Choosing a Wedding Gown (Part 2)

Last month we reviewed choices. It’s time to look at trims and details and possible challenges during cleaning.

Fabric Construction: It’s in the details

Remember, even new gowns can present challenges during cleaning. Challenges are fine, as long as you are aware of them. Use these tips to help you avoid unwanted surprises.

  • Inspect pearls, sequins, and trims: touch them and gently pull on them to make sure they are secured well. Ask lots of questions.
  • Are these adornments attached to the fabric by adhesives, wax or stitches? Is the stitching secure, will the adhesive withstand cleaning, will the wax melt, causing them to fall off during processing?
  • If there are small “knife” pleats, over-layers, flowers, bows, or hand-sewn designs, will they withstand cleaning, steaming and ironing without losing their crispness and structure?

Don’t assume that a gown is easily serviceable just because it is being offered by a reputable store or is being sold for a high price. Some retailers are not even aware of the cleaning and processing problems. In most cases they are — but experience suggests that you to think about long-term care before you buy.

If you have any concerns when shopping, take the dress “on loan” to review with your drycleaner and seamstress.

Next Month: Restoration of heirloom gowns

This tip is © The Clothing Doctor and used with permission. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.

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