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?
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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.
By naylor M. (Guest Post) 03/27/2005
I have well water and it ruins my white clothes. My daughter's soccer jersey got washed my mistake and it is white..well it was. Now it is dingy yellow. How do you get it out without hurting the other colors?
My mother owned a dry cleaners/laundromat. When a wedding dress came in, into the double front loader it went. If you put it in a top loader the agitation will ruin it. Then she hung it up to dry. My own wedding gown was a monster, weighing almost 15lbs (not including krinalin).
My wedding was in august 2007. my mother used mild dish washing soap (best thing for getting out dirt) with a nail brush, scrubbing all around the bottom where it gets really filthy. she was not gentle either, satin is a pretty tough fabric. Then she dunked it right in the swimming pool. Yes that's right the swimming pool, chlorine and all. though my mum doesn't over chlorinate the pool water anyway. It took two people to hoist it up to hang.
We hung it outside on the deck awning that rolls out from the house. We already had wedding dress storage boxes. But as a gift to a wedding I attended. I took the brides gown, washed and boxed it for her. would have cost her 200.00 at a cleaners. You can call pretty much any dry cleaners and they should sell you a gown box. They are about $20-$30 dollars, they come with the bust form and the insert so when you take the main lid off, there is a "liner" lid that has a plastic window so you can see the bodice off the dress (the part with the most detail. Just make sure you use "Acid Free" tissue to line and lay over the dress while it's stored; (I've only seen it in pink).
The gown will not yellow for the remainder of it's life. My daughter 12 years ago wore the christening gown I wore as a baby. It was boxed for 30 + years. I took it out, pressed it and put it right on her. I ope this information is useful and you can rest easy knowing that this is the way the professionals do it. In reality 99.9% of wedding dresses CANNOT be dry cleaned, along with most other garments. So next time you bring items to the cleaners chances are. 2-3 out of 5 are being washed in a regular machine.
Here are questions related to 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.