Don't Let Your Timeless, Cherished Memory From a Momentous Day Become a Memory Lost to Time
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.
Just as with everything in this world that is organic, the delicate fibers in your wedding dress begin to break down from the moment they were created. Unfortunately, the most common color of fabric for a wedding dress is white which is also the color of fabric most susceptible to chemical degradation and eventual discoloration. This natural deterioration leads market whites to become a faded yellow or light brown discoloration if left untreated and allowed to degrade. It isn’t a matter of if your wedding dress will become yellow, but instead a matter of when.
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 Gown Restoration Kit™ that has helped many families reclaim their precious memories they had thought were a lost cause.
How Your Vintage Wedding Gown is Restored to its Original Beauty
When restoring a wedding gown that was worn over 20 years ago, or even 100 years ago, extra care, fabric knowledge, and techniques need to be integrated into the process. If not, what was a beautiful physical memory of lifelong love can turn into a faded memory of the past. We’ve been perfecting the art of wedding gown restoration for over 100 years and our service has completed some of the most difficult and intricate wedding gown restorations that rival that of museum quality restorations you’d find in fabric displays at The Smithsonian.
STEP 1 – Ordering Your Restoration Kit
We’ve made the process easy and quick to order your Wedding Gown Restoration Kit™. Simply visit our purchase page, customize your kit, and checkout with your credit card or PayPal™ account using our simple checkout process secured by Norton®.
Why would you want to customize your restoration? The reason you’re restoring your vintage gown is so that you can pass it down to your loved ones as a living memory of a precious day, a moment captured in time. To make this memory even more complete, we give you the option to add a name, date and photo to the outside of your display box so future children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be able to see how your beautifully preserved vintage wedding gown looked, worn by your loved one, on that momentous day. We even let you add up to 5 accessories from the wedding day to be restored absolutely free! This can include a garter, coin purse, veil, and much more.
Once ordered, your Wedding Gown Restoration Kit will arrive in the mail in 5-7 days.
STEP 2 – Packing and Sending your Vintage Wedding Dress in for Restoration
With your kit, you’ll receive a heavy duty, crush proof, water resistant shipping container, a heavy duty waterproof garment bag, stain stickers (optional, for identifying stains that need extra attention) and all the paperwork you’ll need which includes your pre-paid shipping labels. Your Restoration Kit also includes $500 worth of insurance for extra peace-of-mind (additional insurance can be added in the paperwork contained in your kit).
Simply place your vintage wedding dress in the plastic garment bag and use the included zip-tie to seal the bag and protect against any environmental moisture. Place the garment bag into the heavy duty shipping box, seal the box with the included shipping tape, and peel the back off your pre-paid shipping label and adhere it to the box. Sound daunting? We promise it isn’t. We assure you it’s simple and safe to package your gown for shipping and we’ve included step-by-step instructions with pictures inside your kit to make the process extra easy.
STEP 3 – Checking in Your Vintage Wedding Gown
As soon as your wedding dress arrives at our facility, you’ll receive an e-mail notification letting you know it’s been checked into our system. Your vintage dress is unpacked from the shipping container and given a thorough examination by our team of fabric experts. What are they looking for? Spot stains, degrees of yellowing, missing adornments (think sequins), fabric fraying, fabric tears, and more. Notes are made in our system regarding the fabric makeup of your gown and a plan of treatment is formulated to ensure your gown is treated with the utmost care, providing you with a museum-quality restoration.
At the end of this process, your gown is carefully stored on a state-of-the-art, custom racking system and is placed in queue for processing.
STEP 4 – Fabric Cleaning and Spot Stain Cleaning
Our wedding dress restoration service is one of the few in the world to utilize the SYSTEMK4™ cleaning and preservation process. This German engineered delicate fabric cleaning system is more effective and safer for both your gown and the environment than the chemical traditionally used by dry cleaners, PERC.
SYSTEMK4™ consists of both a wet and dry cleaning process that works harmoniously together to remove general yellowing and gently release set-in stains, both organic and inorganic. The final phase of the SYSTEMK4™ process involves a preservation agent that protects your vintage gown from moisture and even acts as a protectant if the gown is ever worn again. Over the years, the preservation team has also developed proprietary techniques and tools to treat over 25 different fabric types that are commonly found in vintage wedding gowns.
The combination of the award-winning SYSTEMK4™ fabric cleaning technology, along with over 100 years of developing custom, in-house restoration techniques and tools, allows your vintage wedding gown to be restored back to its original beauty.
STEP 5 – Pressing, Packaging, and The Custom Display Chest
After your wedding gown is meticulously cleaned, it is time to remove any creases and utilize time-proven techniques to safely place your beautifully restored gown into the wedding gown preservation chest. Your dress is hand pressed to ensure the utmost care is taken to release any folds or creases. This part of the process is integral as hand pressing, along with the methods used to secure your gown to the custom preservation bust, prevent any permanent creasing that would damage delicate fabrics over time.
Your cleaned and pressed gown is then placed on the custom designed bust, which helps it maintain it’s shape over the years, and then carefully placed in the beautiful display chest. The chest and all packaging materials are 100% acid free and even has a UV-coated viewing window so you can share your beautifully restored wedding gown with your loved ones. At this time, any additional items from the wedding day you sent in with your gown to be preserved are placed and secured inside the viewing window.
STEP 6 – The Safe Trip Back to Your Home
Your beautifully preserved wedding gown, proudly displayed in the display chest, is then packaged in yet another storage case which is then packaged in a heavy duty, crushproof corrugated cardboard shipping container for the trip back to your home. You are once again notified by e-mail that your gown is on its way back to your home and you’ll receive a tracking number for your reference.
Your gorgeous vintage wedding dress will arrive back to your home with a signature required by the driver for delivery. The only thing you have left to do is share this cherished living memory with your loved ones with the peace of mind in knowing our 100 year warranty, guaranteeing no future yellowing or staining, is the best and longest in the industry.
Trained and Certified by the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute
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.
Before & After Wedding Dress Restorations
View Before & After Restoration Gallery
Wedding Dress Restoration Success Stories
We took a few moments to interview Kelly Crapser, a member of the wedding dress restoration team, to get insight on the amazing transformations they perform everyday on vintage wedding gowns. 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.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Gown Restoration Service
Our Wedding Gown Restoration Kit can be purchased for a low cost of $280.00. This includes 2 way shipping of your gown, insurance for your dress and up to 3 additional items from your wedding day. Personalization of your kit can be chosen during the checkout process for an extra special touch. If the dress is very old and extensive repair is needed, we will contact you if we think additional costs may be required (This is a very rare occasion).
If your dress is over 20 years old, then it is generally safe to assume the gown will be in need of restoration.
Simply visit our Wedding Gown Restoration Kit ordering page, personalize your kit (if desired) and checkout on our website using our easy one-page check out process. Your kit will arrive by mail in 5-7 days.
Each gown is individual in its needs. The length of time it takes will vary depending on the condition of the gown but normal restorations will take 5 - 7 weeks. Rush processing can be added to your order which shortens the processing time to several weeks.
Yes, the staff is retrained on-site by leading fabric consultants twice a year. These consultants specialize in the restoration and care of museum piece garments.
Do You Have Additional Question About Restoring Your Gown?
We cover most of the questions you may have in our preservation FAQ but you are more than welcome to call our office at (855) 227-9235 M-F 9am- 5pm EST and we'll be happy to assist.