Stored wedding dresses often yellow over time. This is a guide about whitening a yellowed wedding dress.
How do I whiten a wedding dress that is 30 years old and made of a light weight voile?
By Mary Ellen
It maybe that the voile has 'turned', causing the discolouration.
Voile used to be made of 100% cotton but about 40 years ago some of the manufacturers started blending the cotton with linen OR polyester (still cleanable but harder to do if polyester content was higher than the natural fiber count), and now a lot of what is sold as voile is made in China of all polyester, which yellows over time and is next to impossible to keep 'white'.
The best thing to do is take it to the best dry cleaner in town and ask them what they think they can do about it. Look for a dry cleaner that advertises their expertise with vintage fabrics (key words, lol, but seriously), and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints before trusting anyone with a vintage, heirloom gown.
A good dry cleaner claiming to have expert knowledge of restoring vintage fabrics will know how to safely determine the fiber content of your gown, and if it is possible, how to restore it to the perfect white it originally was 30 years ago.
I made a dress for my daughter to wear in a wedding 16 years ago, and now we would like to use it again, but it has yellowed. I can't remember if the fabric is washable or not - I have had it dry-cleaned. Are there specialty dry cleaners? Or can I do something myself?
Try gently washing it with Oxi Clean or the generic, in a large basin or very clean bath tub. Depending on whether you used beads or sequins, be very careful not to wring or agitate it. I have had great results with these products on my grandfathers christening and baby clothes.