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Preserving your wedding gown

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Updated: 4/16/2007 1:29 pm
Over time, any fabric will deteriorate unless carefully stored; this is especially true of the delicate fabrics often used in wedding gowns. One option is to have your gown professionally preserved. This process can prevent yellowing, as well as oxidation from stains like cake or champagne. Preservation begins with a thorough inspection. Any stains are treated, and the gown is cleaned and pressed. Typically, the dress is wrapped in acid-free paper, and placed in a special acid-free box, which has a clear viewing window. It's important to use acid-free materials, as they don't initiate decay like regular paper can. Along with the dress, you may also include your veil, shoes, garter, or other accessories. The window box is then shrink-wrapped with a non-deteriorating plastic, and placed inside an outer box, to protect it from light. You should store the box in a cool, dry, and dark place. Never put the box in the attic, or anywhere that temperatures are extreme. In previous times, many gowns were stored in a hanging plastic bag; but as the plastic broke down, a gas formed, and the dress yellowed. Today's plastics don't react that way; and by storing the gown flat, you avoid unnecessary strain on the fabric and seams.
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