A wedding is a happy day for all but there can be considerable wear and tear on the bride’s beautiful dress and veil that day especially if the weather has been inclement and the reception and photographing is done outdoors. However, after the event you will want to restore the beauty of your dress, if only to recall the happy memories of that day, or to share with a friend or family member or to resell it to another bride. Then you have to decide whether to have the dress professionally cleaned or to do it yourself. Cleaning should be done as soon as possible after the event.
When it comes to cleaning certain factors have to be taken into consideration. If the dress is a store-bought dress then there will be cleaning instructions provided with the dress and veil or your dressmaker or designer will give you cleaning instructions depending on the fabric and the decorations, such as lace and diamantes. On most occasions they will recommend to have the dress professionally cleaned and you can then decide to entrust the cleaning to the professional cleaning services of The Real Don Dry Cleaners.
If the instructions are “Dry Clean only, indicated by a circle with or without a P in the circle, do not attempt to wash the dress yourself as it will surely be ruined and cannot be restored after that. Certain fabrics like natural silks cannot be washed and many of the decoration on the dress may be attached by water soluble adhesive and then will come loose or fall off if submerged in water. If the dress can be washed, The Real Don uses professional washing soaps and stain removers which are design to take care of your garments or Dry Clean your dress personally, in our own premises, therefore, your garment will be is our safe hands thought out the process and will not be sent to a large factory for cleaning. The Real Don also has professional finishing stations for steaming the dress and veil once cleaned.
The Real Don’s team is headed by co-director Loraine Hopley who has had decades of experience, since childhood with her mother, with the making and cleaning of wedding dresses. With us, you can be assured of the particular and proper care necessary for the preservation of your valuable and sentimental asset.
However, if you do decide to do the cleaning yourself here are a few general tips that will assist you.
Never wash the dress or veil in a washing machine as this will damage the fabric and decorations. Cold Hand washing is normally recommended.
First wash the bathtub you will be using to decontaminate it from body soaps and residues.
Fill bathtub with cold water.
Leave bottom of dress soaking overnight in a mixture of “Woolite” or liquid washing soaps, such as “OMO, Ariel or Skip” (Not dishwashing liquid) and Vanish or similar stain removal powder.
Keep body of dress out of water overnight.
The next day, clean the bodice, taking care to remove make up stains, and clean separate layers of the dress with cold water and liquid washing soaps, carefully not to rub the fabric too harshly.
Spot clean outer layers remembering that particular stains have particular remedies. (Refer product guides on products such as “Stain Devils”)
Rinse the total dress in clean cold water several times until the water is clear of any soap residue.
Do not wring or twist material especially satin, rather let the water drip out when hanging up to dry.
Hang the dress up to dry on a plastic hanger, in the shade out of direct sunlight, as most wedding dress fabrics and veils could be damaged in direct sunlight. Place a bed sheet on the ground under the dress if the train is long to prevent it from getting dirty again.
Use a steamer to finish the garment once dried. Do not iron with a flat or steam iron as this will damage the fabric and the decorations. If you don’t have a steamer then bring the dress and veil into the professionals to steam for you.
Pack the dress and veil away in the professional bag supplied with the dress, or fold and wrap in black tissue paper, available from stationery shops (to prevent it from going yellow with age) and place in a flat box for storage.
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