You know that awful feeling of dread you get once in a great while? The feeling that hits you in the pit of your stomach when you did something wrong and you just know it’s going to eat away at your conscious for the next few years? We’ve all had it happen at one point or another and we’ve heard from many women across America that have had that moment of dread when pulling their mother’s or grandmother’s dress out of the back of a closet that had been long forgotten. Fabric yellowing, stains that set in that weren’t visible when the gown had been tucked away, adornments that lost their battle with gravity… all factors that will often cause our customers to think their gown is beyond the point of repair. Before you lose all hope we’d like to introduce you to our new wedding dress restoration service that has helped many families reclaim their precious memories they had thought were a lost cause.
The highly skilled wedding dress restoration team at the Wedding Gown Preservation Company has been trained and certified by the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute (www.dlionline.org). Established in 1883, DLI has been the leading trade association for garment care professional for over a century. They’ve established themselves as wedding dress restoration leaders by integrating state-of-the-art, technical laboratories in the heart of their testing and training center. This training facility allows for real world evaluation of the effects of organic and non-organic fabric staining and insight on how to reverse the effect those stains have on various delicate fabrics over a long period of time.
This training has provided our team with the insight and industry knowledge needed to become experts in the handling and care of heirloom wedding gowns. In addition to restoring gowns that have been weathered by the tests of time, the team is also certified to restore gowns that have been weathered by other forces of nature such as flood damage and smoke damage.
As soon as your gown arrives at the wedding dress preservation facility it goes through an intense fabric analysis to determine which treatment will be most effective at treating everything from staining and yellowing to fabric wear. There some cases in which our award winning SYSTEMK4 wedding dress cleaning process will successfully treat the gown but many times hand cleaning with various fabric-safe and DLI certified agents are necessary. Gowns are often carefully treated multiple times using proprietary formulas that have been passed down by Sara and Joseph Shapiro who founded the company in 1913.
After the fabric has been restored the wedding dress will go through a multi-point inspection station to check for fabric pulls, loose adornments and even the full replacement of fabric, lace, beads or buttons.
Each dress that is restored goes through a final restoration treatment that helps prevent the dress from yellowing in the feature and in most cases allows the dress to be worn again in the future. All of our restored gowns are given our 100 year anti-yellowing guarantee, the same as our award winning wedding dress preservation service.
We took a few moments to interview Kelly Crapser, a member of the wedding dress restoration team, to get insight on the services. Below are a few success stories she shared.
“We received a call from an estate that had four wedding gowns dating back to 1890. These gowns were extremely intricate and even had pockets filled with sawdust under the armpits as deodorant didn’t exist back when the dress was sewn. We came to find out that these gowns were hand sewn by a then-famous seamstress in France. We took great care in the restoration process of these particular gowns since fabric that old is very rare. The restoration came out amazing and the estate owner and their family couldn’t have been happier with the results. We were all very proud to have been able to help this family preserve a piece of their family history.“
“In July of 2014 we received an Azalea Trail (A prestigious southern heritage pageant) Maid Dress from Alabama that had been in the floods that plagued that part of the country. The gown included 19 accessories that had all been terribly stained by the flooding along with the gown itself. The dress and all 19 accessories were beautifully and painstakingly preserved by our team and returned to the proud owner.”
“In 2013 we received a gown from a bride who was married in Europe. After the ceremony was over she walked into the river as that was the tradition in the groomsman’s culture. Needless to say the gown came to us very soiled with rich river mud and even had seaweed which had dried into the fabric. Our restoration team was able to bring the gown back to life and have it back to her to wear for her second ceremony here in the US.”
“To speak beyond wedding dress restoration, word of our services have also reached curators across American and we’re often sent old military uniforms that we clean, restore and preserve for museum displays.”
“We once received a dress that was covered from head to toe in mud. We were so curious as to what happened to the gown that we called the bride to find out how the dress had become so very soiled. We assumed it went through a bad flood but to our surprise the bride exclaimed that she had taken part in the “Trash Your Dress” fad and had mud wrestled her husband for a very unique photo session! Her mother (who had lovingly purchased the gown for her) didn’t know about the “Trash Your Dress” adventure and the bride was having big regrets. We were able to restore the gown to as good as new and her mother never knew the difference.”
We cover most of the questions you may have in our preservation FAQ but you are more than welcome to call our office at 877-872-5538 M-F 9am- 5pm EST and we'll be happy to assist.