Is it easy to clean a vintage wedding dress? No. Is it possible? Yes! That’s exciting news if you’ve found the perfect tea-length dress-of-your-dreams from the 1950s, but it’s stained and yellowed. Here are the steps that you can take to restore your a second-hand dress to make it look like new.
1. Prepare The Dress
The first step is to prepare the dress by removing anything metal. Since you’ll be soaking the gown, metal eye-hooks, buttons, snaps, or zippers could rust. They also might snag on other portions of the dress and cause tears. It is best to remove them and sew them back on after the cleaning process is completed.
2. Spot Remove Stains
Next you’ll need to work on removing stains on the dress. The type of material that the dress is made of will determine how it reacts to chemical cleaners. Silk and satin are very reactive to chemicals, while polyester may be more durable. Combine a gentle detergent and possibly some Oxi-clean in a spray bottle, and apply to your dress. Spot test one section first to see how the fabric reacts.
3. Soak and Rinse
Pour a bath of lukewarm water and stir in some soapy detergent, like a gentle Ivory powder or Woolite. Add about three scoops of Oxi-clean if it appropriate for the type of fabric that your dress is made with. Put your dress into this mixture and gently agitate the water with your hands for a few moments. Let it soak for four to twenty four hours. If the water becomes yellowed, you can empty and refill the bath. Afterwards, rinse the dress at least three times very gently, and block it out onto a flat drying surface so that it holds its shape.
4. After The Wedding: Clean and Preserve
After the wedding, send the dress to professionals who specialize in wedding dress cleaning and preservation. This will help you store it in a way that will allow it to stay in good condition for generations to come. Your wedding gown will only become more precious with time. Proper storage allows you to share it with your children and grandchildren.
As you can see, dress restoration can be a challenge, especially when you are dealing with aged, delicate fabrics like that of a wedding dress. However, it is possible to clean a second-hand dress if you work with care and take the right steps. Did you find a vintage gown that you want to restore? Tell us about it in the comments section below!