fabric type and chemical stability tests, the gown will either be dry cleaned or wet cleaned. Wet cleaning, a special water-based process that uses special equipment and alkaline-free conditioning agents, is recommended for polyester fabrics. Traditional silk gowns are usually dry cleaned.
...We usually take 4-6 weeks. We take our time to make sure it will be as perfect as it can be.
...Our prices for wedding gowns vary, as it depends on style and fabrics. A traditional type Bridal Gown will start at $210.00. Simpler Gowns may cost less. We consider our prices to be very reasonable, because of the quality of knowledge and skill involved. The value of quality is the end result of what you get in service and workmanship, and in the long run, how your gown will look. Please e-mail for a quotation.
Wedding gowns are delicate. The beautiful laces, beading fabrics and trims require special care by a skilled and professional dry cleaner. We have years of experience, knowledge, and awareness in the cleaning of your bridal gown. We are dedicated to cleaning and preserving your precious bridal gown, entrusted to us, with the utmost care. Your satisfaction is guaranteed at Delken© Cleaners.
Wedding gowns and other formal dresses require special handling and
care. The following tips will help preserve these special items for future
enjoyment and use.
Allow yourself plenty of time to shop for your dress. At least six month is recommended by most wedding consultants. This will give you plenty of time to select the right dress, fabric, trims, etc., and allow enough time for the ordering, sewing, and fitting of the garment.
Be sure to look for the care label in all wedding gowns purchased in the United States. Apparel manufacturers are required by the U. S. Federal Trade Commission to attach a care label in all garments, which provides a viable care method for cleaning all component parts of the garment, including trims. Gowns that fail to withstand the care instructions on the label should be returned to the retailer for an adjustment.
Choosing a Fabric!
Silk threads are woven to create various fabrics, including satin, a densely-woven silk notable for its super-lustrous gloss; duchess satin, a blend of silk and rayon that is lighter and more affordable than pure silk satin; charmeuse, a lightweight silk satin with a more subdued luster; and shantung, a low-sheen textured silk characterized by a rough, nubby quality. Then there are the gauzier, textured silks like chiffon, tulle, and organza -- all used in multiple layers for gown skirts since they are transparent, but lightweight.
The Popular Fabric List
Batiste: A lightweight, soft, transparent fabric.
Brocade: A Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs; traditionally popular for fall and winter, now also worn in warmer weather.
Charmeuse: A lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric, that is satin-like to the touch.
Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent -- made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish; often layered because of its transparency, making it popular for overskirts, sheer sleeves, and wraps.
Crepe: A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crinkled surface.
Damask: Similar to brocade with raised designs, but woven in a much lighter weight.
Duchess Satin: A lightweight hybrid of silk and rayon (or polyester) woven into a satin finish.
Dupioni: A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen.
Faille: A structured, ribbed finish like grosgrain ribbon; usually quite substantial.
Gabardine: A tightly-woven, firm and durable finish, with single diagonal lines on the face.
Georgette: A sheer, lightweight fabric often made of polyester or silk with a crepe surface.
Illusion: A fine, sheer net fabric, generally used on sleeves or necklines.
Jersey: A very elastic knit fabric; the face has lengthwise ribs and the underside has crosswise ribs.
Moire: A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design.
Organdy: A stiff transparent fabric.
Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar in effect to tulle, but more flowing; popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays.
Peau de Soie: A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance.
Pique: A lengthwise rib weave in medium to heavy weights; wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish.
Satin: A heavy, smooth fabric with a high sheen on one side; very common in bridal gowns.
Silk Gazar: A four-ply silk organza.
Silk Mikado: A brand of blended silk, usually heavier than 100-percent silk.
Silk-Faced Satin: A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back.
Shantung: Similar to a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its slubbed texture.
Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib; not frequently used.
Tulle: Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils (think ballerina tutus).
Velvet: A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside.
Polyester: An inexpensive man-made fabric that can be woven into just about anything, including duchess satin
Rayon: Similar to silk, but more elastic and affordable.
Silk: The most sought-after, cherished fiber for wedding dresses (and also the most expensive); there are several types with different textures: raw silk and silk mikado are just two examples.
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 should cover all parts of the gown including trim. If a gown fails to withstand the care procedure on the label it should be returned to the retailer for an appropriate adjustment.
Since may trims and embellishments may not withstand the chemicals or the dry cleaning process, it is important to get the dry cleaners professional opinion on treatment of decorative sequins, beads, laces, and glitter attached to the dress. Many of these trims are made from plastics or finished with coating materials that are not resistant to dry cleaning solvents. Still other trims may be attached with glues that may become separated from the garment in the dry cleaning process. Embellishments may also oxidize and lose their color, and no longer match the color of the gown. These changes of color are due to the non-colorfast dyes used in the trims, and are not the fault of the dry cleaner. Be aware of the issues.
Look for a cleaner who can dry clean or wet clean your wedding gown,
as required by the label. Many cleaners specialize in wedding gowns.
Ask our specialists for the best course of action for your gown.
Yellowing and fabric deterioration are common problems that can occur as white garments age. Although there is no way to completely guarantee the prevention of this damage, there are things that can be done to keep the deterioration to a minimum.
A wedding gown can be properly stored either in a box or on a hanger.
If you are boxing your gown for storage, have your dry cleaner pack
the gown in a special storage box that will help prevent contamination.
Insist on being present when your gown is packaged so that you can personally
observe your cleaned gown being folded and packed into the box. (There
have been reported cases of the fraudulent packaging of wedding gowns.)
Delken is proud to offer this service.
If you are hanging a long gown for storage, attach straps to the waistline
of the dress to reduce the stress of the long heavy skirt on the shoulders
of the gown, and reduce the possibility of distorting the neckline of
the dress. Then protect the gown by wrapping it in a white sheet or muslin
Wrap Fabrics in Acid-Free Tissue Before Folding - The tissue paper cushions
the fabric and helps guard against sharp creases, which can break and
damage individual fibers of the fabric. Bodices or other curved areas
of a garment should be stuffed with acid-free tissue paper to prevent
Do Not Use Metal Clips or Pins - Safety pins and paper clips can rust
over time. Rust stains on fabrics can be impossible to remove.
Never Store in Plastic Bags - Plastic bags are petroleum-based products.
Plastic can break down over time giving off chemicals and fumes that
can discolor and destroy fabrics.
The boxed or hung wedding gown should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Do not store in a damp basement or a hot, humid attic. Mildew and fabric
yellowing can result from storing a wedding gown in improper temperatures
and atmospheric conditions.
To prevent damage to the fabric, any fabric-covered buttons, pins, perspiration
shields, and foam padding should be removed from the gown and stored
Store all headpieces, veils, shoes, and accessories separately from the wedding gown.
Check your gown occasionally for damage while in storage. Stains that weren't apparent in the beginning, can appear at a later date and should be treated immediately. Professional cleaning before storage will minimize this possibility.
Protect From Sunlight and Artificial Light - Sunlight and artificial light sources can cause degradation and fading of heirloom textiles. If items are displayed on the wall or framed behind glass, keep them away from sunlight and areas with direct artificial light.
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