One of the biggest decisions a bride has to make is the dress she’s going to wear on her big day. Women can spend months searching and trying on every dress possible, until one day she finds the perfect one, and she is stunning.
The cost itself really doesn’t matter when it comes to the perfect dress; it’s really about how she feels in it, which only adds to the biggest day of the bride’s life. This is why it’s so important to properly care for your wedding dress once all the celebrations are over, and the time has come to put it away. Some brides choose to sell their dress, while others want to keep it for various reasons, including passing it down to other family members, or renewing their vows at a later time. With that in mind, we had the recent pleasure of meeting the owner, Steve Elliott, and his expertly trained staff at Barth’s Cleaning Centre in Orangeville, ON, to talk about just how important proper care is when it comes to this very special piece of clothing.
Here are just some of the reasons to have your wedding dress properly cleaned, preserved, and stored, to ensure it remains as perfect as the day you first tried it on, and fell in love with it:
CLEANING. Having your dress cleaned professionally is essential to keeping it well preserved. This is the first part of a multi-step process that Barth’s Cleaning Centre, with over 40 years of clothes cleaning experience, applies to the dress. “A client needs to be careful as to how long they wait to have their dress professionally dry cleaned” explains Steve. “The material of the gown is most often very delicate, so having your dress cleaned sooner rather than later is the best rule of thumb.”
YELLOWING. There are 2 key things when it comes to preventing the “yellowing” of your dress. No matter what colour your dress is, white, cream, soft pink, or others, oxygen will not be kind to the colour, as unfortunately, oxygen yellows fabrics. The other discolouration danger is from staining. Sugars and other elements will show up afterwards in the form of yellowing, so the dress may be white in some areas, but have spots of yellow staining that you may not know were even there. Yellowing like this can be a result of sugar stains from cake or white wine, as well as from natural perspiration stains. A specialized preservation cleaning process is used to prevent this from happening.
TRADITION. Whether it’s simply the thought of keeping the memory of your wonderful day preserved forever, or that you have plans to pass your dress along to a loved one, your dress does not have to go forgotten or unused. “When preserved, the wedding gown is stored on an acid free body form and in an acid free box. This also helps prevent yellowing of the gown and will keep it protected, so that transporting the dress won’t cause problems throughout the years.” says Steve. “Even if you decide to sell your dress years later, this process will ensure that it maintains its perfect look and form.”
Spending time at Barth’s Cleaning Centre with Steve and his expertly trained staff was not only interesting, but it was clear to see that this particular service is one that requires specialized training. Steve explains, “There are only 2 staff members that handle your dress from start to finish at Barth’s, and we do everything in house. Most cleaning facilities have to ship the dress out, but here at our facility, your dress never leaves the premises.” It’s for this reason, that Barth’s is able to offer a lifetime guarantee on their cleaning and preservation process.
Having your wedding dress looked after with specialized care, like the care that’s offered at Barth’s Cleaning Centre, is essential in order to ensure that this most special of memories is kept in the same condition as it was when you first saw it and fell in love with it. Then it will be preserved that way for now and into the future.
Written by: Kelli M. Maddocks | Photography: Cory Bruyea | Resources: Barth’s Cleaning Centre